In the 1997 book, The Sacred Romance, authors John Eldredge and Brent Curtis said the true story of each person lies in the journey of his or her heart. The external story of Jamaican author Sandie Heron comprises a former paralegal who uprooted her life to teach in Japan, but her true story is a woman who allowed herself to be led and used by God to actualise her purpose. Heron chronicles this in her recent book, Journey Into the Unknown, which challenges people to be courageous and move into their God-given purpose.
“In the book, I share my experience moving from my life and career in Jamaica to live and work in Japan,” she told BUZZ. “I share in detail the experiences I had before I actually made the decision and what exactly led me to move in that direction.”
“Whatever little bubble I had while living in Jamaica has now burst as I have been confronted with issues concerning racism and prejudice…”– Jamaican author Sandie Heron
Heron said the response has exceeded her expectations, and she hopes to have the work translated into different languages.
“Copies have been sold in Jamaica, America, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan, and everyone who has read it has told me how inspired they are,” she said. “So many persons have messaged to share their own stories as well as ideas that they have to start a business, write a book or travel. They feel encouraged to go ahead and pursue their dreams after reading about my experience, and that is one of the expectations that I had of the book when I wrote it.”
But just like everything, Heron’s decision to write the book carries a story of its own. She recalled having prophetic dreams in 2017 (one of a life in Japan), which led her to a workshop at Fellowship Tabernacle in Kingston. Though she went with the intention of understanding her dreams, she left with a message from a woman who said God wanted her to write a book. Heron, who had previously considered authorship, started a manuscript a week after the exchange, and was also readying for life in a new country.
“There was a feeling of stillness within me because I really believed that I was moving in the direction that God wanted me to go and that was a good feeling. I didn’t know what to expect but I was at peace.”
She sent the manuscript draft (which by then had detailed her life experiences) to the woman, but was told lessons were missing. At a loss, Heron paused writing and immersed herself into life in Japan, which began in March 2018.
“It was only in January 2020 after praying to God to revive my purpose that I heard a still, small voice say to me, ‘Sandie you should write a book,’ just as I was stepping out of a train in Tokyo. Later, I remembered the manuscript that I had started two years before and I started writing again and completed it.”
With an enriched perspective, she identified the life lessons in her two-year Japan experience and included them in the book. This is usually where one would say, “the rest is history,” but Heron’s story continues as she is currently working on another book which will be a compilation of stories about her experiences and lessons in Japan. She also hopes to establish her own publishing company.
Adapting to a new culture has been no easy feat, but Heron is forever changed.
“I am a lot gentler with myself,” she said. “I have spent so much time alone in Japan that I have had to learn to literally be my own best friend. I am more mindful of what and who I let into my space because recovering from an emotional wound when you do not have many people around can be really challenging. I am also a lot more aware of racial issues. Whatever little bubble I had while living in Jamaica has now burst as I have been confronted with issues concerning racism and prejudice…”