Thursday, 4 August 2011

Writers and Unexpected Storms of Life

So often we can plan our days only to have those “extra” things in life happen that have to take first priority. During our book promotion and lovely fellowship times in southern Tasmania that I shared with you last week, we heard the sad news that the father of our dear daughter-in-law in New South Wales had passed away. So last Saturday Ray and I flew up to share with our son and dear Karen at this sad time. It was such a privilege last Monday to be at that God honouring funeral service to celebrate Ted’s life.

Tomorrow is the funeral of an uncle of mine in South Australia. Alas, this time it is simply not possible to consider flying all that distance to be with the family there. Unlike Ted, my uncle was much older and been in bad health for a long time. For both of them, their suffering is now over and they are at rest. Those of us who remember them now have to return to deal with our own living and those we love.

Interruptions, especially stormy ones, happen of various kinds and time lengths for all of us, including writers like myself, a fiction writer, and my husband who writes devotional meditations. Some may perhaps be anticipated but more often not the day or the hour. So, how do we handle them? Or perhaps I should ask how should we respond to them?

My own father died when I was a teenager but my dear mother lived another fifty-two years. I remember a time of tears, a time of trying to remember not to set the dinner table for six any longer, a time when Mum’s own health crashed the following year. But despite those moments still of sadness at those memories, one thing still stands out for me, the support and love that surrounded me from family and our church family who prayed, who were there for us when we needed them to be God’s loving hands and feet for us.

As I look back on the things I have written over the years, including those diaries and then the book manuscripts that have been published, I realise that all my experiences through those unexpected and often unwelcome interruptions have helped shape my plots, my characters, the twists and turns in their lives. My first published story back in 1993, Search For Tomorrow, had a heroine who had not only lost her father but also her mother, brother and fiancee in a car accident. How would that affect your faith in God?

My heroine had very little real knowledge of God before that dreadful interruption in her life and so believed He could not love her to allow that to happen. Some of you who have read the book may remember what my heroine’s old Nursing Tutor told her after she at long last asked questions that puzzled her. I wrote this first manuscript before the days of computers so have had to scan this section for you. This Heartsong Presents book was also included in the Barbour volume of my Search series they called Australia.

I can certainly testify that has been so very, very true in my own life over all these years.

“Interruptions” may be allowed by God, used by Him in our lives however HE wants to work them out “for good” (Romans 8:28). For writers, they help us to get under the skin of our characters as we try to show their journey through the storms with a loving, giving and keeping God.
Jesus told His disciples – and us - He will never leave us comfortless. “Wherever I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). With two funerals in a week it is simply wonderful to know those two dear men are now face to face with Jesus where He with the Father.

So what about you? Have you had "interruptions" in your life you would like to share with me here?

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