Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Starting From Scratch

For several years, I've been a member of the Minnesota Christian Writer's Guild - and during many of those years, Sharon Knudson has led the group with grace and encouragement, and Mary Heitzman has also served as a board member and generously served other writers, and is now stepping into leadership.

One year, I had breakfast with them both at Mt. Hermon Christian Writer's Conference. I shared some difficult challenges I was facing in the writing journey, and Sharon said, "Could I pray with you?"

She took my hand and poured blessings over me. Her words literally gave me strength that year.

I have also enjoyed speaking to the MCWG, and always felt tremendous support from Sharon and Mary. (Not to mention that great lunch at Cheesecake Factory!) ;-)

So it is no surprise to me that Sharon and Mary have created a touching and encouraging book for people facing difficult change--often unwanted and unexpected. You can learn more at their website.

Q: Mary, as you talked with women, what did you find helped them cope with their situation?

Mary: Many of the women we visited with often spoke of turning to Scripture. While some had a strong faith that allowed them to draw comfort from great passages in the Bible, others questioned God at first, or had feisty conversations with Him.

All were needy of, and appreciated, kind words and gestures from friends and family. But I was struck at how they all found comfort when their supporters were not available. Many of the women we visited with mentioned a devotional, a workbook, or some special story that encouraged them. Some started blogs or began a ministry. Many swallowed their pride and accepted help from others, including the government, recognizing that this was just for a season.

For most of these women, dependency on God Himself seemed to be the key ingredient when tragedy first struck. After that they allowed others to minister to them. And then eventually they took that one small step necessary to move forward and accept change.

Q: Sharon K., the first story in the book is from your personal experience and is titled, “Telling.” Why is talking to others—even friends—about your situation so hard?

Sharon Knudson: When I suddenly got divorced, no one knew what to think or say. It was a complete shock to everyone (including me), and it felt like a bomb had gone off in the night. People want an explanation, and if one is not readily apparent, they make their own guesses as to what probably happened. Some gossip and take sides. Some get very angry and feel betrayed: in a way, their own security is threatened and they wonder, “If that could happen to her, could it happen to me?”

“Telling”came right out of my journal. It was written as I grappled with how to tell people what had happened just a few months after the divorce. We have included this as a book excerpt on our blog.
Thanks so much, Sharon and Mary! I know many women will be blessed by these stories.

And I'm giving away a free copy - drawing from names of everyone who comments to this post and leaves a working email where I can contact them if they win.

Have you ever had to "start from scratch"?

Sharon Hinck


Judy said...

Sounds like a terrific book that will minister to many! Please put my name in the drawing.


Valerie Comer said...

I would love to read this book. I'm so thankful I am NOT hurting in this way, but I know people who are and I'm writing a character who is.

Thanks for the opportunity, Sharon. I can send you a USA address if I win. valerierco AT yahoo DOT ca.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Sharon, count me in!
Our church has just been rocked with this situation. Blessings to you all!