Writing Despite Adversity…(Yes, You CAN!)

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by Cynthia Herron

“Mrs. Herron…We have your son’s lab results back. It’s serious.”

There were no preliminaries. No shoot-the-breeze kind of niceties. Just words. Plain, succinct, gut-wrenching words that conveyed the gravity of the situation. I braced myself for the worst and struggled to hold onto some sense of normalcy. This couldn’t be happening. I had a proposal to finish.

Despite my mom-like resolve to be calm, cool, and collected, the cordless phone shook in my hand. “How serious?”

“You need to take him immediately to the hospital pediatrics unit. Don’t worry about checking him in. We’ve already taken care of that for you.” The PA’s voice resonated controlled alarm. “He’ll need transfused stat and possibly lifeflighted to St. Louis…”

March 2003.

That year, the day, and even the hour still poke at my memory with razor-sharp clarity.

The next five or so years marked a life-changing journey for me as a mom, a wife, a Christian, and a writer.

As I reflect back on that desolate time, I realize it was God’s way of grooming me for better days ahead. Interesting how that works, isn’t it? None of us want to go through bad things, but it’s the grueling “junk” that builds mettle and develops character.

We can’t fully appreciate the mountaintops until we’ve lingered in the valley. “Little things” in life don’t hold the same significance they once did. A spotless house, organized cupboards, and meticulously folded laundry matter little when compared to life or death situations.

Fast-forward past the countless hospital stays, blood transfusions, mega doses of meds, tests, treatments, and eventual surgeries.

Fast-forward past scribbled words on paper napkins and whatever else sufficed at the time as a way to relieve pent-up stress for this writer’s heart.

Fast-forward to June 2013.

It’s a new day. A new place. The sweet balm of Gilead has washed over our child and healed him in a way we’d not planned, dreamed, or hoped. Not our way. God’s way.

Perhaps you’re going through trials and tribulations just now in your life. Maybe you’ve had to place your writing career on hold. Maybe you’re fed up, hemmed in, or tapped out. Maybe you want to quit.

If this describes you-here’s what I’d like to say:

Hold on!

Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t give up. Don’t let the enemy steal, kill, or destroy the joy for your craft!

Your God-given vision, mission, and destiny don’t hinge on the muck and mire of your circumstance just now.

Know this:

Our biggest victories come from our worst storms. Amidst medical monitors and machinery, there were some days organized thoughts refused to form. So what did I do? I wrote. Maybe just a line or even a word. But still, it was progress.

Writing isn’t a break from reality. It’s a mindset to keep us sane. As our son healed, I focused on the moment-by-moment encouragements. I read. I planned. I dreamed. I wrote. I focused on whatever I could do to continue moving forward.

Adversity of some form never (completely) goes away. But we choose how to react to it, and eventually, how to write in spite of it.

We’re a rare breed. We’ve faced the fire and refused to burn. We’re winners. We’re writers. And we have the tenacity to not only succeed, but to excel in the ministry God’s charged us with.

cynthiaherronCynthia Herron loves Jesus, sticky notes, and Starbucks. She’s a member of ACFW, MozArks ACFW, and RWA. Besides penning Heartfelt, Homespun Fiction, Cynthia revels in old movie classics, gingerbread men, and all things apple. She’s represented by Mary G. Keeley, Books and Such Literary Agency. Please visit Cynthia on Twitter and Facebook.

Comments 0

  1. Exactly what I needed today, Cynthia. Though I’ve never had a child in such distress, I’ve certainly dealt with all the other stuff life flings our way. The problem with writers is that we tend to be the “work from sun up to sun down” type of people. Besides my full-time job (I’m an engineer), my part-time marketing job, and all the side work I do as a writer, it seems the novel is always the first casualty. I help out my writing partner, Gina Conroy, with her website, Writer Interrupted. It’s an appropriate title. And it helps to know we’re not the only writers who don’t sit by the beach all day, sipping umbrella drinks and making small talk with James Patterson and Sue Grafton. We scratch out what few minutes we have at the end of the day and pray it all makes sense at the end. God bless you, your family, and your writing minstry.

  2. Ron, “normal hours” to writers do tend to give us a chuckle, don’t they? We learn to write during the good, the bad, and the difficult, and we’re better writers because of it. It sounds like you’re a great juggler, too.

    Blessings to you and yours, as well! Happy writing!

  3. Cynthia, now I know why you have the gift of real encouragement–you’ve gone through soooo much yourself and have come out the other side. My heart just breaks for all you went through–chronically ill children can truly break a mother’s spirit so quickly. So thankful you clung to Christ and to your writing. You are just a blessing to everyone who knows you. Many hugs to you and all the best in your writing career–and so thankful your child is healed now.

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