In 2005, I was a bereft empty-nester, listening to the echoes of memories that reverberated in my now-childless home, and thinking "Now what do I do?" What I decided to do was-to mire myself in self-pity and depression. I'd raised two gorgeous Christian daughters, and my usefulness as a human being was, apparently, over.
My only happiness was writing occasionally in a blog, where I was able to sometimes be funny but mostly sarcastic and bitter. But it felt good to write, and I told a few friends about the blog, hoping to get comments from them as they read.
One of those friends came to me after church one day and said, "Jan, I've found a website that you might be interested in-it's called FaithWriters."
I shrugged and decided to look at it. Writing, I'd already discovered, was a means of grace: even my blogs were becoming less bitter and more reflective of God's work in me. So I signed up and immediately entered a Challenge. It was the 5th most life-changing event of my life, after 1) my salvation, 2) marrying Ben, 3) daughter #1 coming along, followed closely by 4) daughter #2, and 5) a medical trauma that had contributed greatly to the depression in the first paragraph.
This is what FaithWriters has done for me:
Nurtured my God-given gift. My early writings here were amateurish at best, but through heeding the advice of seasoned and talented writers, I've now been able to write stories that have moved, inspired, gladdened, and touched other readers-and myself. Most importantly, that writing has drawn me back into harmony with God.
Given my life purpose. I've found a ministry in helping other writers to grow and improve. Other than my calling to be a wife and mother, and to glorify God, no call on my life has been so strong or so sure. This is what I'm supposed to do, I have no doubts whatsoever.
Provided me with wonderful friendships. I'm a shy person, kind of annoying in real life, and I don't make friends easily. But I have some FaithWriters friends who are as dear to me as family. Writing is our common bond, but as our friendships grow we've discovered other bonds: chocolate, cats, American Idol. Through the miracle of technology, these friends from all around the country are my next-door neighbors.
Why join the FaithWriters 500? I'm sure others this month will tell you all about the benefits, the Writer's Websites, the advice from Glenn Hascall, that sort of thing. But I didn't join the 500 for any of those reasons. I joined because I wanted to support this site, which is unique in cyberspace. It's godly and righteous…there's never been a whiff of anything inappropriate or dicey in the way it's run…it's an important ministry, and just as a "real life" church needs our financial support, so does this "cyber"church.
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