FaithWriters Has Changed My Life
by Jan Ackerson
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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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I truly enjoyed reading your article. It was well written.
Jan, I am new to FaithWriters, but I immediately feel the connection and want to do all that I can to support the site. Thank you for your work and for allowing God to work through you!
Jan, your story gave me goose bumps. What a testimony! Hallelujah, is all I can say. God bless you!
This is beautiful. I can identify with almost everything you said. FW saved me from going down a dark and dangerous road. I am blessed to have met talented and caring people like you and so many others.
Thank you for your very honest and good testimony as to why Faithwriters has changed your life...I have been glad too for FW. I just wish I had more time to read the articles of all the ones whom I am tracking...God bless you as you bless others...Helen
Dear Jan, Thanks for all of your writings here in FW. I've always looked for your name in EC or Level 4 winners and I almost always find you there. I always enjoy the entries you wrote. Your growth as a writer is inspirational. Again, thanks for being there. Your presence in FW is very encouraging. Thanks a lot.
Jan, I just wanted to say that your presence is one of the main reasons I joined FW. I found something real, heartfelt and beautiful in your interactions. Add to that your wonderful writing talent and desire to help by good comments, writing class, etc. Thank you and God Bless you! ps ...Publish a book Mona
Dear Jan, What a great article to write about Faithwriters and how it has been so important in your life. I can only ditto that. It has been two years this week that my oldest son went home to be with our Heavenly Father. I also know that God has given me a gift to express myself, to glorify Him and to share the message of Hope that I have that one day, I will be reunited for eternity with my son who now lives in a glorified, perfect body as he waits for us to be reunited. FW has given me something to keep myself busy, something to look forward to, and a ministry I have shared beyond this websight as I continue to write poetry and devotionals as well. Thank you all and I only hope I can be more active in the months to come. Thank you also for all your great comments on my writing and your personal encouragement. I, too always look for your stories as I know I will be blessed. Sincerely in Him, Coleene VanTilburg
Thanks Jan for sharing what FaithWriters has accomplished in your life. I am positive that there is no FaithWriter that would not attest to that. Perhaps we should have a challenge topic about that; “How Faithwriters changed my life”. A note of correction though: FaithWriters has united Christian writers the world over, not only in the U.S. I happen to be a Nigerian, living in Nigeria at the moment, yet able to partake of this wonderful cyber Church. God bless you. And did I remember to mention that I always look forward to your stories in the challenge. You’re the best
First, thank you for your kind comments on Shadow Man. I, too, feel a kinship with the faithwriters family. Its an important part of my life! I appreciate your expressing so eloquently what I myself feel. Blessings, Bella
Lifechanging.... the one word we all want to hear about our ministries, and then you in turn are used to help change the lives of others as God uses your gift. I can't imagine your being annoying, but I feel honored being included in your fellowship of online friends. Thanks for your inpsirtation, dedication, and love for God, family, ministry and writing. AMEN SISTER ... ya'll are awesome!
Jan, Beautiful, heartfelt testimony. Thank you for sharing. We share a partial kindred spirit. I love chocolate and dogs. I don't do American Idol One out of three ain't bad. I thank you for past and future input of my writing. It is a healing growing experience to be a part of the same fellowship with you...
I was gonna say y'all...too...but bein' from New Joisey...my friend Clyde from out younder would probably pick on me ...more than usual...