Writing through Despair

2007. Not a good year.

We’d just moved to North Carolina from Florida. My husband spent long hours working at his new job, and as a writer who rarely left the house, I hadn’t developed a support system of friends yet. Lonely? You bet.

Uprooting our youngest son mid-year in 10th grade wasn’t ideal, so we arranged for him to stay and finish the school year. He spent the following summer in NC, but he missed his friends and decided to move back. Without telling us. Yeah. We were devastated.

That alone was tough, but on top of that, our oldest son, a Marine, faced another deployment. This time, though, suffering severe emotional and psychological trauma, he made a choice that altered his life forever.

My writing suffered. How could I create a romance when I stared down a deep black hole that threatened to swallow me whole? What about you? Are you drowning in despair? Here are some reminders that I needed:

Remember His promises. “Be strong and courageous…for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut 31:6 NIV) This is one of my favorites.

Realize you don’t control others. You can only control your actions and reactions. Let everything else go.

Recognize that you may need counseling. Although I might have been lonely, I wasn’t alone. God heard my cry, and He answered with a sweet husband who recognized that I needed help. My husband procured a Christian counselor for our family, and after a few sessions and much prayer, God broke the chains of despair.

Reminisce on God’s faithfulness. I’m no stranger to pain or suffering. As a child, I suffered third degree burns, which entailed numerous surgeries. I married as a teen, and when the marriage failed, I was left with trust issues and a precious 11-month-old to raise by myself (until I met my true soul mate six years later). God faithfully carried me through these tough times, so I trust Him to continue to do so.

Refocus and appreciate. Stop focusing inward. I began volunteering at a therapeutic horse ranch serving the special needs community. My issues seemed insignificant in comparison. And I learned to appreciate the perks of empty nesting. 🙂

Know God’s heart for you, and trust the road He has you on, even when you can’t see where it leads. 2007 was a tough year, but this is the journey God’s traveled with me since then: 

A healthy relationship with our now college-age son

Additions to our family 

My first writing contract and several more since then.

An encouraging, supportive group of writer friends

2013. It’s going to be a great year.

It’s a new day. A fresh slate for the year. 
Are you staring into the deep pit of despair?
Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Ps 30:5b NKJV