In the last six months, my family has experienced incredible highs and sad lows. The highs bring joy. The lows take us through the desert.
In June, my niece got married to a wonderful man. We celebrated their union with joy. Both my nieces-in-law were pregnant, so the next couple months held the promise of the babies due in October.
Sadness tinged our excitement because my sister’s mother-in-law, Shirley, was terminally ill. Our prayer? That she would live long enough to meet both great-grandchildren.
Meanwhile, my mom faced a health issue that impacted her life for months. She ended up in the hospital with an unrelated health scare and underwent a battery of tests. It all turned out OK and was actually a blessing in disguise. The doctors put her on new and better medication for her health issue.
October came and so did the babies. Eli was born on October 5 and Avery was born on October 9. Shirley got to meet both of them and spend significant time with them. However, God called her home in October.
Then, came November. We thought the final countdown to Christmas would be a time for us to heal from our grief, revel in our growing family and prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. But, my aunt had a major stroke.
November and now December became a time of trips to the hospital, making rehab care decisions and trying to figure out what the future holds for the entire family. My siblings and I try to relieve the stress that’s fallen on my mom and her brothers.
Christmas will look different this year—both in a good way and a difficult way.
Why do I share all of this? Because I haven’t been as faithful with this blog as I was before. But also because issues that I never thought of before now reside front and center in my mind. I see other families embarking on the same painful journey we’re on. I can share my insights on the last few months through my writing.
Where Are You in the Desert?
Your desert journey takes you in a different direction from mine. But in the desert, you can unearth writing ideas.
What spiritual issues have arisen? What is God teaching you about Himself? What health issues are you learning about? What new things have you learned that you didn’t know before? How are you learning to overcome a financial crises? The loss of a job? A divorce? Sudden widowhood? The loss of a home? The loss of a loved one?
How can you use your insights in a how-to piece? A personal experience article? A personality profile? An interview article? In fiction? In poetry? In a piece for children?
As we cross through the desert, we may feel tempted to give up. We may even stop writing. However, we can use our experiences to help others. And as we share our insights, we can begin to heal ourselves.
© Deborah Christensen