Yesterday, I spoke briefly with a dear friend going through a crisis. Her broken heart is obvious as she struggles to make sense of a senseless situation.
Though we didn’t get to talk long, I could see questions etched into her beautiful face.
- “Why is this happening?”
- “I know God isn’t supposed to give me more than I can handle, but just how am I supposed to handle this?”
- “I’m tired and often feel like giving up, where can I find energy and joy again?”
- “Many of my friends have either abandoned me or are uncomfortable with my situation, who can I trust?”
- “If I’m to believe that in “all” things, good comes to those who love God, what good could possibly come from this?”
- “When can I expect to find true relief?”
I’m not God, so of course I can’t answer my friend’s questions entirely. And I can’t be sure my questions are exactly the same ones in her mind.
But in my past, questions like these tore at me when I went through heart-searing pain. Through the years, many others have shared similar questions in times of tragedy and trial.
While I struggled, I scoured books, websites, magazines, or any other written document for answers to those questions. I was desperate for direction.
And then, a good friend pointed me to a couple of articles that provided helpful information, and also directed me back to the Bible.
There’s no question God’s word provides sweet relief, and the beauty of the Bible is its truth. It doesn’t shy away from hard subjects, there are no sugar-coated replies when life falls apart. It certainly doesn’t give subjective, confusing “whatever you believe” statements.
I think this is a good model for real-life writers who want to make a difference in this crazy world by answering real-life questions.
Here are a few don’ts if you want to write relevant material for today’s reader.
- Don’t hide from hard questions like those posed above.
- Don’t be afraid to transparently share how you survived tough times.
- Don’t throw a few scriptures at people and hope something sticks.
- Don’t be afraid to say, “I’m not God and I don’t know.”
As Christian writers, we have the chance to share with readers in raw, honest text, how God’s Spirit can transform misery into ministry. It is our calling, it is our destiny, it is our mission. To allow God to take our hard questions and transform us into real writers — this is why we exist.
1 Kings 10:1 (NIV)
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relationship to the LORD, she came to test Solomon with hard questions.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, national speaker, and author of the soon-to-be released book, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, client of WordServe Literary Group, graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries.
Anita’s passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky.