When I started writing seriously for God about twenty years ago, I had no clue what He had in store for me. As the years went by, He gave me poems, hundreds of devotions, funny stories about getting older, and a few articles. When I told Him writing fiction was not in my bailiwick, He gave me stories almost faster than I could get them on paper (or in the computer.)
Looking back, it’s easy to see how God has used different experiences and people in my life in so many ways, especially in my writing. We’re always looking for inspiration, but sometimes we overlook the most obvious resources.
After going through a traumatic experience with two prodigals, God nudged me to share my story and all He taught me to help others facing the same crisis. The result was my book, Praying for the Prodigal. After the release of this book, my daughter asked if I’d ever considered writing a book on marriage. The thought had never crossed my mind, but it seemed God had a plan.
After going back over all my husband and I had gone through over the past forty-plus years, I realized there was a lot of material to pull from. Marriage: Make It or Break it came about as a result of keen observation, years of studying God’s Word, and a lifetime of trial and error. I took a hard look at actions and attitudes that can make or break a relationship, the difference in how men and women think and approach life, and the importance of honest and open communication. I learned there are many danger signs to watch for, roadblocks to bypass, and that prayer is essential to a healthy marriage. My prayer is that couples—no matter how long they’ve been together—can learn, grow, and benefit from this book.
If you’re a writer, draw from your past experiences, even the painful ones. I believe the more transparent we are, the more impact our words can have because people can relate. People all around us are going through trials and searching for encouragement and hope. Your words might be the answer to someone’s urgent prayer.
Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers’ conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. For more information visit www.AndreaMerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com.
Tweetable: Writers, draw from your past experiences and use your words to give encouragement and hope. (Click to Tweet.)