Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Words of Wisdom for Writers

I am happy to introduce you to a guest blogger today: my friend and fellow writer, Jennifer Slattery. Jennifer has some words of wisdom for writers. She has written a writer's devotional of sorts. A thought-provoking piece not only for writers struggling in this crazy profession, but for anyone who may be considering giving up on the journey they once felt called to travel. Good stuff. Hope it's an encouragement to you.

Are You Stuck in Haran?
by Jennifer Slattery

A writer’s life is equivalent to white-knuckling a never-ending roller coaster, in the dark, without a seat-belt. Only, you never signed up for that ride, right? You chose the steady upward climb free of twists and turns, and after ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty years of spinning; you wonder if perhaps you’re on the wrong path. That still, soft Voice that called you into writing has faded behind a mess of rejection, disappointment and fear. What if you heard wrong? What if God changed His mind? Maybe He’s forgotten about you entirely.

Or maybe you’re right where He wants you to be, following the long, winding, equipping road towards the goal, each treacherous step, every angst-filled tear all part of the training. What if you’re only one rejection away from the Promised Land? Will you persevere, walking by faith and the determination of a child saved by grace and destined for victorious living, or will you settle in the land of Haran?

Last Sunday George Lakatos from Grace Community Church in Smithville, MO gave an awesome message (listen to it HERE). To sum it up, the message centered on two biblical characters: Abram (who would later be called Abraham) and his father, Terah. Both men started in the same place, Ur of the Chaldeans. Both men left Ur to embark on a God-ordained journey to the Promised Land, but only one arrived. Terah, the patriarch died at the halfway point, in the land of Haran.

Ur was a wealthy, sophisticated, comfortable city. It must have taken great courage for the men to leave. They had no idea where they were going or how long it would take to get there, but they had God’s promises tucked within their tunics. These promises carried them all the way to Haran, but for Terah, they couldn’t carry him over the hump and into the unknown.

Terah continued as long as the road was easy. He and Abram followed along the Euphrates River, a well-traveled route with access to food and drinking water. They journeyed on foot, each step carrying them farther and farther from the land they knew. Day after day they marched on, the fatigue in their legs growing with each step, their doubts warring for their allegiance. Then they got to Haran, the halfway point, and Terah settled.

Genesis 11:31b (NLT) “He was headed for the landed of Canaan, but they stopped at Haran and settled there.

That is a powerful verse. Terah was headed for Canaan, but settled in Haran, where he died fifteen years later, never reaching his final destination. Never seeing the Promised Land.

Have you settled? Are you stuck in Haran, on the halfway point from where you were when God called you to where He wants to take you? It’s time to leave Haran. Abram settled with Terah for fifteen years. Fifteen long, wasted years. But he didn’t stay there indefinitely. After his father died, he gathered his things and resumed his journey.


Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, columnist and freelance writer living in the Midwest with her husband of fifteen years and their thirteen year old daughter. She writes for Christ to the World, the Christian Pulse, Reflections in Hindsight, and Samie Sisters and is the marketing representative for the Literary website, Clash of the Titles. In 2009 she placed first in the HACWN writing contest and in 2010 she placed third in the CWG Operation First Novel contest, fourth in the Golden Pen and second in the Dixie Kane. She’s written for numerous publications including Afictionado, the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, the Breakthrough Intercessor and Bloom. Visit Jennifer's blog, to find out more about her and her writing.


Joanne Sher said...

Jennifer is AWESOME, as is this post. What a powerful reminder! Thanks for featuring her!

Carrie L. Lewis said...


Marvelous and moving. Thank you for stepping on my spiritual toes and delivering a good, swift kick to my backside.

Just what I needed right when I needed it.

Terri Tiffany said...

I love the wisdom here. I now it is tempting to settle and I sure hope I don't when it comes to most things in life but especially my writing.

jennifer said...

Joanne, I think you're pretty awesome, too! :-)

Carrie, I'm glad you found this article inspiring. It certainly penetrated deep in my heart when I heard the message my post was based on preached.

Terri, Amen!

Jodie said...

Wonderful post, Jen! I needed this tonight. Somehow, God just knows ahead of time when Satan is going to come a-knockin' and sets up a stream in the middle of the desert...