Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hazardous Journeys

This post is in response to an interesting challenge I received last week. Author Ed Cyzewski, in conjunction with the release of the book by him and Derek Cooper, Hazardous, challenged other authors to post their own stories of stepping out in faith and overcoming hazards. When I thought about it, one story kept coming to the forefront: how I became a writer.

In September, 1999, my world ended--because my wife of 40 years sustained a fatal brain hemorrhage, and I was desolate. To help me get through the depression that overwhelmed me, I began to journal: emails to friends, posthumous messages to Cynthia, random jottings on my computer. After almost two years, I had a huge collection of these writings. A friend read them and suggested that I share my experience with others going through the same thing. But I had no idea how to do that. I was a physician, not a writer. But maybe I could do it.

Moving from an area in which I'd achieved not just competence but prominence into one where I was an absolutely ignorant newbie was frightening, to say the least. Finally, an editor took pity on me and directed me to a Christian writing conference, where I felt myself being dragged into this new endeavor. Two years and lots of frustration later, I was given a contract by Kregel Publishers, and The Tender Scar: Life After The Death Of A Spouse was on the verge of being born.

The book was published in 2006 and remains in the top 100 of Amazon's list of books on grief and loss. It continues to minister, and I am constantly amazed at how God has taken this terrible event--the most tragic loss in my life--and used it for good. He also used the experience to point me into a new career. Although I intended my retirement to be devoted to such things as golf, I'm now writing Christian medical suspense. God knew all along this was going to be my path, but not only was I ignorant of it, I fought it. Guess who won?

If you have a story of stepping out in faith, check out this link for other stories in this blog event. And feel free to share your comments with me. Thanks for stopping by.

(top photo courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net)


ed cyzewski said...

What a powerful, heartbreaking story. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but I'm grateful that God has given you an exciting new calling that is touching so many lives. Thanks for sharing this.

Carol Howell said...

God words in amazing ways to bring about His good. Congratulations for following His lead.

CatMom said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with readers. Your experience is another example of how our God uses even the most painful life events to bring about good for others--HE is amazing!
Blessings, Patti Jo Moore

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for your kind words. I had no idea God would use the worst thing that ever happened in my life to touch many thousands of others. It's amazing how He works, if we just don't get in the way.