Friday, April 15, 2016

Fabulous Friday with Jennifer Slattery-A Sorrow That Brings Gain




Today we welcome author:
Jennifer Slattery

A commenter will win a copy of
Jennifer's book:

Breaking Free

Scroll down to see how.



Mary here. I'm so happy to welcome Jennifer Slattery to Let's Talk. I have known her, but in today's post I learned something new. Something that shows me why she is an author who can write from the heart. I asked Jennifer: how has God led you on your writing journey? Here is what she said: 

A Sorrow That Brings Gain


They say writing is equivalent to bleeding on the page. Even in fiction, writers pour out the deepest parts of who they are into their stories. And we’re worried, should the reader look deep enough and think hard enough, they’ll see bits of us in our characters.

This is why some writers write shallow, treading just above the surface of their—and their characters’—emotions without ever getting to the real issue.

Other times we think we’ve discovered and dealt with the issue then moved on, healed and restored.

But healing rarely happens quickly, and when the wounds are deep, it can take a lifetime for them to heal.

I know this. I’ve taught on and written about this. But I suppose I’d forgotten, or maybe I felt after all this time, all the tears and, well, talking, I’d risen past the crying stage. Until one night as I sat in my quiet, dark living room, God reminded me of it all.

I was speaking to a ministry leader in preparation for an upcoming YouTube interview. I was sharing my story and how it tied in to my latest release. I’d given my testimony countless times previously—in blog interviews, to youth, to women, to churches, on the radio. Every so often, my voice would catch, largely when I’d see tears in the eyes from someone in my audience. But for the most part, I was emotionally detached. The story of God’s grace was so much brighter than all the gunk I’d gone through; how could my testimony bring anything but praise?

And yet, there can be praise even in the midst of the tears. That’s what happened this night. As I shared my experience with homelessness as a teen, a question caught me off guard:

What was the hardest part?

My breath caught as I remembered...

Being hated by the other kids in my high school, kids who saw the hardened, angry me but not the one scrambling to survive.

Wondering where I’d sleep each night, what I’d eat. If I’d eat.

But the hardest? Feeling completely and utterly alone. That was an ache so deep, I’m not sure I can describe it. The pain could be felt physically. That pain overshadowed every other fear, sadness, or uncertainty.

That was a hurt that only Christ could heal, when He opened His arms to a wounded, isolated, lonely teenager and welcomed her in. Let her know she belonged. For all eternity.
That’s a great feeling—to know-know-know you’re loved.

And I do. So why the tears that night, almost two decades and four books later? Why, as I shared my story with the ministry leader, did I feel so broken?

I’m not entirely sure, but I have an idea. I’d begun to forget. I’d begun to forget how painful it can be to go through life alone. I’d forgotten how deep my need for healing had been, and because of this, I’d lost sight of the incredible beauty of all God had done.

He wanted to remind me, because He was about to give me an assignment, a very precious assignment, one that feels weightier than speaking to a thousand churches.


In May I’ll be speaking to people who are, right now, where I’ve been. People who are so broken, their heart literally aches. People who desperately need to know there’s hope, and that they’re loved. That they belong—to Christ. But God doesn’t want just anyone to tell them this. In His infinite mercy, He chose to send someone who gets it. Because I’ve been there.

And, through Christ, I found the way out.

What about you? When has God allowed you to experience emotional pain in order for you to gain a deeper understanding or level of compassion for someone else? What was the result? How has your pain enabled you to better share the love of Christ? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all learn from and encourage one another. 
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Jennifer and her friend Mikal Hermanns
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Caf√© Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Jennifer loves to connect with readers. 
You can find her at her:
  


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Breaking Free

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters. 

Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read a free, 33-page excerpt here


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Enter the contest to win Jennifer's book:
Breaking Free
US readers invited to enter!!

Here is how:

1. Leave a comment (and email address)

2. AND sign up to receive my newsletter -in the right column

    (subscribers to Mary Vee's newsletter will receive a special gift)

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Thank you, Jennifer, for joining us this weekend!



We enjoy chatting with you, Reader, and look forward to reading your comments and questions. Or at least your hi, hello, or hey.


Thanks for stopping by!


Don't forget to comment!

7 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this interview and the book sounds really good. Thank you for including me in your drawing. I really enjoy your other newsletter I receive, Mary. That zip line in the redwoods, WHOOSH!!!
    Janice jsmithg (at) hotmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Janice!

      Thanks for taking time to pop in and leave an encouraging comment. :) I'd love to see Mary's zip lining picture! The Redwoods are so beautiful.

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    2. You're so sweet, Janice! Jennifer and I really enjoyed chatting with you. The topic is so important...especially when you consider the opposite of the marketing we hear in America. Many couples face these same issues. So nice to have a good story on this topic. Thanks, Jennifer. And thanks Janice for chatting with us.

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  2. Jennifer, you have a powerful testimony and it is being used to help others through your writing. I can only imagine the hope that other struggling teenagers can gain from hearing about your youth and your acceptance of Jesus!
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you, Connie. This is a very important issue. I am so thankful for authors like Jennifer who write good stories with these topics.
      Blessings on you, too, Connie.

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  3. Thanks, Connie,

    I hope so. :) God is so good and merciful, isn't He?

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting! Your thoughts add a lot to our conversations and the Never Give Up Stories