Every year in the spring I go to Canadian Tire and purchase perfectly good grass seed. Then I throw the seed away. Not wastefully, but hopefully. I throw it away in my yard with the hope that the seed will “take” and new grass will grow. Agricultural engineers call this process “seeding or “sowing”. I call it “more grass to mow”. Every summer I watch expectantly for evidence that my efforts were successful.
Words are a lot like seeds. Writing is a lot like sowing. Its simply thrilling when writers observe evidence that their words have resulted in encouragement, nourishment or even redemption in those who read their works. The response may come in the form of a blog or Facebook comment, a book review or an old fashioned letter.
I’ve written blogs about depression, mental illness and suicide. Its personal for me – my young cousin took her life after a heartbreaking divorce brought on a deep depression.
The church can feel like an unsafe place for people with mental illness and I’ve taken it on myself to communicate grace-filled acceptance, understanding, support and hope.
The responses have told me I’m on the right track:
“I love this! After taking four years away from church, I finally realized that I needed to start again and found North Pointe. It was through talking to the psychologist I see that I realized this, and seeing this after only two weeks of being back was perfect timing! Knowing that I’m now attending a church who gets that depression isn’t something wrong with someone and their relationship with God is an amazing feeling! Thank you for this post!”
“I’m so thankful that you address this openly. I’m so thankful our church isn’t living in the dark about the reality of depression. Love “… physical illness with spiritual symptoms” so true. Having suffered with depression myself it’s uplifting to not feel shamed by it.”
“May I commend you for such an excellent article on a subject that many in the Body of Christ put a “Christian” facade over. The article provides a thorough understanding of what so many need to know. As someone who had severe depression for decades (even 17 years as a born again Christian), it’s good to see God lifting the stigma of depression. I, like so many, did not meet one Christian who understood what I was going through.
Fortunately, today (18 years later) God has provided Victory Over Depression – primarily through seeing CHRIST IN ME. I see myself the way God does. My new life is Jesus in me and I choose to focus daily Jesus living in me (Galatians 2:20.)
Life is now such a fantastic joy to grow in this relationship. It is Jesus in me living His life through me.”
My first published book was “Ornament” – the story of a young singer/songwriter and of three boys, facing inoperable cancer and the faith, hope and joy she exuded for the world to see.
“This book really touched me. It reminds us to put life into perspective and be grateful for every moment. The strength and grace of Kristen Fersovitch is truly an inspiration. I will treasure this book and pull it out every time I need a reminder of how one person can make a real difference.”
“The story of Kristen and her family is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. Kristen's unwavering faith and joy inspired thousands of people as she battled cancer and lived her life to the fullest. Kristen is a superstar, warrior, and hero. She shows us that God uses all circumstances, good or bad for His glory. Do yourself a big favor and get this amazing book.”
One of my family members gave a copy of “Ornament” to an avowed agnostic. She had been a person of faith until her mother died a sudden and tragic death. I was visiting in her area and when she was told she could meet the author of the book she jumped at the opportunity. She had me autograph her copy and in our conversation about the book I directed her to page six - a prayer of faith. She prayed the prayer.
Marcia Laycock, Inscribe writer says, “As writers of faith we are planting a vineyard with our words…a vineyard that will reach into eternity.”
You can only reap what you sow. I encourage you to sow your seeds. Your harvest may simply be an earthly “thank you” in the form of feedback or it may be a heavenly “thank you” from one who was redeemed because of your words.