Saturday, February 20, 2021

How Do Writers Respond to Change?

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

In a world that is rapidly changing, we can easily lose our bearings. What grounded us may be gone. The thing that we could count on may be missing. We may feel like we’re floating with no safe place to land. We’re surrounded by loss. We thought our writing made a difference. Now we wonder. 

Each moment of every day we are reacting to the thoughts that enter our minds. The events we experience go through the filter of our belief system which determines our reaction. Our brain then releases chemical messengers called neurotransmitters that communicate with our body and affects its function.


Good emotions like love and gratitude produce a surge of rewarding neurotransmitters which impart peace and tranquility. Negative emotions of hate and anger bring about adverse reactions that affect every part of who we are. The term, “You make me sick,” can often do just that.


Depression feeds on isolation which creates hopelessness. Fear increases when we are denied fellowship with one another. I think I can safely say that all of us have experienced some form of despondency over the restrictions placed on us by the pandemic along with the uncertainty of our times. Gathering, concerts, the theater—events that we once enjoyed are shadowed by leering dangers that affect life as we know it. 


We need an emotional and spiritual adjustment to survive and that is not easily done. In fact, the only cure for despair is to cling to the Word and promises of God, who strengthens and gives guidance as we navigate perilous times. 


The phrase, Prayer Changes Things is very true. Prayer produces actual changes in the volume of the brain’s grey matter, reducing anxiety and depression, as well as improving concentration and overall well being. Another positive is that prayer actually helps preserve the aging brain.


The only way we can navigate change is to trust God’s character and purposes in our lives and in the world in which we live. While fear is a normal response to change, yielding our lives moment by moment to God releases us from the tendency to despair. Remembering that God is sovereign and is for us, not against us, imparts faith as we pray. This attitude of prayer also opens the channel to hear His voice and His wisdom and direction for our lives at this moment in time.


While our life in a world that is falling apart may seem like a tiny branch on a large oak tree, our purpose is extraordinarily important. That branch intertwines with the others to produce the majesty of the mighty oak. Our words matter. Our writing matters. Our lives matter.


During the dark days of the pandemic and political upheaval, I planted a flowering almond tree in a sunny corner of my garden. I call it my tree of hope. God created that tree to bloom at a most inopportune time. When the January skies are dark and the winter winds strong, every branch of the flowering almond start to bud. Then, the most amazing thing happens. Against all odds, the buds open and cover the tree with frothy masses of pink blooms that send the fragrance of spicy-sweet cloves across the garden. Each flower is small but because there is an abundance, the winter garden takes on a pink glow. It is February and the flowers still bloom and announce hope. They bloom in spite of adverse conditions. Because that’s what God created them to do. 


These strange and difficult times may seem like the winter of our soul, but we are wonderfully made by a God who has equipped us to live and create during each moment of the time He has allotted us on earth. He has prepared us for such a time as this. James 4:13-16 tells us, “Hold your plans loosely and leave room for God to adjust them.” When God closes a door, remain watchful for another to open. 

Just like the flowering almond tree, there is a time to flower, but all is not lost when the flowers fall for the tree of hope is just going through another stage of development that will culminate in another rush of buds that will again open into a profusion of flowers. Because that’s what it was made to do. Our purpose was also planned by God long ago in perfect faithfulness. Rest in His sovereignty and His purposes, which are always for our good and have an eternal perspective.


Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel.


  1. I want to plant an almond tree—love the analogy. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your comments,Sandra. Blessings to you.

  2. You provided hope and encouragement to me in your writing this morning. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it. I, too, want to plant an almond tree! Thank you for your writing.

  3. I praise God that my words brought you hope and encouragement. I think both you and Sandra would love the flowering almond - the tree of hope. What I didn't say in my article is that I planted that tree in memory of my husband. He too gave hope in darkness and was beautiful in every way. Sometimes we can be so overburdened by life, that we need a visual reminder that God is with us, even in the dark days. Blessings to you, Diane.