Sunday, May 12, 2024

Writing through Life’s Changes

by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

When the phone rang, cold chills slithered down our spines like sap down a tree.

My wife talked with her mom nightly, but an 8:30 a.m. call one Sunday rattled us. My father-in-law had fallen several months before and broken his hip. Surgery followed, along with several weeks of rehab. And all of this during a surge in COVID cases in our area—including the rehab center where he spent a few weeks. He missed being home, and my mother-in-law missed him being there. More than sixty years of marriage had cemented their love. 

After weeks of rehab, therapy, and home health care, the doctor released him. Best of all, he could drive again. But that only lasted a few days. 

“The ambulance is pulling out of the driveway with your daddy,” my mother-in-law said when my wife answered the phone. “When I checked on him this morning, he was green and gasping for air.”

We feared a heart attack, but we also feared COVID. What had been a nagging cough when he came home from rehab turned into a severe case of pneumonia in one lung—so severe that nurses placed him on the highest dose of oxygen short of a ventilator.

My wife or her brother took my mother-in-law to the hospital daily for a brief visit. Overnight, life changed for my in-laws, and it kept changing. My father-in-law couldn’t shake the oxygen and eventually entered congestive heart failure. In what seemed like a moment, he was at the local Hospice house . . . and then gone. Three years later, my mother-in-law was living with us. 

I’ve experienced overnight changes myself. One day fine, and the next in the hospital with a bleeding ulcer. One day riding a bike, and the next wearing a sling because of a fractured elbow from a bicycle accident. One day having a retirement nest egg, and the next having none. One day having a job, and the next facing unemployment. 

Sometimes, these life changes also challenge our writing journey. We shouldn’t stop writing—we often find the best stories in those difficult times—but we might have to alter it a bit. Not writing daily for a time doesn’t disqualify us from the writing world or mean that we are no longer a “real” writer. Some writers don’t write daily, even in the easy times. Occasionally, we might even need a short sabbatical. But we can’t get so discouraged that we give up and walk away. We must write in some fashion through life’s changes. 

God will sustain us when life changes, as He did the psalmist. “Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed” (Psalm 119:116 NLT).

We don’t have to worry about God doing His part. He promises to care for His children. And God’s as good as His word. The care may not come as we expect or desire, but God knows our needs better than we do. He also knows His grand plan for us, including the one that relates to our writing journey. 

Our part involves trusting and believing. Whenever something happened to my father-in-law, my mother-in-law reassured my wife, saying, “Your daddy is gonna be alright.” And he was. Not in the way we all wished for, but in the way God willed, which for my father-in-law meant streets of gold where a bum leg and a bad heart wouldn’t bother him anymore. 

When life changes, we will be fine, too, if we’re connected to the One who maps out our life plan. And so will our writing journey, even if it looks slightly different than it once did. 

Don’t let life’s changes destroy your writing life. Instead, let them enrich the journey. 


Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God (WWW.LOVELINESFROMGOD.COM) and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions and Directing Editor for VineWords. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, DON'T JUST LIVE...REALLY LIVE, debuted in October of 2021. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.

1 comment:

  1. In the middle of may life changes for me, this article was the encouragement I needed! Thank you!