Friday, January 16, 2015

Making a Difference by Dawn Kinzer



Dawn Kinzer

Some writers may seek fame, a bigger bank account, or a way to leave something of themselves behind. But I believe within the heart of most is the desire to make a difference …

As far back as I can remember, I’ve felt that burning need within, but I struggled for a long time trying to find the right path.

I was ten years old when I saw the movie The Singing Nun with Debbie Reynolds. I decided to go to Africa and be just like Sister Ann, and  I constantly sang “Dominique” everywhere I went. Then, disappointed, I discovered that because I wasn’t Catholic, becoming a sister and wearing those cool black and white garments was not in my future.

As a high school freshman, I thought the answer was becoming a medical missionary. Only, the sight of needles made me pass out. Yeah, that doesn’t work so well in the medical field. (I’ve since overcome that problem—thank goodness!) 


Impacted by Rev. David Wilkerson’s The Cross and the Switchblade, I read everything I could get my hands on written by the pastor. That had to be it! I could help save the world by working in the inner city with Teen Challenge. My plans after high school included going to missionary training school and then to New York City. My parents insisted that I get a college degree before making any career decisions that could cost my life at the end of a knife. That didn’t sit well with me. After all, God would protect me! Right? But I honored their wishes.

After college, my plans changed, and I married and had children. But that flame within continued to burn. I explored various jobs and ministries—even creating some of my own. Some were successful while others were complete failures. I cringe even now thinking about some of the blunders I made in desperation to find my way.

Then a series of events brought me back to writing. I’d always enjoyed it, but despite straight As in college English classes, I never believed I was “good enough.” This time, I couldn’t let go—God kept providing just enough opportunities and encouragement—like crumbs leading me down a path—to keep me going. He kept fanning that flame within until it blazed and I accepted my calling. I might not be good enough on my own, but the truth is … I’m not alone. 

Yes … I believe within the heart of most writers is the desire to make a difference …

That difference could be to make a stand on injustices, spark creativity, teach, inspire, move people to action, or entertain a weary soul.

As Christian writers, we also strive to bring hope, comfort, bring forth spiritual truths, and stir a hunger in readers for a closer relationship to God. We may use story to help people find compassion and understanding for others.

I know writers can make a difference in lives because I, myself, have been challenged and touched by the written word. You may have at one time or another received affirmation from a reader—whether they have read your book, your blog article, devotion, or a note you sent.

With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.   
(1 Corinthians 15:58 The Message)

Even if you haven’t experienced affirmation that you can point to, please know this. Whether someone reads your work now or sometime in the future—you’re making a difference.



Do you ever wonder if all your hard work is in vain?

When did you experience a time when you felt your writing made a difference in someone’s life?





Dawn Kinzer is an author and freelance editor. Her writing has been published in the Christian Fiction Online Magazine, the Backyard Friends magazine, and The One Year Life Verse Devotional, and featured on the radio ministry, The Heartbeat of the Home.

A mother with two married daughters and one grown stepdaughter, she lives with her husband in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. A grandmother, she never expected that one little boy could bring such joy into her life. Some of her favorite things include dark chocolate, popcorn, strong coffee, cinnamon, the mountains, family time, and Masterpiece Theater.

To learn more and connect with Dawn online, check out the following sites:

10 comments:

  1. Love this post, Dawn--just what I needed to hear! Thank you!

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    1. Heidi, I'm so glad it was a helpful start to your day! :-)

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  2. Dawn,

    No wonder we get along so well: you and I have led parallel lives. In fact, I used to say that I was going to become the first Baptist nun! Loved The Cross and the Switchblade! It and Foreign Missions week at Ridgecrest (Baptist Retreat) pulled at my heart.

    I did and do want to make a difference. And don't we live in an amazing time where our words HERE can be read all over the world. And your words do make a difference. Your posts are always so encouraging. Glad to call you my sister in Christ.

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    1. Angie, I chuckled as I read your comments. We are kindred spirits!

      You're so right! We have so many opportunities share our written words. The Internet can be a huge distraction, but it can also be a fantastic blessing. ;-)

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  3. Oh yes! And then, almost always, I stumble through Joshua, where God instructs him to be strong and promises He'll never leave us. So thankful for that, and for this reminder, Dawn. I enjoyed reading about your journey. :)

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    1. Thanks, Dora! Like you, I'm thankful we have a loving God who will never abandon us. ;-)

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  4. Dawn, I always think about Moses and how God equipped him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Not that I ever expect to do anything so grand, but I know God can equip me to write.



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    1. Absolutely, Terri!

      It's interesting that you mention Moses. I'm currently reading an ARC for Mesu Andrew's upcoming release THE PHAROAH'S DAUGHTER, which is the story about how Moses was rescued and raised. It will be out in March. If you enjoy biblical fiction, I highly recommend it. Boy ... this story is such a great reminder of how God is still in control, no matter how impossible some things may appear. :-)

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  5. Fantastic post, Dawn! Thanks for sharing your heart and your story. I felt a similar nudge when I was little. It's a good thing small children aren't allowed to book a flight and jet off to Africa. ;) Good thing, too, that God led us as He did and now we can make a difference with our words. Thanks for the encouragement, dear friend.

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    1. Thanks, Annette! I'm with you - I'm so grateful to be where I am now, doing something that I love! :-)

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