Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Writing in the Face of Adversity by Cynthia Howerter

Cynthia Howerter
Shortly before my husband lost his job in 2008, I asked the Lord to tell me His will for my life. Because I gave up my teaching career 24 years earlier to be a stay-at-home mom, my teaching skills were as obsolete as dinosaurs. With my children at college, I yearned for a career—but one ordained by the Lord. When God told me to “Write. You have a story to tell,” I could never have imagined that the story He wanted me to write was one that had yet to unfold.

My husband’s job loss actually set my writing career in motion. After obeying God and selling our house, we moved halfway across Pennsylvania to stay with my aunt while my husband searched for a job. Knowing no one except Auntie and my husband, I had plenty of time on my hands—time to write.

A story came to me soon after we moved into Auntie’s house, and I wrote almost daily for the 18 months we lived with her. The story was about searching for faith when all appeared lost, and as I wrote, the characters encountered unimaginable twists and turns filled with fear and trials. My own days of seeking God’s presence in the midst of hopelessness drove the story. As my faith deepened, so did the faith of my characters.

The story turned into a novel. Although it will never be published or win an award, it served several purposes during our months of adversity. Through the pages, I sought God and eventually found Him. As the plot unfolded, I learned that God never wastes our pain; what I was learning through the refining fires of unemployment was reflected in the characters’ lives and allowed them to become believable people. As my characters learned to trust in the Lord no matter what frightening events stood in their paths, I learned that I could trust God to get me through—not out of—the absolute worst times of my life. Writing this novel taught me how to weave my faith and experiences into stories that could touch the hearts of readers. In retrospect, God used this first novel to prepare me for my next book.

My second book, God’s Provision in Tough Times, was published and released on June 20 on Amazon.com. An anthology, it is co-authored by La-Tan Roland Murphy, and features 15 contributing writers. The book contains 25 true stories describing God’s provision during each writer’s personal experiences of unemployment, underemployment, and financial despair.

Just when I thought I had no employable skills, God provided a new career using the trials of my life and my deepening faith as the foundation for stories He wants me to tell.

Do you have a novel in the drawer that's helped you cope? How has writing your unseen story helped you deal with hard times? Share your stories of encouragement with us in the Comments below.

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About the Author
Cynthia Howerter is a Pennsylvania girl who now lives in Virginia with her husband. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) as well as Colonial American Christian Writers, and will be contributing articles to the Colonial Quills website.

Her love for history, especially the American Revolutionary War period, along with being a member of the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), give Cynthia a wealth of
God's Provision in Tough Times
by Cynthia Howerter
and La-Tan Roland Murphy
knowledge to use as a writer. People matter to Cynthia, especially her family for whom she gave up law school in order to be a stay-at-home mom. Her love for people spills over into her everyday life. She enjoys using her expertise as a genealogist to help others find their roots. Along with speaking at genealogical events, Cynthia has written several genealogical histories about the nearly 8,000 people she has researched.

Visit her at her website, Soar With Eagles: http://cynthiahowerter.com

Cynthia and her co-author La-Tan Roland Murphy have written an anthology, God’s Provision in Tough Times, that deals with unemployment, underemployment, and financial hardship. Both women, along with their fifteen contributing writers, have personally experienced unemployment and the difficulties brought on by a lack of income.

Contributors to the anthology include Eva Marie Everson, James L. Rubart, Deborah Raney, Dan Walsh, Ramona Richards, Cecil Stokes, Torry Martin, Eddie Jones, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Roger E. Bruner, Felicia Bowen Bridges, Beth K. Fortune, Alycia J. Morales, Dee Dee Parker, and Tamara D. Fickas. God’s Provision in Tough Times was released on June 20, 2013, by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It is available now on Amazon.