Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Common Pillars We Never Forget by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy
Unknown to them, certain people grabbed a special spot in my long, difficult, and bumpy spiritual journey. I’ll never forget them or what they did for me by simply being the people they were. God plunked them before me when I needed their example to move forward. Their examples spoke louder to me than anything anyone else said to me. They weren’t perfect or extraordinary in a popular way. They were common—in a most beautiful way.

The first was my ninth-grade English teacher. She was skinny and plain. She was strict, prim, and firm. Somehow, I saw that she was strict for our good. She cared about English, grammar, and literature and teaching them to us. The kids made fun of her. I didn’t join in their jokes and snide remarks, because I respected the woman. I learned more from her than any other teacher. I’ll always remember her commitment to doing her job right and having us do what was right in her presence.

The second was a freshman college roommate. She had little desire to partake in the behaviors of most college students. (Later, I had a roommate who aspired to be a Playboy Bunny!) When we’d have life discussions, she’d pull out her Bible to look things up, not to judge me, but to see what God said and to share His wisdom. That bugged me. I once said, “Why do you always have to bring out the Bible? Can’t you think for yourself?” But I secretly respected her convictions and confidence in herself and her God. I’ve never forgotten her gentle and quiet spirit.

The third was an older woman in the Sunday school class my first husband and I decided to attend. In the class, I judged much by my personal beliefs. This older woman, who enjoyed motorcycle trips with her husband, always answered my huffy comments with a smile and gentle explanations. I could actually hear the truths she was speaking.

The fourth was a young Christian woman my age who belonged to our neighborhood club. She loved tennis and played with my tennis group when we needed a fourth. She was honest and friendly, but she kindly begged off when invited to our parties or to join in our gossipy after-tennis conversations. Deep down I wanted to have her strength to make better choices.

The fifth was a woman in the church I attended because my friends went there. She had four children, love the Lord, and liked everyone. When my first husband had just left with our two little boys to show them his apartment after we told them he wouldn’t be living with us anymore, I felt sad. This woman, who’d never called me before, just happened to call me at that moment. I don’t remember her purpose, but, instead of judging what my husband and I were doing, and me, she listened to my hurt and spoke the comforting words I needed. More important, I experienced how a good Christian woman cared for someone no matter what that person did.

The last were five men and women in the Bible study God pressured me to attend in another church in my early forties. I went to the class, but I wasn’t happy about it. I told them I was looking for real Christians. For thirty-four weeks, these five weathered my anger, never calling me on my rants. They were gentle and steady. At the end, I told them I’d come looking for real Christians and had found five. Along the way, I had come to accept Christ.

Have you had one of these common but beautiful people in your life?



Zoe M. McCarthy believes that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Her first novel is Calculated Risk. She has two other contemporary romances and a nonfiction book to help writers ready their manuscripts coming out soon. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John. 

Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk


What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books

8 comments:

  1. I think the person who truly lived a Christian life was my gramma. She was never judgmental or critical--a true example of living faith. (This is Tanya Hanson but I can't seem to post comments like before-I have to always use a password lol which I don't remember for Google, so I am using Anon.)

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    1. Hey, Tanya. My Aunt Zoe was so good to me when I was in college in the same city. When I'd visit, she'd listen to me and never judged me. It felt good.

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  2. Great post, Zoe! Having these types of people in our lives helps us grow. I am thankful for the ones who've helped me along my journey, as a Christian and as a writer.

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    1. Sally, I named some of the big ones on my spiritual journey, but a blog post hasn't room enough to name all the people who have helped me grow, as you say. I, too, am thankful;.

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  3. I had an amazing Jr. High Sunday School teacher who supported me above and beyond in everything I did. To this day he sends me a card on my birthday and has for over 40 years. Is that amazing or what?

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    1. Karla, that's amazing. Later, I wanted to figure out how to contact my English teacher to tell her how much I appreciated her. I just now tried to find her-not happening.

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  4. You really got me thinking, Zoe. I have woven a few of my earthly heroes into some of my stories, but now I'm thinking about writing a non-fiction featuring them and all the blessings they passed on to me.

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    1. Go for it, Bonnie. Just writing this post made me see that not being judged was key for me. I think I can work that into my characters on the giving and receiving sides. I know I'm better about listening and looking for the hurting person beneath the bluster.

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