This week my friend, author Nikki Rosen, came to visit my class, Writing Your God Story. It’s a small group that meets on Wednesday nights at my church.
On the first evening I met with this group, I wasn’t surprised to find that each person had a story to tell. I had expected that. What surprised me was the intensity of their stories. Though they’re all younger than me, three of them young enough to be my children, they’ve faced many more challenges and life-altering experiences than I have.
After our first meeting, I had trouble sleeping. I thought of their sufferings and felt profound sorrow for them. When Nikki spoke to my writing class, she told them about her life as a drug addict, how she’d ended up in a cult where she was locked up and raped. She told how she found Jesus who instantly took away her craving for drugs. (Nikki’s blog)
The most profound bit of advice Nikki left with my students was this: the drug addiction ended and she had expected that a serious eating disorder and an addiction to cutting would leave at the same time. They didn’t. She was disappointed. It took a long time, she said, before she became completely free. But, the good news is that she is free today. That’s why she can talk so openly about her painful past. For years, she hid her before Christ life.
Nikki, who doctors said, would never be “normal,” graduated from university, became a social worker and an award winning author with her life story, In The Eye of Deception. Her latest book, a novel, Dancing Softly, is dedicated to Ashley Smith, the teenager who was so cruelly abused in the Canadian prison system.
Nikki left more than her own story with my class. She left a special scripture verse. It’s my experience, that people need a word from God to hang onto so I’m passing this verse on because it gives hope to people who are disappointed when all the threads of their lives refuse to be tied into a perfect bow. Words of hope from the Apostle Paul –
He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6)
Pain produces the most inspiring stories. For that reason, I know my little writers group will write personal stories that will make a difference in the lives of their readers, stories that will bring hope.