Turn Your Nail-Biting Sojourn into Your Brightest, Winning Season

Cynthia Herron Writing Leave a Comment

“Mrs. Herron…We have your son’s lab results back. It’s serious.”

There were no preliminaries. No shoot-the-breeze kind of niceties. Just words. Plain, succinct, gut-wrenching words that conveyed the gravity of the situation. I braced myself for the worst and struggled to hold onto some sense of normalcy. This couldn’t be happening. I had a proposal to finish.

Despite my mom-like resolve to remain calm, cool, and collected, the phone shook in my hand. “How serious?”

“You need to take him immediately to the hospital pediatrics unit. Don’t worry about checking him in. We’ve already taken care of that for you.” The PA’s voice resonated controlled alarm. “He’ll need transfused stat and possibly lifeflighted to St. Louis…”

March 2003

That year, the day, and even the hour still poke at my memory with razor-sharp clarity.

The next five or so years marked a life-changing journey for me as a mom, a wife, a Christian, and a writer.

It was a plummet into the abyss. A nail-biting sojourn like no other.

As I reflect back on that desolate time, I realize it was God’s way of grooming me for better days ahead. Huh?

Interesting how that works, isn’t it? None of us want to go through bad things, but it’s the grueling “junk” that builds mettle and develops character.

We can’t fully appreciate the mountaintops until we’ve lingered in the valley. Little things in life don’t hold the same significance they once did. A spotless house, organized cupboards, and meticulously folded laundry matter little when compared to life or death situations.

Fast-forward past the countless hospital stays, blood transfusions, mega doses of meds, tests, treatments, and eventual surgeries.

Fast-forward past scribbled words on paper napkins and whatever else sufficed at the time as a way to relieve pent-up stress for this writer’s heart.

Fast-forward to September 2015

It’s a new day. A new place. The sweet balm of Gilead has washed over our child and healed him in a way we’d not planned, dreamed, or hoped. Not our way. God’s way.

Perhaps you’re facing trials and tribulations just now in your life. Maybe you’ve had to place your writing career on hold. Maybe you’re fed up, hemmed in, or tapped out. Maybe you want to quit.

If this describes you—here’s what I’d like to say:

Hold on!

Don’t throw in the towel. Don’t give up. Don’t let the enemy steal, kill, or destroy the joy for your craft.

Your God-given vision, mission, and destiny don’t hinge on the muck and mire of your circumstance just now.

Know this:

Our biggest victories come from our worst storms. Amidst medical monitors and machinery, there were some days organized thoughts refused to form. So what did I do? I wrote. Maybe just a line or even a word. But still, it was progress.

Writing isn’t a break from reality. It’s a mindset to keep us sane. As our son healed, I focused on the moment-by-moment encouragements. I read. I planned. I dreamed. I wrote. I focused on whatever I could do to continue moving forward.

Adversity of some form never (completely) goes away. But we choose how to react to it, and eventually, how to write in spite of it.

We’re a rare breed. We’ve faced the fire and refused to burn. We’re winners. We’re writers. And we have the tenacity to not only succeed, but to excel in the ministry God’s charged us with.



*This post appeared on the ACFW blog.

I pray my thoughts grant you strength during your sojourn.



Your sojourn is temporary. Hang on! (And remember this.)

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What happens when life takes a detour? You face the fire and refuse to burn.

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Need hope? Encouragement if you’re fed up, hemmed in, or tapped out.

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A Writer’s Gardening Guide for Surviving and Thriving: Five Practical Tips

A Little Pep Talk for Your Writer’s Heart

Why “Almost” is a Lie


What have you learned during your sojourn?

How has your season shaped/refined you?


Here’s to one foot in front of the other, my friend, and to your brightest, winning season!

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Much Love and Many Blessings,

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