Wanda’s Journal

Fear of the Unknown

In my novel, The Sugarcreek Surprise, the main character, Lisa, faced a terrible tragedy at the age of seven, when her parents and paternal grandparents were killed, along with their driver. Lisa was the only survivor of the accident. She was sent to live with her maternal grandparents, who lived in another state. Despite their loving care, Lisa became an introvert and feared the unknown. It was difficult for her to form a bond with anyone, fearful that something tragic might happen to them. Do you think this was a normal reaction? Have you, or someone you know, ever been in a similar situation when you’ve gone through a tragedy? If so, how did you cope?

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A few weeks ago, while I was doing a book signing in Florida, an Amish woman came up to me and said she didn’t think she could read my books because they were fiction and not true stories. I explained to her that although my books are fiction, they are based on true-to-life situations, and said it’s my hope that the stories I write will help someone going through a difficult time. I also mentioned that I incorporate Bible verses in my novels to show how God can help us through unexpected or troubling situations. The woman’s face softened, but then she pointed to the cover of one of my books lying on the table. “I don’t like the fact that you have Amish people on the cover.” I explained that the cover models are not Amish, but professional models dressed in Amish clothes. She seemed surprised and said she had just assumed the people on the covers were Amish. The woman thanked me for answering her questions and explaining things that she’d never realized before. Then with a smile on her face, she bought two books and asked me to autograph them for her.

Have you ever assumed something and then later found out that what you had thought wasn’t true? Or has someone you know ever said they had thought something about you that wasn’t true? How did you handle the situation?

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When We Think We Can’t

Have you ever felt incapable or unsuited to do certain things? In my novel, A Cousin’s Promise, Wayne lost his leg in an accident. He became depressed and had trouble coping with this loss, so he broke his engagement with Loraine. Wayne believed that because of his disability, he was less than a man and could no longer provide for a wife and family.

In the Bible there are many accounts of people who seemed incapable or unsuited for their calling, but God used them anyway, in spite of their disability or lack of confidence. All of us are here for a reason, and if we trust God, seek His will for our lives, and do the best that we can, He will provide the help we need. Often times that help will come from others, or with God’s guidance we may learn how to meet some of our own challenges, as Wayne did in my novel.

Do you know someone who is struggling with a disability or lack of confidence to do certain things? What are some ways we can offer help and encouragement to others or ourselves?

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