Excerpt taken from Shannon Turner’s interview with me for her Comeback Story Contest.
ST: What was your setback?
MAB: By the time I learned to read, I started writing poetry and songs. This helped me express feelings that I could not possibly speak out loud. By the time I attended college, I had two binders full of poetry and songs.After a very negative experience with an evangelical church, I threw the binders into a dumpster. I somehow connected writing with depression and thought it caused a nervous breakdown in high school. I stopped writing for about 15 years. I lost my identity and gave up on my dreams of ever being a published author.
ST: What did you learn from your setback?
MAB: During the time I stopped writing, I read the bible and studied scripture. I also read personal development and leadership books, trying to figure out who I was and why I was put on this earth. After I left the evangelical church about ten years ago, I joined a few writer’s groups and started journaling. As I wrote in my journals and spent time alone with God, my desire to write resurfaced. I learned that if God gave me a gift, no one, not even myself, can stop me from using it. That part of my life was an unfinished story. He called me to be a writer and gave me the desire to connect with others.
ST: How have you used your experience to help others?
MAB: About three years ago, I started attending local conferences and started hanging out with authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs. They spoke my language. I felt alive again on the inside. All the things I had been studying and time I had spent with God journaling, came together in my life. I started speaking positive declarations over my life, made vision boards and took steps to achieve my goals and dreams.
Last year, a publisher accepted my manuscript and once published; I will use my story to help others tell theirs. I also became a certified life coach. I teach others how to find their identity and live out their purpose.
ST: Looking back how can you see that God brought beauty from your ashes?
MAB: God is a God of restoration. He restored the desire to write and the desire to help others. He healed my mind and I am free of the grip of depression. My heavenly Father turned my ashes into my purpose. He turned my story into a beautiful song of hope for others.
ST: What is a message of encouragement you would that you would give to someone currently going through what you went through?
MAB: I don’t know what you have been through, but I know we all have unfinished stories. You know the ones I am talking about. Some keep you up at night. Others bring you to your knees. They break your heart. We hide them and bury them deep inside. We don’t want anyone to know because we are afraid that if they know, they might reject us. If they turn away, they are not a true friend. Surround yourself with people who speak life into you and your dreams. Finish your story and share it with others.
We all have a story. Have the courage to tell yours.
|Shannon is hosting a 30 day Devotional Writing Challenge to be a published author starting March 1st. Contact her below for more information and sign up for her free webinars and daily inspiration. |
|Shannon TurnerOrdained Minister, Certified Life Coach, 11X Author, and Speaker|