If you’ve ever struggled with issues that seemed to stand in the way of your calling to write, you will love the next two guest posts. Our guest, Cherrilynn Bisbano, is also one of our teachers for the 2021 conference, and she speaks from the heart to encourage writers to overcome and strengthen their abilities with help from God and His word.
Dealing with Fear and Focus for the DisABLED Writer
KCWC Guest Post by Cherrilynn Bisbano
Many writers endure physical and/or mental challenges as they try to get their words on paper. I have a friend who died in a car accident. God revived him and called him to write. His traumatic brain injury doesn’t keep him from obeying God. He studies the craft and edits his manuscript, but it takes him three times the effort. He amazes me and encourages me.
I know of others, like Joni Eareckson Tada, who are paralyzed and use their mouths with a pen to peck out their stories on a computer.
I have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). I did not realize I had it until my son was diagnosed with it 12 years ago. I finally had the answer to my fidgeting, lack of concentration, unfinished projects, and my urge to blurt things out during a conversation because I’m afraid the words will escape me.
I liken my thoughts to a squirrel scrambling to collect nuts. There are so many acorns that he stops in his tracks. “Which way do I go? Which nut do I focus on first? Which one is the biggest?”
I am that squirrel, with a hundred thoughts flashing around in my brain. What chapter do I focus on today? What will touch the reader’s heart? What Bible verses do I use? I need to dust my bookshelf. LUNCH!
I sit at my desk, head in my hands.
“Lord, I need your help!”
I knew God would not call me to write and then leave me scurrying about gathering up words that don’t make sense. I continued to pray.
A friend of mine mentioned an online Discipleship Counseling Course through Eternity College. The course was free. I like free. He said he grew closer to God after the class. I signed up and found myself with ten hours of homework each week. Homework that would change my life forever.
We had to complete the book, You Can Change by Tim Chester. The book states to pick one thing you want God to help you change. I chose procrastination and lack of focus. Working through the book helped me realize why I procrastinate—fear of failure.
As a child, my biological father told me I would amount to nothing. He was abusive and called me an animal. If my earthly father did not believe in me, why would a Holy God? I had a mindset to always expect failure.
How did the fear dissolve? I replaced the lies with truth.
I recited these verses daily.
“… even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Ephesians 1:4 ESV)
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16 NIV)
I said to myself, If God chose me before the foundations of the world to be holy and blameless, knowing everything I’ve done and will do, salvation has nothing to do with my works. He must truly love me.
Cherrilynn is an award-winning writer and speaker. Her desire to encourage others is evident when she speaks, leads Bible studies, and coaches writers. If you need prayer, just stop her and ask. Cherrilynn is a speaker with Women Speakers. She contributes to the Blue Ridge Writers blog is published in four compilations books, and her book Shine Don’t Whine released in 2020. Cherrilynn served in the military for twenty years, earning the John Levitow Military leadership award. She lives with her Michael, Jr., and husband of 22 years, Michael. You will often find her on the beach sea glass hunting or with her son at Guitar Center.