YOUR TIME TO SHINE
Ever felt useless? That you didn’t fit in? That everyone else was more successful than you?
That - despite growing up in a loving family - was my experience. An introvert, I just didn’t fit in with my extrovert family. Insufficiently sporty, sociable or academic, I soon learned to retreat to the attic where the books were kept. And there, reading, scribbling, creating, I used the blackout curtains to create a stage, put on my first play, and charged my family thrupence each to watch it.
Look back to look forward. All things work together for good for those who love God.
My favourite bedtime story was The Selfish Giant from which, despite growing up in what my father jokingly described as a ‘heathen’ family, I learned about God.
‘Who hath dared to wound thee’ roared the giant when he saw the scars on the child’s hands. ‘Tell me that I may slay him.’‘Nay,’ answered the child. ‘These are the wounds of love. You have let me play in your garden. Today you shall play in mine.’#
Reading was all important to my development as a writer, and so it will be for you. At the age of fourteen I received my first rejection slip from Argosy magazine, home of The Darling Buds of May. I also discovered a Scripture prize awarded to my father. Titled The Yellow Pup, it was the story of a boy who followed Jesus, and reading it under the bedclothes by torchlight, it became the means by which I was converted.
By the time I’d reached my mid-twenties, I was in the midst of a disastrous marriage. Over a fifteen year period, I learned the reality of forgiveness for seventy times seven. Divorce followed. ‘Comfort others with the comfort you have received,’ was God’s command to me. But how to do so, as an introvert? Naturally, I turned to writing.
The Tug of Two Loves, Divorced but not Defeated, and Stepfamilies (all currently available on my website at rock bottom prices) brought in fan-mail from all over the world. Pre-internet days, it told me that my books had touched the lives of my readers – inspirationally, supportively, spiritually and emotionally. Where is my Child? the story of my middle daughter’s drug addiction did likewise.
‘You show us that God does not waste the pain,’ wrote Anne Townsend, former director of CARE and Family magazine. ‘You show us that God does not let us down. You show us that God can be depended on. Thank you for giving us your real self.’
Let Your Light Shine
That’s what we all need to do as writers. As I’ve quoted in my latest book, Time to Shine, who are you not to shine?
‘You are a child of God. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us … and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.’##
Merrilyn Williams, recently retired ACW Chair, writes also under the name of Meg Scott and Mel Menzies. Her latest book, a mystery novel, is written in the style of Jodi Picoult, but substitutes counselling practices for police procedures, when it comes to solving the mystery. With themes of forgiveness and wholeness, this book has already received several 5* reviews. Merrilyn's website, An Author’s Look at Life, provides Resources to Inform, Inspire & Encourage www.melmenzies.co.uk
# Quote from Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant
## Quote by Marianne Williamson