Today we get write to the point with Sherrie Ashcraft and Christian Berry Tarabochia. Actually, you will be hearing Sherrie’s Genesis 5020. She talks about a subject that I think many Christians deal with, yet many don’t want to admit. At the end of her post keep reading to learn more about this mother/daughter team of writers and enter to win an ebook copy of On the Threshold.
When Life is Hard
“What you intended for evil, God meant for good.” Genesis 50:20
Those were dark days back then. A heaviness settled over my spirit in a way I’d never experienced before. Oh sure, there had been scattered days here and there where I felt “blue” or “down in the dumps,” but never anything like this. Months passed, but my depression didn’t. It gradually deepened, coloring my life gray, spreading the dullness from the inside out.
I looked around, trying to figure out the cause of my problem. And you know what I found? Nothing! Anyone looking at me would think my life was very good. I had a husband who loved me. A fulfilling job. Grown children who had blessed me with grand children. We owned our own house. Money, though not in abundance, was certainly sufficient. No health problems. Involvement in the church my husband pastored. Obviously, I had nothing to complain about. My circumstances left nothing to be desired, yet the sense of despair only got worse.
Have you ever been there? If so, you know what doesn’t work. No husband telling you to “just decide to be happy” can change the feeling. No friends bringing by plates of cookies, hoping to cheer you up. (Chocolate really can’t fix everything!) Not even people saying, “Oh, I’ll pray for you.” No, when depression hits, the solution isn’t easy to find.
The dark days, though the sky was often sunny, continued. I experienced a profound sense of loss—loss of joy, loss of purpose, loss of feelings, loss of humor, loss of reasons to continue with life. Even the seeming loss of my relationship with the Lord. I didn’t have a definite plan, but suicide began to sound like an option. I knew I would never be happy again and I had no desire to continue with life the way it was.
Thankfully, I was open to Christian counseling. Having an unbiased person listen to me, ask me questions, and challenge me to a lot of soul-searching and self-evaluation proved to be my answer. It certainly wasn’t an overnight change, but I gradually began the long journey back to “normal.” I discovered I’d inadvertently bought into the idea that I had to jump through hoops to please God, and I was tired of jumping! This journey became a spiritual rebirth for me (though I had accepted Christ when I was five years old) and my walk with the Lord became based on grace rather than on performance.
That was about fifteen years ago, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. I know that Satan wanted to sift me like wheat (Luke 22:31) to show I was only full of impurities and worthless to God. But the Lord allowed that sifting to show that yes, there were attitudes that needed removed from my life, but it was in order to take me to a deeper level in my Christian walk and for Him to use me more in the lives of others. Because of my journey through depression, I’ve been able to relate to a lot of women who struggle with that issue themselves. As I freely share about what it was like, women lose their fear of admitting they have this problem. Not only have I used it one-on-one with women, but I was also able to draw on my experience when I wrote my recently released novel, On the Threshold. One of the issues covered in the story is a woman who deals with life-threatening depression. The feelings she goes through in the book are based not on “I wonder what it would be like?” but are the nitty-gritty authenticity of one who has been there, done that, and lived to tell about it! God has been able to use one of the hardest times of my life to change me, and in turn, encourage others.
I don’t know what difficulty God is allowing in your life right now, but rest assured that it’s not by chance or happenstance. There is a purpose behind the pain, and the Lord is in the business of taking what was meant for evil, and changing into something for His good.
Tell us about On the Threshold.
We loved having the chance to tell this story! In fact, we have a few more stories to tell about these characters if readers love this one. Here’s what the book is about.
Suzanne—a mother with a long-held secret. Tony—a police officer with something to prove. Beth—a daughter with a storybook future. When all they love is lost, what’s worth living for?
Suzanne Corbin and her daughter, Beth Harris, live a seemingly easy life. Suzanne has distanced herself from her past, replacing pain with fulfillment as a wife and mother, while Beth savors her husband’s love and anticipates the birth of their child. But all that is about to change.
Like a sandcastle buffeted by ocean waves, Suzanne’s façade crumbles when her perfect life is swept away. Tragedy strikes and police officer Tony Barnett intersects with the lives of both women as he tries to discover the truth. Left adrift and drowning in guilt long ignored, Suzanne spirals downward into paralyzing depression. Beth, dealing with her own grief, must face the challenge of forgiveness. Can these two women learn to trust each other again? Will they find the power of God’s grace in their lives?
Tells us a about both of you?
Mother/daughter writing team Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Berry Tarabochia bring a voice of authenticity to this novel as they have experienced some of the same issues faced by these characters. They like to say they were separated at birth but share one brain, which allows them to write in a seamless stream. Both live in NW Oregon and love spending time together. Many years ago, they were both on a winning Family Feud team!
Sherrie is the Women’s Ministry Director at her church, and loves being the grandma of eight and great-grandma of one. Christina is also the author of The Familiar Stranger, a Christy finalist and Carol Award winner, and runs a thriving editing business.
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Where else can we find you gals online?
Buy the book on Amazon or B&N or iTunes or in any other version on Smashwords. The print book will be available shortly–sign up for the newsletter and you’ll be among the first to know when it appears on all the big retailing sites OR email us about buying a paperback directly from us. (Christina [at] ashberrylane [dot] net)
Thanks for hosting us!
Thanks so much ladies. I pray God will bless your writing journey.
Readers, leave a comment for Sherrie and Christina by July 30th at 5:00 PM to be entered to win an ebook copy of On the Threshold.