Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Write to the Point with Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Berry Tarabochia July 24, 2013

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.
On the Threshold cover onlyWe 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.
Please sign up for their Infrequent, Humorous Newsletter at Ashberry Lane for a chance to win cool prizes.

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)
www.twitter.com/authorchristina
www.facebook.com/sherrie.ashcraft
www.facebook.com/authorchristina
www.christinaberry.net/
www.authorchristinaberry.blogspot.com
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.

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17 Responses to “Write to the Point with Sherrie Ashcraft and Christina Berry Tarabochia”

  1. I’m so proud of my mom! She shares this hard time with such honesty, and in hopes of helping others. Thanks, Melissa, for featuring her and our book. Btw, it IS available in paper back in all places online, plus a few “real” stores in Oregon.

    • Thanks so much for all you and your mom are doing, Christina. It’s truly in sharing our stories that others are helped and healed and know they are not alone.

      • It was such a joy, Melissa, to sit down and put on paper what God has put in my heart over the past years. Thanks for providing a venue to help other women face depression head on, and know that there is much hope that God gives us.

  2. Sherry & Christina – – – I have been waiting for this book for…well, a very LONG time. So excited…your co-writing is actually what brought us together in the first place, gulp, over SIX years ago! I was absolutely intrigued with the idea & hope still someday to be able to write alongside either my sister or my son…both who I absolutely love “sharing a brain” with! Wonder what that says about mine??? My life has taken a very different turn for the moment, but no doubt it will add plenty of life experience to one day draw upon. I am SO happy & proud of you both not just for using your God given talents, but for the way that you authentically share His presence in your lives. Hugs from Haiti!!!!

    • Rebecca, it’s so good to hear from you on this website! Yes, I well remember meeting you at the airport for the first time, after you so graciously offered to host us, complete strangers, in your home overnight to keep our ACFW conference costs down. As writers, we were a bit leery, as we knew you were “plotting” to murder us in our sleep! Ha ha!! (But we did have fun concocting that scenario!!) Though I rarely comment on your Facebook posts, know that I’m out here stalking you and enjoy reading about the adventure you and your family are on. Hugs back to you!!

    • Rebecca!!! The gracious host of us strange women when we had no place to stay. Isn’t it amazing that God intertwined us then? And now I look at you halfway around the world and know you and love you and am proud of what you are doing! There will be plenty of time to write in heaven–you’re serving the poor here on earth. ❤

  3. Amanda Plum Says:

    This sounds like a great book! Can’t wait to read it.

  4. Judy B Says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book.

    I also would like to thank Sherrie for sharing her Genesis 5020 story. I’ve been right where she talked about but my situation in life was a bit different.

    Blessings!
    Judy B
    judyjohn2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

  5. Joan Hemeon Says:

    HI SHERRIE AND CHRISTINA.. CAN’T WAIT TO READ THE BOOK.. I TOO SUFFERED WITH DEPRESSION… IT STARTED WHEN I WAS 8 YEARS OLD. VERY HARD TO UNDERSTAND IT AT THAT AGE.. IT IS SO VIVID IN MY MIND THE ACTUAL MINUTE IT HIT ME. I WAS CUTTING OUT PAPER DOLLS WITH MY SISTER.. A FEELING CAME OVER ME THAT GREW TO BE A MONSTER.. I STILL FIND IT HARD TO TALK ABOUT, ONLY TO SAY IT ROBBED ME OF MANY MANY YEARS OF HAPPINESS. I TOO THOUGHT OF SUICIDE, IT WAS ONLY BY THE GRACE OF GOD HAVING MY CHILD WALK IN TO SEE ME WITH A HAND FULL OF PILLS THAT SAVED ME.. I DID NOT HAVE CHRISTIAN COUNSELING BUT I DID HAVE COUNSELING LATER IN LIFE AND I TRULY FEEL THAT GOD SENT THE RIGHT ONE TO ME. AS I WAS PUT ON MEDICATION AND FINALLY AFTER SO MANY YEARS BEGIN TO FEEL BETTER.. IT TOOK TIME, IT TOOK MANY DIFFERENT ROADS.. DEPRESSION I DO BELIEVE IS THE WORK OF THE DEVIL … AND THE DEVIL WORKING ON A 8 YEAR OLD IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND.. BUT IT HAD ITS PURPOSE, I CAN HELP OTHERS WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED THIS.. MY DEPRESSION WENT INTO A LOT OF AREAS IN MY LIFE.. IT CONFUSED ME, AND SUCKED THE LIFE OUT OF ME.. NO ONE SHOULD EVER UNDER ESTIMATE THE DESPAIR OF DEPRESSION… IF THERE WAS A EXTINGUISHER MADE FOR DEPRESSION EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE ONE…. REACH OUT TO PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP WITH THIS.. THE SIGNS ARE NOT EASY SOMETIMES TO SEE, I COVERED MINE WELL FOR A VERY LONG TIME..DEPRESSION CAN MAKE FAITH A TRUE CHALLENGE.. AS YOU BEGIN TO QUESTION IT. NO AMOUNT OF PRAYING SEEMED TO HELP ME WHEN I WAS AT MY WORST. HOWEVER, I NOW SEE THAT PRAYERS WERE HELPING ME TO KEEP ME ON THIS EARTH AND TO FULFILL MY PURPOSE. i ASK GOD TO BLESS AND HELP ANYONE WITH THIS PROBLEM TO PLEASE SEE THAT THERE IS HOPE, HELP, AND REASON… TRUST IN HIM. LOVE JOAN ..

    • Joan, thank you for being to so open and honest. Yes, God has a purpose for you and I am so glad you have been able to use what the enemy intended to harm you for God’s glory.

      • Joanie, I didn’t realize you’ve struggled with this, and for such a long time! You’re right, it’s very hard to understand an 8-year-old being hit with it. Thanks for writing what you did, as I’m sure it was beneficial for you to look back over the years and see how the Lord has intervened in your life and kept you safe, even up to having your daughter come in the room at just the right time!! I’m soooo glad you’re still here!! And Christina and I seriously mean it when we say we want to get together with you for lunch and laughs! Much love, Sherrie

  6. Veronica S. Says:

    This sounds really good! I’ve been going through a tough time as well and I’m glad you’re using yours to help. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Veronica, I pray that the Lord will bring you through this time, and that you will grow and learn something that you too can pass on to others. I was just thinking the other day that I still would have had my same children if my mother had given into despair and taken her life, but that my kids would have had their amazing grandma stolen forever. Brought a new perspective that even considering how life will be in 20 or 30 years might bring us the hope we need when we are in the midst of a difficult time. Praying for you!

      • I really liked your perspective on this, Christina. I hadn’t quite thought of it that way before. And Veronica, just know that you are not alone on this journey. Reach out to a woman that God has already brought into your life for such a time as this. The burden is so much easier when shared with someone else. Praying for you.


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