How to Survive in a Spiritual Desert

My Mother's CamThis week I am so excited to welcome author Susie Finkbeiner to Once Upon a Writer. Susie is the author of two amazing books, Paint Chips and My Mother’s Chamomile and is currently working on her third novel. A long time fan of Susie’s, I am delighted for the chance to share her writing with you today…

(Be sure to read to the bottom of this post for special details on how you can purchase both of Susie’s books this week for only $0.99!!!)

~ Post and pictures provided by Susie Finkbeiner~

My in-laws live in Roswell, New Mexico. Yes, it’s a quirky place. McDonalds is built to look like a UFO and Walmart has an alien painted on the wall. Most of the town is devoted to the tourists who come, looking for evidence of extraterrestrials.

It’s a fun place to visit.

Fun, but dry. Desert spans for miles. It’s hard to tell how many. Blaring sun and dry sand make depth perception fail. The aridity wicks away all moisture. All day, the goal is to keep from becoming dehydrated.

During my whole visit, I was reminded of one very important thing: the desert is dangerous. It could mean death to someone ill prepared. To someone who is not mindful of its perils.

In my novel “My Mother’s Chamomile”, my character Olga Eliot finds herself in a desert of grief. A wilderness of loss. Dry and hopeless and isolating. She feels a kinship with the Israelites who wandered on their trek to the Promised Land.

The desert seemed to have no end. For her and the Children of God. In that desert, they question God. His love for them. His power.

My pastor reminds us often that, in the desert, faith either grows or dies. I believe he’s right about that.

How many times have I been in a Spiritual desert? Too many to count. Feeling alone. Terrified. Near the end of hope. Wandering aimlessly, wishing for a little direction. Not knowing that what I needed more than anything was mercy. Comfort. A flood of relief.

That, not only did I required it, I would need to accept it. Not only for myself, but for others.

First Corinthians 1:3-11 is all about receiving comfort so that we can become a comfort for others.

When we walk through the desert, we are comforted by Christ. Often that looks like a friend bringing over a casserole. Or someone paying a bill we can’t manage. A kind word. A warm hug.

We drink deeply of mercy, having more than our fill. Let the oasis of comfort immerse us. Renew us.

Refreshed, we have the power, the resources, to let that comfort spill over. To wash over those around us.

And, in the cleansing, faith grows.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Mother’s Chamomile

Desperate for the rains of mercy…
Middle Main, Michigan has one stop light, one bakery, one hair salon…and one funeral home. The Eliot Family has assisted the grieving people in their town for over fifty years. After all those years of comforting others, they are the ones in need of mercy.
Olga, the matriarch who fixes everything, is unable to cure what ails her precious daughter. She is forced to face her worse fears. How can she possibly trust God with Gretchen’s life? A third generation mortician, Evelyn is tired of the isolation that comes with the territory of her unconventional occupation. Just when it seems she’s met a man who understands her, she must deal with her mother’s heart-breaking news. Always able to calm others and say just the right thing, she is now overwhelmed with helplessness as she watches her mother slip away.

SusieBIO
Susie Finkbeiner is a novelist and short story writer from West Michigan. Her first novel “Paint Chips” released in 2013 and her second novel “My Mother’s Chamomile” in 2014. She worked with WhiteFire Publishing on both novels. Currently, she is working on her third novel.

Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write.

For more information on Susie and her books please visit www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com. Also don’t miss your chance to purchase Paint Chips and My Mother’s Chamomile in ebook format this week for only $0.99 each! Offer is available August 28-31st at amazon.com

 

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