My pre-adult years were drenched in bitterness and rage. Oh, if I knew then what I know now.
I wanted to be a baseball player, champing for Little League to start, followed by, I knew, AAA ball and eventually the Majors and adulation. Instead, I was diagnosed with a rare bone disease that robbed me of the ability to walk for much of my grade school years.
While other kids ran and played, I did a slow burn sitting out my childhood.
Childhood Dreams Deferred
My parents were supportive, but without a firm understanding of God’s grace, they were ill-equipped to help me see past my disease. All I could do was watch TV and read. TV was pretty boring in the 60s and early 70s, which left reading.
I averaged three books a day and six during summer. The first year I read the grade school library, the second year the Jr. High library. The third, the Public Library. Not counting 1000s of comic books and mystery magazines, I read over 5000 books from all time periods by 5th grade. While my friends were groaning about Shakespeare, I was quoting him.
Then finally, the disease abated and I had baseball spread out before me. Two glorious years of America’s favorite game… and then all my friends grew up. So did I. Unfortunately, I gained no weight. At 5’8” in Jr. High, I weighed 65 pounds. Competing was out of the question.
Spirit Was Willing but the Body Was Weak
While no one knew it, rage filled my mind. Again, I turned to sedentary pursuits. Editor of the school paper, contributor to the school’s Art magazine, submissions to my beloved mystery magazines… It never occurred to me that these were valuable experiences because they weren’t baseball.
I graduated college at 6’2” and almost 100 lbs with three degrees in theater. And then God convinced me He was my savior and the lure of the stage faded. After a series of jobs in everything but writing, it FINALLY occurred to me that I kept drifting to writing no matter what job I held.
Wasted Years Were Redeemed
I’ve made a living off of writing for 25 years now, and never do I feel more alive than when I’m embedded in a story. God took away the bitterness and rage when He took me in. He redeemed those harsh years by revealing the plan He’d always had for my life (duh!).
Now my children, each of them healthy and vibrant, are also writers, my two oldest having written full-length novels and not yet out of High School. My youngest is a font of ideas and a talented story editor.
While I thought my childhood was a barren waste, God had been planting a legacy.
And baseball? I’ve probably written more games than I ever could have played….
Question: What about you? What “disastrous” events in your life was really God building something wonderful?
EdiTOR’s Note: Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together – away from this blog. I’m deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!
Today’s guest post was from Rob Swanson who is the author of Do Angels Still Fall, sixteen ghostwritten books and half-a-dozen screenplays. His web site is www.swanwrite.com.