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How Writing Keeps Me Focused

The other day, I saw a commercial on television for an app that gives you a therapist at your fingertips. From what I gather, a person can get in touch with a counselor throughout the days via texting or video-chatting as needed. It’s a novel concept, really. People need connection, and a good counselor starts by listening and helps people talk through things. I realized, then, that I’ve been doing this already through journaling since the age of 12. We didn’t have apps and all the technology back then, but the concept still works!
I started keeping a journal when shortly after my mother suffered an injury in a car accident. That journal became my best friend. I wrote all kinds of mess in there: secrets, dreams, crushes, issues. I’m thankful that I wrote in those journals because it really was my therapy. I kept the habit even though the times when my kids were very young. I wasn’t able to make as many journal entries then, but I wrote whenever I got a free moment.
Something very interesting happened in my late 20’s. I sat down to write in the journal about something or another that I thought was life-changing. I was getting ready to write, “This has been the worst day ever!” when it hit me that I had written that sentence dozens of times over the previous 15 years. Yet, somehow, every time things worked out so much that I could hardly remember the problems days or weeks later. That revelation set me at ease because, in that moment, I realized that Romans 8:28 was actually true for real for real. That no matter how many times I approached this journal to pour out my problems, vent, or contemplate the worst case scenario, things would always work out for my good because I love God and I’m called according to His purpose.
Writing still helps me think and pray through things every day. But the bigger lesson for me has been one of God’s faithfulness. He meets me at the journal, ministers to me, shows me things, and shows Himself no matter what heartbreak, celebration, drama, or pain I bring to the page. He can handle whatever I write. That’s the best counsel ever!

Michelle Stimpson is an author, a speaker, and an educator who received her Bachelor of Science degree from Jarvis Christian College in 1994. She earned a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2002. She has had the pleasure of teaching elementary, middle, and high school as well as training adults. In addition to her work in the field of education, Michelle ministers through writing and public speaking. Her works include the highly acc laimed Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (National Bestseller), and Falling Into Grace. She has published several short stories for high school students through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, at www.wegottaread.com. Michelle serves in women’s ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, in Dallas, TX. She regularly speaks at special events and writing workshops sponsored by churches, schools, book clubs and other positive organizations, and she has taught writing classes at the University of Texas at Arlington. Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband, their two teenage children, and one crazy dog.

Ashley Crandall finally convinced her husband, Allan, to attend the Christian men’s retreat…but he ends up dead there. What happened to him on the campgrounds? Who would want to kill Allan? And why are the detectives pointing fingers at Ashley? In her quest to solve the mystery and clear her name, Ashley will learn something about her husband that she didn’t want to know and something about her Christian faith that shifts her life. 

This short work by national bestselling, multi-published author Michelle Stimpson is packed with emotion, suspense, and a her signature way of weaving hope into a story – always a hit with readers who enjoy faith-based reads.

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