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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Friday, May 11, 2018
Words are powerful. They can hurt or heal. They are treasures in each heart and we dare not keep them to ourselves.

After Under a Cloudless Sky was published early in 2018, I started getting feedback about the story, the themes in the pages, the characters and how real they seemed, and what the story whispered to readers.

There was one note that stood out to me. A friend mentioned that his daughter liked my writing, and I sent her a copy. A few days later I received a card with writing on the front and back and around the printing. A handwritten note is the best kind because you get to see the flow of a person's thoughts. You see their heart in the ink.

She thanked me for the gift and said some wonderful things, but let me pull out two specific quotes.

"I feel like you're becoming a better writer with each book you write."

Oh, how that spoke to me. It's my goal to write better, deeper, more clearly, more heartfelt stories with each book. But there is such fear in starting a new project and so many whispers of, "No one will read this. You're a hack. You don't know what you're doing. Why don't you give up?" Those whispers, at times, become shouts and I've learned not to try to silence them but to listen carefully. The shouts are the fears of every writer. The shouts want to silence the good thing coming out. The shouts want to shut down, so if I listen to them and acknowledge them, I can nod, say "Thanks for your input," and get back to work. That's why this sentence in the note meant so much. Someone else on the other end of the process was moved and responded.

Later in the note the writer said, "I copied some June Bug quotes into my journal, and they were really timely."

June Bug is a story I wrote ten years ago in one of the most difficult seasons of my family's life. To know that in that struggle I had put something on the page that this reader identified with enough to write in her journal blew me away.

One more. She wrote, "If I may say so, I believe Jesus is really pleased with you, as well. You delight Him."

I looked at those sentences and smiled, shook my head, and thought, "She doesn't know me very well." I'm selfish and self-centered and sinful. Then I stopped and wondered, What if she's right? What if Jesus really is delighted in who I am. Who He's making me. What if He bases His delight not on my performance or my "getting better," but in who I am in Him?

And what if He feels that way about you? What if you allow Him to delight in you today? What if you are able to acknowledge the truth about your sin, but also hold tightly to the truth that "He who started a good work in you will be faithful to complete it?" What if I choose to see myself from His perspective and agree with how He feels about me instead of how I feel about myself most of the time?

That will not only make me a better writer, it will make me a better husband, father, neighbor, friend. It will also help me see others in light of this truth.

There is great power in words to heal and propel. They are jewels, precious ointment waiting to be poured out for ourselves and others. What will you do with your words today?

2 comments:

Julie Poehlman said...

I treasure real snail mail cards. I read them over & over. They are precious. I confess I am a greeting card addict. I love to try and match the cards I send to the person's interests. I find that sometimes the simplest sentences can have great impact. I have drawers full of these from people along my path at different heights and depths of my life. My father was an alcoholic. He was often mean and would not speak to us for weeks. Yes, a dysfunctional family life. I actually have a note her wrote me in a more sober moment. He called me his nickname and wrote on a Kleenex " Don't know what I'd do without you. " He's been gone 34 years and that tiny tissue with 2 sentences is saved in a baggie. It was one of the few times I felt he "blessed" me. I had much more verbal battering from him. So, Chris keep writing those good words. The WORD is the "author" of our lives. Steve Saint says "LET GOD WRITE YOUR LIFE."

Beth K. Vogt said...

I read this blog post as I waited to go on your radio show today. Your words encouraged me ... reminding me that, above all, I have to remember that God loves me for who I am. And I am His. I love to write -- it's one of the ways I reflect Him to the world. But I can't tripped up on whether people like me for what I write. I have to stay close to Him ... and what He says about me. Not others' opinions. Some days people like my writing. Some days they don't. God's love for me is constant.