I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Writer's Life: Living Through the Black Moment

If you've hung around Susie May Warren's My Book Therapy (MBT) writing community for any time at all, you've learned about the Black Moment. It's the moment in a book, or a movie for that matter, when the worst possible thing that could happen closes in on the hero. In an action story, it's when the villain pulls the trigger or when the bomb goes off. In a love story, it's when the couple breaks up. It's the one time in life when you really want to hit your character below the belt.

When writing this awful point in my own book, I've even sat at my typewriter and cried--over fictional characters!

About ten months ago, I began living the Black Moment for an aspiring author and lover of books: short-term memory problems. What caused this problem? While vacationing in England with my daughter, I suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm. I survived--a true miracle--but one lingering consequence is the memory loss.

I'm talking extreme short term memory loss that steals my ability to remember what happened in the previous chapter of a book I'm reading. Pure agony, as far as I'm concerned, is for a new book by Susie to come out--and I can't really read it because I can't remember one chapter from the next! Or how about not really remembering what happened in the book I just wrote? That's an extreme MBT Black Moment.

Of course, this disaster is linked to the lie the hero believes (more of Susie's fine teaching), and I've had some of these moments too. Lies like: I don't deserve happiness. I'm not good enough to write anyway.

Thankfully, Susie also teaches about "the Truth that sets the hero free." God has plans of blessing, even if they sometimes seem hidden for a while. The sunshine of His love can drive away the dark clouds, and as we look back (either in our stories or in real life), we see that He's sprinkled tidbits of His love all along the way.

Have you experienced Black Moments lately? Have Truths set your free? I'd love to hear about it!

**Health update: My short-term memory is improving, and I'm getting back into writing. Many thanks to those who prayed for me. **






~Teri Dawn Smith

28 comments:

  1. Very dear Teri. This takes my breath away. We love you so much. You're one of my real-life heroes--as is your daughter, Sarah, and your family.
    Thank you for writing this. Great picture, too! Welcome home! We're cheering you on and thank God in advance for more to come!

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  2. Teri, you're a treasure to us Ponderers and I'm sure to all who know you. We're so glad to see you blogging again! Praying for you as you continue to recover!

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  3. Teri, what a blessing it is to once again read what you've written! We've missed you. Thank you for sharing part of your story.

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  4. Teri, we met briefly at ACFW last year, and I was stunned when I learned of your health issues in England. I'm so glad the prayers of all of us have been answered, and continue to be answered. Black moments are the most difficult to write, and to live through, but God is faithful, and walks with us through it all! Bless you!

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  5. So thankful to see you write again! My heart just ached for you when I was reading updates on FB. God is so powerful and is still a healer!

    Thanking God for you!
    Blessings,
    lana

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  6. You are my hero, Teri--and I know many of others feel that way about you. I couldn't hold back the tears as I read this blog post. I know you will continue to overcome this blog post with God's help and the prayers of friends and family. Believing only the best for you because you do deserve happiness.

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  7. Jamie Millan8/31/11, 12:12 PM

    Go Mrs. Teri! :D You are my hero as well! Everything about you inspires me to pursue my dreams and keep writing no matter what! Without you I would've never discovered how to express myself through written words! You are amazing, incredible, talented and AWESOME. :D We love you SOOO much!!!

    I never could've asked for a better teacher!

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  8. Aww, Jamie! I've often told my friends that I had the best writing students in the whole world! Keep it up!

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  9. Thanks, Lana, for your kind comments!

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  10. Teri, I'm so excited to see the way God is strengthening you on a daily basis. I appreciate your faith and tenacity. Reading this post proves God isn't finished with you or your writing! Love you, friend!

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  11. Goosebumps and tears, Teri. God had given us a wonderful gift in restoring you to us. I've had Black Moments aplenty, but I know that I am precious to Him. What an incredible concept!

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  12. Bravo, Miss Teri! It is so wonderful to see you back on the Ponderers blog. You are indeed a hero and an inspiration. I am beyond blessed to have you in my life.

    Without you, I would still be an exclamation mark junkie. ;-) Your hands on, enthusiastic teaching inspired me to dig deeper and try harder. To be a trouble maker. To be random.

    I would not be where I am today without you. Your encouragement gave me the hope that it is possible to reach for the stars and succeed.

    Love & Hugs

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  13. So great to read your blog post, Teri, and to get a little update! All I can say is, Thank the Lord you survived! What a shocking surprise it was to hear you had had an aneurysm and that you would have brain surgery.
    This reminds me of a saying I saw on a church sign when I was driving past: You think life is full of surprises, wait till you die.
    I thought that was pretty good. I think a lot of people will be very surprised, to find that Jesus IS Lord!
    Love you very much. April.
    PS: I am sorry to hear how your short term memory loss affects you. Wow, that would be very difficult to accept. May you put that armor on every day and be strong in the Lord!

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  14. Thanks, Lisa! God has wonderful plans for your writing too, and He's proved it by the book soon to be out! I can't wait to read it!

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  15. Nelda, Knowing that we are precious in His sight is indeed a concept to help us through the black moments!

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  16. Ahh, Angela! Your words warmed my heart! What fun we've had learning to be random and cause trouble for our characters! Keep me posted of all your writing!

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  17. Thanks for your prayers, April! Clifford and I are still living with the effects of all this, but praise the Lord, my dear hubby is good to me.

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  18. Great to read this from you, Teri! Sorry I was so busy the last time I was in Denton. Too much family there. :) (Not really)

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  19. Thanks for stopping by, Joanna!

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  20. The black moment was hearing you were in the hospital in England! The truth was knowing our God is a healer!

    So glad you're well!!

    Rachel

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  21. Aww, thanks so much, Rachel! I've been so blessed by the truth in both your writing and your singing.

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  22. Yay! Teri! What a blessing to see you writing again. I just know each day will bring improvement in the memory department and I can't wait until you're working on your book again. You are such an inspiration to me.
    Hugs!

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  23. So glad that you are writing again and that things are constantly improving for you. I love reading the updates Sarah sends out. I hope your family is doing well.

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  24. Thanks, Tonya! Your family has been such a blessing!

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  25. Pat, the Ponderers have been a blessing to me! All of you!

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  26. Dear Teri, may the Lord continue healign you! May the memory return to make new happy memories... Keep writing! And God bless you!

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  27. Mama, I was proud of u before i even read this because you are truly such an amazing person BUT wow you blew me away with this blog. I am so thankful for where the Lord has brought you from and the future He has planned out for you! I can NOT wait to see what your future holds! All my love.

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  28. Yay, Teri! Glad to have you back on here! And so glad you're beginning to write again!

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