A year of challenge by Sheila Johnson

The New Year is a time of celebration, but it can also be seen as a time of challenge. A time to challenge ourselves with new resolutions. As Christians this can take the form of becoming more Christ-like, or as writers we might challenge ourselves to write so many words each day, or finish that manuscript. These are challenges that we often build into those first few days of the year, many of which we might already have failed to live up to.

For me, 2023 holds a particular set of challenges. There is the challenge of further care and support for my mother-in-law, who has now reached the grand age of 92 and is showing signs of increased frailty and demands on my husband and myself with her living nearby.

Then there is the wonderful challenge of looking after our new grandson, Gerard or Gerry and seeing him grow and develop. At 6 weeks old he is already using the potty! The challenge will be how we can visit and support my son and daughter-in-law when we live in Gloucestershire and have a dog, and they live in London in a flat. The train strike doesn't help either. 

Then there is the writing challenges ahead. To finish the tribute book on Dr Jember Teferra, Ethiopia's minister to the poor, and get it published, proofread and agreed with the other members of the team. The aim is to get it published by Easter time. Following that, I have been considering writing my own memoir for the sake of my children. But what do you put in and leave out? Will people be offended to read the truth? Are some things better left unsaid? We are only too aware of the hurts and distress that some of Prince Harry's recent revelations have caused. Should the truth sometimes remain silent and die with us?

Where do you want to go with your writing this year? Will it be just for your family and/or a ministry for others, or do your yearn to make 2023 your year of publication? 


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