A time to be quiet

I submitted my first story to the LaGrange Daily News nine years ago. It was a love letter to the west Georgia town that accepted me as a 15-year-old newbie with a Tennessee mountain accent as thick as Dolly Parton’s. The editor printed the story in three parts, and within two weeks, I became a weekly columnist for their publication.

Today, I am printed in several news outlets, magazines, and national publications because a young editor believed, “Readers need hope and inspiration and an escape from the harshness of other news.”

Before starting my column each week, I asked the Lord, “Well, God, what are we writing about today?” Suddenly, words would appear on my computer, and many times, they surprised even me! Each time, I knew there was someone out there in reader land who needed a friend.

Writing can be challenging during a pandemic like COVID-19, the ongoing political division, and the bombardment of hatred and incivility. It is often difficult to find the right words to calm the waters, provide respite, or remind others that God is always with us and watches what we do.

Promoting kindness during political upheaval is like using a water gun in a war. Reminding folks of truth, justice, and honor in an environment laced with conspiracy, blame, and lies is akin to trying to survive a raging flood using a toddler’s floaties.

I knew that sharing my feelings and being transparent about my faults would open others to the idea that we all need each other. We don’t do well embroiled in division and controversy or self-righteousness.

I am blessed to have the opportunity to write about everything from the importance of fried chicken to faith, family, and friends thanks to a group of skilled editors and publishers.

Because of the opportunity God gave me, I have encountered the most fabulous folks.  From the fantastic Vietnam Veterans to reconnecting with old friends, my Tennessee roots, and you, I understand never taking these gifts for granted.

However, having said all these things, I now feel it is time to put the pen down…. at least for a while. Perhaps it is just for a short time to reflect and pray. Maybe the hatred exhibited in our world compels me to lose a little more faith in folks than I need to. So, I’ll pause instead of causing you to do the same.

Before informing my editors of my decision to take a break, I placed my hand on the Bible.  “God, please tell me if I am doing the right thing.  Let me know somehow that this is your will, not mine.”

Author and columnist Lynn Walker Gendusa has inspired and uplifted Now Habersham readers since 2022. While she is taking a sabbatical from writing, we will continue to share her unique brand of hope, southern wit, and faith-fueled messages through her past writings on our Faith page.

I opened the Bible randomly and read Ecclesiastes 3:7: “There is a time for everything: A time to tear; a time to repair; a time to be quiet; a time to speak up.” At that moment, I knew it was my time to be quiet and repair.

Everyone knows Lynn and silence are unrelated, so hopefully, I’ll be loud again soon.   However, when it is time, I pray God comes back to my office, throws words on the computer, and you will take the time to read them.

So, until I see you again, remember that decency requires being decent, hatred dies by the hand of love, and most of all, remember that our leader is our heavenly Father, and we should reflect Him in all we say and do.

Fulfill your purpose not with negativity but with vigor and hope until the day they call your name from way up yonder!

With love and appreciation,
Lynn Walker Gendusa

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