I love a good writing prompt. But sometimes, I fight them. Mostly because the memories of my past have faded far too fast. So, I began to use the prompts to remind myself of my adventurous childhood. In fact, it was when my almost-one-hundred-year-old mother passed away in 2008, I began my writer’s journey.
My last prompt was this: recall a time you were lost. Funny thing is- I don't remember ever getting lost! As a child, I was always good at directions, being the navigator for our summer car trips with my Mom. She was driving, of course, and I was in the passenger seat with a map opened in my lap. I had power when I held that position.
Since my love language is acts of service, helping my Mom navigate gave me the sense of purpose, too. She and I were in on this adventure together. Although we did not always (in fact, quite frequently) see eye to eye, this activity brought us together. We both loved new vistas, and she was never intimidated. By anything. Period.
Even the communist border guard who was giving us quite the time in exiting Bratislava in Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1969, could not intimidate her. How could we know that in a few short days, the Russians would be on their way to invade this country of our heritage?
I felt very small as I waited on the pavement for my mother to finish verbalizing her discontent with this disruption of our journey home. In this case I suppose, I did feel lost. I hadn't wanted to come to Europe. At that point, as a young teen, I'd rather have stayed home. In fact, I told my mother something would happen that would bar us from returning to the safe haven of America. I think I had watched entirely too many World War II movies growing up.
Thank God, with the help of her Slovak cousin, we were able to pass. Imagine my mother's surprise when, opening a newspaper in a London Wimpy's fast food restaurant, she discovered the Russians had indeed invaded. Had we been detained, we might have been waiting in line for days at the US embassy, attempting to find a way home.
Secretly, I felt justified for my worries. And what a story I had to tell for years to come!
Writing: My Way Home
Speaking of finding my way. . . I feel like I’ve found my way home when I write. It’s where I want to be. Where I feel comfortable and alive. The place I can share my inner thoughts and hopefully encourage others along the way. My debut middle grade historical fiction, “The Heart Changer”, releasing at the end of April, is (come to think of it) about finding our way home — to the place God wants us to be. What about you?
What makes you feel like you’ve come home? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.