By Kristine John
I have been a distance member of ANWA for a couple of years, and yet had never attended an official ANWA meeting or event before moving to Queen Creek this year.
The Lord was gracious enough to allow my visiting teaching partner to be a fellow ANWA member, and in June, we held a organizational meeting to form a local chapter.
Last night, for the first time, I shared a piece of writing with our chapter and asked for critique and feedback.
I was surprised at the vulnerability and emotion that I felt, for I love the ANWA sisters and feel a kinship with them in ways that I have rarely felt with other women.
Even though I opened myself to honest critique, I was touched by how tender and kind the suggestions were.
The only other time I have had critiques offered on my writing were in formal classroom settings, and this experience was definitely different than those.
There is a sisterhood, and as the ANWA brochure explains, each chapter provides a "nurturing support for writing aspirations, as well as faith-based view of the world and our responsibilities as writers".
One of the most powerful comments I heard last night that was very motivating for me was, "That story needs to be told."
I tend to shy away from that responsibility to share my story, calling myself too busy or not prioritizing my writing to make it happen regularly.
I felt a difference last night...sharing a part of me, and not only wanting, but also receiving constructive and helpful feedback.
It reminded me of these lyrics:
What will we do when
the going gets tough
and the journey is rough
What'll we do?
For Goodness Sake
And when we're out of courage
And we're ready to break
We've got our father and mother
Sister and brother
Pullin' together we can work it out
All alone we just can't make it
By ourselves we fall behind
If we lift and pull together
We can help each other climb
While these lyrics from the play Saturday's Warrior here refer to our eternal families, I felt that they applied also to the strength of the ANWA sisterhood, the sisterhood I experienced last night in a way that was different than I had before.
I felt the power of sisters pulling together and encouraging me to become more than I think I can be.
I felt the strength of united purpose, and the sincere desire to see me succeed.
Truly, I felt myself take courage and commit to move forward.
Thanks to my ANWA sisters for helping me climb!