Forty-one members of the Redbud Writers Guild have come together to provide stories of hope and redemption, often from very deep and very dark holes. Editors Shayne Moore and Margaret Ann Philbrick have assembled these 41 stories into Everbloom:Stories of Deeply Rooted and Transformed Lives.
Organized into four sections – “Roots,” “Trunk,” “Branches,” and “Blossoms,” Everbloom is filled with a broad diversity of stories and poems – nothing seems similar or repetitive. These accounts do have one thing in common – they are riveting accounts of scenes, issues, events, tragedies, and triumphs in the lives of Christian women.
A missionary kid watches a local man beat his wife, and sees her father unable to do anything about it.
An old tree is cut down.
A career move takes away everything and everyone who is familiar.
From childhood, a woman lives with fear of abduction.
A much-wanted baby is lost in miscarriage.
A young woman is gang-raped.
A brother kills himself.
A short-term missionary trip becomes an introduction to AIDS in Africa.
A woman who can’t stop bleeding.
A pastor who becomes an activist for ageism – when her professor husband is told by his Christian college that they have to let him go for budget reasons, and, oh, by the way, could he train his younger replacement?
And more. A lot more.
These stories are the stuff of real experience and real life. But they’re more than stories – they’re lessons we can all apply.
Each story and poem has a prayer and a writing prompt, so the book becomes more than a collection. It’s an invitation to consider your own life and your own experiences.
I’m not familiar with all of the writers and poets included in the book, but I do follow the writing of several, including April Yamasaki, Leslie Leyland Fields, and Sarah Rennicke. That’s the other benefit of the book – to find new people to read and follow.
Everbloom is moving, and often heart wrenching, but it always about hope.
Top photograph by Rostislav Kralik via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.