By Bette Lafferty
I wrote my first poem, about Santa Claus, at the age of five. I didn’t understand why my family laughed at my first creative project, but it hurt. Twenty-five years passed before I wrote poetry again. This time didn’t go much better than my first attempt. I admit, a poem about ants, might have been a little silly – but I didn’t expect them to laugh again.
I was embarrassed, so I decided writing poetry wasn’t my gift – that gift belonged to someone else. Instead, I wrote Bible Studies for my ladies’ group at church. Then I wrote some short skits for our group meetings. My next adventure came when I was asked to be on the Florida/Georgia board of our Lutheran Women’s Ministry League.
Being on the board opened opportunities to write more Bible Studies, workshops, devotions, and longer skits. I added poetry to my devotions, and they were so well received, that they were published in our International Devotional booklet.
While riding to a convention together, my district president asked me to write something for the front page of our newsletter. I wrote the poem, ”Christmas,” which was published in our local newspaper and several other publications.
At that point, God had my attention and let me know that I could serve Him by writing Christian poetry. But grammar was not my strong point and spelling wasn’t far behind. His solution was to send people in my path who helped me edit my writings. Soon I had the courage to trust Him and just write! He gave me words to write and led me to a local writer’s group in Brandon, Florida.
They pumped knowledge in my head, that unfortunately leaked out as fast as they pumped it in. But God had a plan. After several years of struggling, I was led to a Christian writer’s group that encouraged me until I believed I could do it.
I moved to Texas four years ago, leaving behind all my friends and contacts. With spare time on my hands, God stepped up and led me to the right people. A speaker I’d met in Florida, helped me publish my first book, ”An Offering of Love,” followed by my second book, ”Joy Unfolding.” Both are available on Amazon.
With the encouragement and help of my new-found writing friends, I found the courage to submit my work to magazines, newspapers, and book compilations. Before I knew it, I had written over 350 poems, but many remained unfinished. Then one day God put it in my head to share my poetry with my online friends. I called it, ”Monday Morning Offerings.” Now every Monday I send out a poem or a life story to my online following.
EA Publishers is in the process of publishing my third book. Who would have believed the dream of a little five-year-old girl would come true later in life? But God can and will step in, even when we don’t believe we are good enough, and help us get our message out to others who need encouragement .
People are dying without knowing Him and He has given me the privilege of telling as many people as possible about His saving grace. If I overcame dyslexia, divorce and death of my spouse and parents, He will help you, too. All it takes is believing in Him and the willingness to try. His timetable may not be our timetable, so never give up on your dreams!
Bio: Bette was born during the Great Depression when times were extremely hard. From her youth, she struggled with undetected dyslexia which prevented her from learning to talk until she was three years old. School proved difficult and yet she graduated with honors. Two marriages and two children helped her gain confidence in her ability to survive. Meeting Jesus in her mid-thirties changed everything and she began writing for her church. She continued to grow by overcoming her shyness, conquering her fears, and learning to use the computer. Bette soon took her writing seriously. After she experienced the death of her father, mother, and beloved husband, Russell, she gathered her writings in book form. At the age of 86, she continues to seek a life that glorifies the Lord in word and action!