My Writing Testimony





 

Okay, I'll be honest with you. One of my favorite pastimes is interacting with new people. To "get to know people," I mean to ignore their fame, social status, and success. Instead, I like to get to know them on a deeper level, hearing their stories of how God worked through the trials and tribulations. This lead me to write and share with you one of my many testimonies of how God rescued a writer from a place of inadequacy, hardship, rejection, and grief.


My Kingdom Writer Journey


 Hello My Friend, My name is Charis Rooks, aka "Doc," and when I was younger, my grandmother Nana, who penned wonderful poems and letters, termed my handwriting "chicken scratch". She repeatedly told me I had to become a doctor because of my terrible handwriting. Strangely, I was fine with that because I would rather become a doctor than spend another moment writing at that kitchen table. In extreme contrast, her daughter, my mother, was a skilled speed reader and calligrapher with gorgeous handwriting. The fruit most certainly dropped far from the calligraphy, poetry, and speed reading trees. My nana made me write cursive every day at the kitchen table on that terrible brown three-lined paper, despite my dislike of it. You know the one with the two straight lines and the awful dotted line in between. I believe she was hoping to replicate her daughter's success by treating and training me in the same manner, but she eventually gave up (thank God), and I know she was upset that it did not work for me. But there was hope, just a glimmer. Books were my favorite, even though I hated writing, books were my passion. The aroma of freshly printed books at our annual school book sale was something I truly enjoyed. Wait, I'm not weird—well, maybe I am a little book weird—lol. Actually, my husband is always saying that I'm a bookworm. Perhaps he is right.

Fast Forward  

Following my divorce in 2013, I became more serious about my writing. All of my writing, including the Kingdom Writer collection, which will be released in 2025, was inspired by some of my worst life challenges. Back in 2013, I was a divorced single mother struggling to make ends meet when I received a call to join an empowerment certification course. This was for sure a mistake because I could not afford to pay the light bill let alone a certification. Seriously, I was "broke as a joke broke." I thought it was a joke because I didn't know who was calling to verify my class attendance and I certainly didn't pay for the certification. I went ahead and asked for a refund once they made it clear it wasn't a joke. There was no shame in my game, so yeah, I asked for a refund. I thought they would have no trouble giving it back to me without any hassle because someone else had already paid for it. Especially when I inquired about the price, I nearly fell out of my chair. My mom always said, "a closed mouth doesn't get fed," so I opened my mouth and gave it a go. Their refusal to issue a refund, regardless of my efforts, was a sign that God had other plans, and knowing what I now know today I am forever grateful to God for not allowing me to receive a refund that day.

Despite my frustrations with not getting a refund, I went to class. Upon arriving at the hotel, I just knew the professional women in this grand luxury hotel conference room (as described on the hotel website) would reject me. I entered the room that day to find some of the world's most influential women. Authors, CEOs, VPs, doctors, lawyers, business owners, college professors, and me…a struggling customer service rep. After we met, I tried to get out of the way, but these incredible women wouldn't let me shrink back into the wallpaper. Instead, I was treated as one of them. As if they saw something I didn't. When I finally opened up and told them about my divorce, they all supported me. At the end of the workshop, they suggested that I write my story. I began writing that day because I trusted them. Little did I know I had officially begun my journey of writing.

Looking back I can honestly say that encounter started the wild journey of writing for me. In the beginning, I had one chapter published in an anthology. I quickly learned that not knowing enough about the publishing business discouraged me and almost made me give up writing altogether. In spite of this, by God's grace something in me wanted to help others who were going through hard times like I was. So I found the courage to start again. This is when I published my first devotional for divorced women. 



Shortly after I had a desire or and idea for what would become a non profit but had no idea where to start. I was laid off from my job at this point and, no one in my small town would hire me because I was over qualified which was frustrating and in my opinion ridiculous. I was a unemployed single mother with no college degree how am I overqualified to work at a grocery store? What I didn't know was God was leading me into a different season of my life. A season I refer to as "watching God write things into existence".

Thankfully local pastors and my church helped paid my bills as I continued to look for a job. One day after crying and telling my mom she asked me what is God telling you to do? I told her God said write but that doesn't makes sense I need a job. So at the encouragement of my mom (fussing at me and reminding me of what scripture says) I said what the heck if I write she will stop asking me about it.

After I wrote my first idea for a non profit I was contacted by a job I didn't apply for. It was the most money I have ever been offered for a job. It required a degree which is something that I did not have however the company interviewed and hired me on the spot. They also offered tuition assistance and that was something I wrote down and placed on my bathroom mirror (God had a plan I just didn't know it at the time). To be exact my bathroom mirror list said:

I will earn my bachelor's

I will earn my masters

I will earn my doctorate

I will publish books

After my 90 days I enrolled in business school. While earning my bachelor's in business I found myself transitioning into more of a business writing role. It was here that I edited my vision that I wrote when I was without a job , ran it by all my professors, and created my first business plan which launched a non profit for divorced women. In a couple of years we served roughly 150,000 women all over the world. During this time I also published a prayer challenge for divorced women and our first magazine. I also began writing down ways that I could serve the old me. Meaning I decided to create what I could not find for myself and put them all under one roof. More so a one stop shop for women going through divorce. Not long after I incorporated those ideas into the company, they were developed into services and products. These included life coaching, mission trips, workshops, virtual bible studies, retreats, and conferences. I also became a contributing writer for The Divorce Magazine based in London UK.








Several years later once I got my life back together I graduated from undergrad I went on to grad school where I earned my MBA in Leadership. I decided one day without asking God to write a plan for my job in the medical field at the time who offered employees compensation for their ideas. I repeat this was not something God instructed me to do. So I wrote a plan that brought the company significant increased revenue which was pretty awesome. However, as you might expect, my proposal was used, I was somewhat compensated, and I was removed from my department and placed in a position that I disliked. I stopped writing during that season because I was furious at myself for not discussing my writing with God. I also created an environment in which I was absolutely dissatisfied at work.

Thankfully God instructed me to write a women's devotional after 3 years of frustration. I started Inspired Grace Media Productions with a business plan and left my job after saving money for a publishing company. Inspired Grace Media was originally a publishing company that only published my books but expanded to publish other authors' testimonies, create magazines, and minister to our writers' mental, physical, and spiritual journeys through our team of publishing advocates. After publishing myself as God directed, numerous writers approached me and I published them. However when I was obedient with my writing, something else happened. My oldest daughter told us she was pregnant at 16, and we learned my youngest needed brain surgery to treat the symptoms of a non-curable brain disease. My youngest's health was misdiagnosed for years, and I battled with that because I followed every doctor's diagnosis instead of listening to her. I was slowly overtaken by guilt and the realization that I could not heal my child. It was also difficult for me with my oldest daughter. In my mind I felt I had to figure out quickly how to shift gears as a mom and find a way to strictly guide my honor student and athlete in such a way that she would not become a single mom struggling through life as I did for many years. As a wife, outreach pastor at my church, business owner, and student, I had no idea how to prepare her to be a mom, care for a sick child and a grandson, change the plans that were working, and maintain all my responsibilities successfully. The reality of my life and all the plates spinning overwhelmed me. As usual when I prayed, God told me to "write" .














A couple years later when I felt some sense of normalcy return Covid hit and I like many others did not know how business and life in general was about to change. My business declined because of the decline interest in publishing. So I paused Inspired Grace Media and God led me to enroll in a PHD program in the school of theology yes this was a big adjustment coming from business school and no this was not my choice. I applied and got into a DBA program but God said "no you have learned enough about business now its time to learn more about me". Lets just say I learned my lesson the last time and was miserable so I went ahead and enrolled. While learning more about God and leadership God instructed me to write another business plan. This time with a focus on providing jobs for the community. Something I knew would not close down because of Covid. So I started a trucking company Selah Logistics (my parents owned a trucking company most of my life so I was familiar with the business). It was here that our staff members who were not saved gave their lives to Christ and were baptized.







During that time I also  transitioned into academic writing. I wrote two master degree level college programs on entrepreneurship and ministry before I completed and published my 300 page dissertation on entrepreneurship and discipleship in the church, workplace, and community in March of 2023. However after graduation I faced a ton of life challenges and hardships including unexpectedly loosing my mother 56 days after walking across the stage. It was here that my physical, mental, and spiritual health started to decline rapidly. And although I had written a lot at this point a flood of insecurities came rushing into my mind. I stopped writing and went into a very dark place but while I was there all I could hear was Gods instruction to write, life was lifeing, but I could hear my moma fussing so I started writing again.









My Current Journey 

All this has led me to where I'm currently on a journey of studying advanced biblical studies in Bible college while navigating the grief of loosing my mother and unexpectedly writing . To be transparent my doctor and therapist recommended putting me into a mental health facility and prescribed meds. It was really bad I mean bad bad. I also lost everything including our home. However I knew if I didn't get into bible college to gain a better spiritual understanding of the valley I was in and the attacks during my writing it would be a life or death situation for me. So I door dashed my tuition and went to bible college instead of a mental health facility, and kept writing. It was while in class that my desire to write and serve kingdom writers of all genres became extremely intense. I mean not just here or there but daily. Not just to write for myself but to specifically write to educate, motivate, support, and testify to aspiring and current kingdom writers who are navigating life challenges. God placed it on my heart to create a safe space for all of His writers in all genres. This time I happily choose to be obedient ( I know it was about time) and this is where Inspired Grace Productions became Inspired Grace Ministries. Also the Kingdom Writer Collection, Inkwell House Publishing, and Doc(the name my mother called me after I graduated with my PHD ) was birthed.







God has brought and continues to bring me through many journeys, life challenges, break downs, highs, and a astronomical amount of lows (many more of which you can read in the collection) to a place that I have a passion to help others navigate and understand the complexity of what it means to be a kingdom writer who writes to expand God's Kingdom while navigating life challenges and insecurities.

I pray that God ignites his God's Kingdom writers' hearts to build the kingdom through writing. I also pray that every Kingdom Writer's testimony, faith, and writings led a nation to Christ.




 


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