It's February, 1962. As a fourteen year old girl, I sat on the floor in front of the cast iron wood stove, inside our unpainted, mostly unheated cabin in the woods near Noel, Missouri. As I put the kindling in the stove, I stirred the coals and watched the flame ignite. Looking deep within the fire, I vowed then and there that "I will rise up from whence I came."
Not knowing exactly what that would entail, change came at lightning speed!
Less than six weeks later I became a Christian and was asked a couple of weeks later by the minister Fred Webb, of Grove, Oklahoma, who baptized me, if I would like to go to a Christian orphanage near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He assured me that I would have immaculate surroundings and plenty of food and clothing and that I would be sent to school.
Having gone to bed hungry for years, after and even before our father died in 1958, I grabbed the brass ring and my sister and I went into the orphanage.
And it changed both of our lives forever!
It wasn't easy but I knew that God had a plan in it for me!
Now at sixty-four "life is difficult" as the famed author M. Scott Peck, said it was.
But it has been worthwhile!
God has always taken care of me and has always provided sometimes even more than I need whether some would think I deserve it or not.
Life isn't easy in our world, though it never has been I suppose.
Fifty years later I struggle trying to find which end is up as I search for an answer to pending situations in my life that would overwhelm others if they had a clue what really goes on in Sarah Hudson Pierce's life -- not sure they would want to know.
I have struggled to keep my sanity because God always provides for me sometimes coming to me in the form of "Better Angels" who sense what I need before I ask.
At thirteen I almost drowned and actually went down five times before the Easter siblings, from South West City, Missouri, came to rescue me when they saw I wasn't clowning around!
I know what it feels like to almost drown and sometimes I feel like I am on the edge of my existence and am drowning but I know God will pull me through the tight places because He always does.
It isn't easy making a living in our society.
I won't bore you with the details of my current struggles but I will encourage you to pour your own thoughts out upon the page and do it and do it until it becomes a habit because writing can be one of the greatest forms of creative therapy there is.
Not only is writing very therapeutic it is the only way I know to leave your own story as well as a legacy for your family to have for generations to come.
I think of former Mayor James Creswell Gardner, whose works were published in 2004 and 2006. He knew what he was doing because he said he wanted to leave a legacy like his great grandmother, Julia Pleasants Creswell did so many years ago.
If we don't tell our stories in our words they will never be told.
The motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, said "a life worth living is worth recording."
I treasure the family stories I've found within my old trunk because these stories have helped me to make some sense of my life.
Not only will you be your own therapist but you may be providing the rope that others need to survive as they reach out through the pen upon the page.
And remember that it all works out and that we do get what we say and we should begin immediately thanking Him in advance for what He is about to give us because it works that way.
It is all good and we get what we say!
Sarah Hudson Pierce is the president of Ritz Publications in Shreveport and a former columnist for the Minden Press-Herald.