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TeensA Light in the Darkness – Meet Jan Eckles…
Interview by Debbie Porter

FWM: Jan, I noticed on your website that your motto is "God’s Word will turn the trials of today into treasures for tomorrow," which also ties in with your book. Most readers wouldn’t be aware just how true this is of your life. Would you mind sharing a little of your story with us?

JAN: When adversity hurled into my life--my blindness, marital infidelity, the murder of my son, I had a choice: to turn bitter and drown in self-pity because of my misfortune. Or, look up to see what God would do in my life. I chose the latter and invited Jesus into my life.

With Him by my side, The obstacles I faced turned to opportunities God used for me to touch those who face trials and sorrow.

Taking the daily nourishment of His Word gives me the strength to see beyond my circumstances and watch His hand at work.

In each circumstance without exception, God turned the gloom and darkness of my trials to brilliant treasures that shine highlighting His faithfulness.

FWM: It’s a little hard to know what to say after a testimony like that. Even just one of those circumstances would have the potential to knock anyone to the floor, particularly the tragic death of your son, Joe. Yet you really have kept going in faith and your story will be an inspiration to everyone who reads it. Did you always want to be a writer, or was it something you turned to as a way to share your testimony with others?

JAN: No, I never thought of becoming a writer; particularly with English being my second language. One thing I did do, however, is write letters to my sons on a regular basis and leave them on their pillows. To my delight, they read them, kept them and who knows perhaps as they grow, they may remember my advice.

One day I began to journal. I continued and eventually, it turned into a story, I had to keep on writing because so much kept happening in my life. I weaved a theme of hope and inspiration, gave it a title and God is using it for His glory. I'm still in awe and humbled with gratitude at the positive reaction from my readers.

The purpose was to minister to others. I thought perhaps its pages could inspire those who might be facing dark moments, disappointments, trials and grief. So, I thought I'd share the not-so-secret path from pain to peace and from sorrow to serenity.



FWM: Your family arrived in the United States from Bolivia when you were 12 years old. Then just one year later, both you and your father were diagnosed as having the hereditary condition retinitis pigmentosa. Based on the doctor’s prognosis, you shouldn’t have lost your sight completely until you were in your sixties. But that wasn’t the case was it? How did you cope when it happened to you as a young mother?

JAN: I was 32, my sons were three, five and seven. I was devastated, became angry, bitter and overwhelmed with fear. When at the bottom of the cold pit of anguish, a friend invited me to her Christian church. My eyes opened and it was Jesus my heart saw.

FWM: The story of how your family came to the United States, "Two Thousand Blessings," appeared in our July Issue (http://www.faithwritersmagazine.com/July05/ascribe-featured-article-7-05.php) Having read that and now "Dividends of Peace," I can easily see the spiritual strength and perseverance in both your parents. How much of that do you believe has shaped or prepared you for who you are today?

JAN: My dad's tenacity, his determination and sense of perseverance blended with my mom's profound love for the Lord, her tenderness and unequaled giving nature provided the foundation and an example for me to look up when I crumbled facing my darkest moments.

FWM: Your book, "Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life" (Xulon Press, 2004) obviously sprang from the testimony of your own experience. Do you have any plans to write another book in the future?

JAN: Yes, I do. I found that as I travel giving inspirational talks, people share with me their difficulties, fears an moments of hopelessness. So, I'd like to continue writing stories of triumph, success and victory when encountering adversity.

FWM: If you had the opportunity to share just one piece of your hard-won wisdom with someone who is going through a time in the valley, what would it be?

JAN: I found that life is not about what we cannot do because of circumstances out of our control. Success comes when we recognize what we can do with what God has given us.

Consequently, adversity will cause us to do only two things: suffer or seek Christ's peace in the midst of the storm

FWM: Jan, thank you so much for allowing us this time with you. You are an inspiration and I know that the Lord will use you many times in the future to shine His light into the darkness.
You can visit Jan at http://www.janeckles.com
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