I won't run from it either.
Sometimes I ruminate for days over sour comments. Sometimes I'm able to turn them over to a big God who brought these ex-Amish into my life as His will. Out of His wisdom. For His reasons.
It'd surprise you who scolds me for writing truth about my experiences with Swartzentruber Amish and their fence-jumpers.
- An occasional High order Amish (New or Beachy-Mennonite)
- Some who write Amish fiction (and their editor)
- Some who read Amish fiction
- English who only know higher order - or functional - Amish families
- English who make a living off Amish
There's a difference between disagreeing, with my answer to a question, and assassinating my character and credibility. He failed to know the difference.
His undeserved outrage didn't merit my reply. I merely said, "I'm sorry you feel a need to criticize." What he didn't know is I've friendships with ex-Old Order, New, Beachy, and Beachy-Mennonites but, why justify myself to him? What I really wanted to snap back was,
- "have you taken time to intimately know Swartzentrubers as I do?"
- "feel superior now?"
- "if you've read my posts, you'd know I'm blessed with more than a son-in-law from the Amish in my life and family."
- "how do you know who I take time to know? Stalking?"
Here are the occasional raised eyebrows, censors and morale-stompers (ouch).
- A couple high order Amish men cautioned me against telling the truth that impairs the rosy image. Um, why? I will if it increases education, compassion and prayers for others! Gratefully, most former Amish - from various orders - are my cheerleaders.
- One Amish fiction author perpetuated so many false and unsubstantiated allegations against me that I lost my agent, and my attorney sent her a Cease and Desist letter. Hmm, can you say paranoid malice? Vicious competition? Well, she does make up stories for a living. But her distasteful behavior is the exception. Many Amish fiction authors are professional, confident, and give me supportive friendship. Thanks Lynette, Amy, Amanda, Stephanie, and others.
- Amish fiction fans like entertainment. OK. But don't gripe at me for writing non-fiction. I am the "voice" of many of my beloved ex-Amish friends and relatives.
- English who know only high order Amish remind me that that's not the way with the ones they know! OK. If you want to pen posts about your affectionate, family-oriented, godly Amish friends, do so.
- One English woman whose husband is the Amish settlement's milk man, scowled at me, "You just want to write a book to make money off them." First, authors aren't wealthy. I know from experience - 34 books - and I shop with coupons and at thrift stores. Second, I'd never exploit my precious relationships with ex- or current Amish just for money. Not my nature. That's why I refrain from using last names, avoiding detailed identification, and ask their permission before posting.
To her, I wanted to challenge, "Is that the pot calling the kettle black? What if all your husband's Amish clients moved away, stopped milking, or left the Amish life?"
I have to keep it quiet that I give help and a home to their desperate homeless.
Now you know,
- the life of an author isn't lucrative (can I get an Amen from my author subscribers?),
- truth isn't always pretty (is there an Amen from social service workers or those who advocate for human rights?), and
- sometimes you can't please anyone. So please the audience of One. "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11.
Next time you disagree, are dismayed, or disappointed about my "inside" knowledge or observation, don't shoot me - I'm only the wordsmith.
Want an interesting speaker? Let your audience finger through my authentic Swartzentruber Amish clothes as I explain customs/beliefs/behaviors and fascinating facts about the Amish. Email me about speaking at your next event - speaker2parents@ juno.com
(C)Copyright, 2014, Brenda Nixon.