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Local author offers hope, healing in new book
Woman looks to inspire with her own life story
Janet Swanson W
The worship leader for CrossRoads Community Church, Janet Swanson, shown here with her husband, Cary, who is the senior pastor, has written a book about her life in hopes of inspiring others to find hope and healing through Jesus Christ. - photo by Special to Connect

She was abused by her stepfather, threatened by her half-brother, teased by classmates and rejected and abandoned by her mother.

She's known hunger and sadness and spent time in foster care, was forced to sing in bars before she became a teenager and contemplated suicide.

Yet Janet Swanson, who today is worship leader for CrossRoads Community Church, is a survivor.

"It's just a miracle I got through it," Swanson said.

She wants others to know that they, too, can be survivors, and she has written a book to share that message.

"One of the reasons I wrote 'One Voice,' " she said, "is to let people know that even if you come from a messed-up background, God says, 'I can heal you from all your wounds. You can have an abundant life; you can be happy.' "

"One Voice" tells the powerful story of Swanson's life, racked with physical and emotional pain, and offers encouragement for those with similar stories.

One constant for Swanson was her passion for music and singing. In fact, Swanson believes God used her love of music to draw her to him as a 17-year-old high school senior.

Invited by a friend, Swanson went to a service at Statesboro Church of God, the original name of CrossRoads.

"The worship and music brought me to my
knees," Swanson said. "I surrendered 100 percent to Jesus. I wanted everything he had. I gave him all my gifts and talents. When I found Jesus, that's what I wanted - nothing less and no more. That was it."

Swanson laughed when she added that that night was also when she met her future husband, CrossRoads Community Church Senior Pastor Cary Swanson, though she was not particularly paying attention to him that night.

"Cary saw me that night. He was six years older than me, and he later told me that he'd been praying for a wife, one that could sing, play the piano and was attractive," she said. "He told me that he heard God say, 'Here's your wife.' Cary heard me singing during the service, thought I was beautiful and, at that point, decided he could care less about the piano part."

Cary and Janet were married a year-and-a-half later, and the two have partnered in ministry ever since, sometimes as part-time work and now full-time.

Just over a year ago, Janet Swanson said, she felt God urging her to write a book to help others find the hope and healing in the arms of Jesus, just like she did.

Originally named after a song she wrote, Swanson credits the book's title, "One Voice," to an article written by her close friend and encourager, Ric Mandes, in Statesboro Magazine.

Swanson will sign copies of her book Sunday at Books-a-Million from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 18, at Hen House from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 20, at Walker Pharmacy from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.



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