In 1995, I embarked on a spiritual journey that would change my life forever. Struggling with bouts of depression from the heartache of infertility, I felt that the presence of God had left me. Instead of stopping and listening, I cried out to Him in anger and frustration, wondering when He would answer my prayers. Doesn’t the Bible say “ask and it will be given to you?” (Matthew 7:6)
The peace I desperately longed for eluded me, and I didn’t know how to find it. I knew of God’s promise of rest to the weary and peace for the soul in need, but God seemed like a distant figure who had left me to deal with my own humanity and confusion.
Then a friend challenged me to dig deeply into the word of God to discover for myself who God is and to develop an intimate relationship with Him. I was forced to answer one challenging question: Did I believe God was in control of everything, including my own life? If He wasn’t, there would be no reason for me to continue to follow Him. If He was in control, then I needed to let go and trust Him completely with my life.
All of us have struggled to hear God’s voice in the midst of life’s pain. Infertility is only one of the many heartaches we may experience in our lifetime. Yours may be the death of a loved one, illness, problems with a teenager or a spouse, divorce, an addiction, loneliness, or the loss of a job. The whole world has been affected by catastrophic events like 9/11, 2004’s tsunami disaster, and the hurricane that struck New Orleans. The list could go on and on.
How do we find the peace Paul talks about in Philippians? A peace that surpasses all understanding? The world certainly does not have that peace. In a world of traffic jams, deadlines, and schedules, where is the peace? Where is the quiet? Where is the stillness our souls long for?
Peace did not come overnight for me, and it certainly did not come easily. It took years of God teaching me, molding me, and helping me grow. There are still times when I stumble and feel the walls of doubt surround me, but then I remember that not only is He in control. He has promised to be my constant source of strength. Psalm 29:11 says, “the Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.”
My search led me through an intense study of Scripture and ultimately to the point where I can now “hold unswervingly to the hope I profess,” (Hebrews 10:23). I believe that God is faithful, and He is in control of my life. Not only did I discover tools that have equipped me in persevering in my spiritual journey, but the courage to wait and listen to God as I strive daily to live for Him and rely on His strength.
Through the study of God’s word, we come to know our Father and the love He has for us even in the midst of pain and struggles. With His power we can overcome our grief and doubts and begin to live a life filled with His spirit. He has promised to be our strength when we are weak, to give us hope when we are hopeless, and to love us when we feel unlovable. It’s never relying on our own strength to get us through difficult times, but leaning on the mighty arm of God and being continuously filled with His Spirit. Isaiah 41:10 says not to fear, because “I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
This isn’t to say that all difficult situations will be taken away, in fact I Peter 4:12 tells us not to be surprised at the painful trials we are suffering. But through Christ and the workings of His Spirit, the void can be filled. James writes that we are blessed when we persevere under trial, because we will “receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12) With God as our strength and heaven as our goal, the journey is worth it.
So why Christian fiction? Jesus shared primarily through parables and was one of the greatest story tellers of all times. Yet His words had far greater meaning then a simple story. This is my desire for my own stories. To not only entertain though genres like romance, suspense, and international intrigue, but to challenge, encourage, and ultimately share the love of Christ through the written word. To bring hope to a desperate world.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”