While many readers are still deep in snow, where I live, in the East Anglia region of Britain, it’s almost Spring. Sunshine, lighter frosts, leaves already opening on the rose bushes, buds fattening on the fruit trees, daffodils that tease me every day by almost-but-not-quite opening.
I’m glad to see all these signs of hope and new life. It hasn’t been a hard winter with the weather, we’ve been blessed with the sunniest winter since 1929 (or 1896, in some parts of the country!). Yes, it’s been sunnier than usual, but for me, it’s been a hard winter. A long dark cold spell in my heart and in my soul. Writing has felt like a struggle.
I wonder if it’s because God had lessons for me I didn’t want to learn, both in my real life, and in the story I’ve been working on all winter?
When I write a story, I go through the same spiritual journeys as the characters. God calls me to write what I most need to learn! So when Beth had to learn to let go of past hurts, Cara had to learn to accept forgiveness for a terrible mistake in her past, Tiffany needed to learn to let go of her own plans and follow God’s will for her life, I was in there learning the spiritual lessons along with them.
My circumstance aren’t the same, but I needed to let go, I needed to feel God’s forgiveness, I needed to accept God’s will. I cried when they cried. I laughed when they laughed. When God lifted them, I was lifted.
I hope that readers feel that too, when they read the stories.
But the heroine in my next story, ‘Forget Paris’, is a difficult, wilful, stubborn woman. At times, she does things that are definitely unlikeable, because she’s sure she knows what’s best.
Definitely NOT one bit like me, right?
Hmm, ask my husband….
Zoe needs to learn to trust in God’s love and allow Him to soften her stony hardness of heart. She needs to learn to believe she is worth loving, but because she’s so resistant, she can find a million excuses why love isn’t for her, either the hero’s love, or God’s love. Hurtful broken relationships have put her heart into permanent winter, and only letting God in can bring her the new life of Spring.
Her Bible verse is –
And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them.
I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart.
Ezekiel 11:19 NLT
‘Forget Paris’ was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day story, with a planned release date in early February. Because so much real life got in the way of writing all through winter, the release was delayed. And delayed. And delayed!
‘Forget Paris’ is finally on track to release next week. In Spring.
It feels so right for the story to appear now, I’m wondering if maybe it was part of God’s plan all along. Because I’ve realised it’s not a Valentine’s Day story, though it starts on Valentine’s Day. It’s a Spring story, a story of ice melting and new life. Of God making stony stubborn hearts tender and responsive.
Even mine. Poor Zoe couldn’t get her new heart and new spirit and find her Happy Ever After with Gabe until I let go of some of my own anger and resistance to God, allowing His sun to melt my winter iced heart, allowing His Spirit to give me renewal.
At last, it’s Spring!
I’d love if you would share in the comments the biggest spiritual lessons you’ve learned either writing or reading stories.
And if you’d like to be notified when ‘Forget Paris’ does finally release, please sign up for my mailing list here. I have a special gift for subscribers at release time.