Don’t you love how God can take the messed up, broken, ugly pieces of our life and make something beautiful?
My husband and I were talking about this the other day, specifically in regards to sin. Those times when we royally mess up, when we do what WE want and just assume God will go along with it. When our plans usurp God’s plans. I want to say that it never ends well, but honestly?
It’s one of the amazing things about God. That God can bring good even out of the bad places in our life, even when we mess up. You need only to look at a child born out of wedlock or out of a rape situation to see this beauty. Or at many people in the Bible… a murderer (Moses… David…) a prostitute (Rahab…) or a man bent on destroying the church (Saul… turned Paul….) just to name a few.
I’m always super careful though, because too many times, it’s easy to use God’s beautiful silver linings as justification for the sin that played a part in leading us there. I saw a conversation the other day on Facebook where someone tried to say, “Eh, who cares that they are sleeping together and not married? God’s grace covers a multitude of sins so it’s cool. We all sin, so who cares? God loves us anyway.”
I won’t put on my preachers hat and preach about the many things that are wrong with that statement, but it broke my heart.
Yet, there is another side the coin. The side where we tend to stand with our pitchforks and jab anyone who struggles with sin. We forget that we, too, were broken people saved by the grace of God. We feel we can take the place of God, that we know the inner workings of hearts, and we condemn them with our words and actions, instead of helping to point them to the true giver of life and grace who is the healer, who loves them, who wants to cleanse us of our sin.
I don’t claim to be perfect. I struggle with this balance between using grace as an excuse and striving to live a holy life, set apart for Jesus. Daily I feel pulled in both directions, but am called by God to get on knees and strive to serve Him, regardless.
I talk about this today, because it’s one of the big theme’s of my upcoming novel releasing in November, The Engagement Plot. It is a fun book, filled with some sarcasm and laughter, but there is a lot of serious too.
Hanna is a woman who always thought of herself as a Christian. She strives to live a holy life, but when a few iffy decisions lands her into a big fat lie, God starts feeling further and further away.
And then you have William, who had a vibrant faith as a child, but due to circumstances in his teen years, he’s grown cold and callous, and lives unashamedly for himself and his own pleasures.
And then you have a mostly unseen host of characters who, instead of getting on their knees and joining in the battle through prayer for the hearts of these two very broken people, pick up stones and hurl them with all their might–all in the name of Jesus.
It was such a journey to write their story, to see their growth and struggles, and I’m so excited to share it with you this fall and so thankful for Barbour Publishing/Shiloh Run Press for taking a chance on publishing this book!
(If you’re of a mind, it’s available for preorder now in paperback for only $7.49!)
Do you struggle with the balance like I do? I know this is a pretty deep, theological discussion for a romance blog! But I think it’s an important one!!