In novels, curve balls are those delightful tools we use to make our characters suffer. Adding onto the conflict until they don’t see a way out. Putting on the pressure.
And that’s great—for a romance novel. Because even though the hero and heroine delve into dark moments where nothing appears to work out, we readers all know that somehow it will end in a happily-ever-after.
I wish real life was that simple. I’ve been struggling with a number of issues, both health and personal, until I feel close to my breaking point (and I honestly know I’m not anywhere CLOSE to suffering as some dear friends this week.)
So I got to thinking, what would I tell my characters if they complained about the gunk I’m making them wade through? In my May release, The Cowboy’s Twins, Jax finds his twin girls dropped on his doorstep—kids he didn’t even know he had. And Faith, the heroine, has jumped into a Mustang refuge project well over her abilities.
So Jax and Faith, here are my suggestions:
- PRAY Reconnect with God. He’s got this, right? Or if you’ve already been praying about it, realize that perhaps what’s happening is the answer to your prayer, even if you don’t get it right now.
- GRIEVE It’s important to give yourself time to grief and heal, whether your pain is from a lost love, a lost job, if you or your loved ones are experiencing health issues, or you find yourself in the middle of a series of events you didn’t foresee. It’s okay to cry. Be gentle with yourself.
- BE GRATEFUL I know that sounds counter-intuitive, and it is, especially for someone like me who has always see the glass half empty. Find the good within the situation. It’s there, somewhere, though you may need to dig very deep. Jesus is there. You just have to look for Him.
I don’t think I’ll be creating any spoilers by saying Jax and Faith successfully manage to work through their problems and have their happy ending, but it doesn’t come without a fight. My own issues seem to be taking a bit longer than that, so I’d love to hear how everyone else deals with life’s unexpected curve balls.
Deb Kastner‘s most recent release is The Cowboy’s Twins.
Jill Weatherholt says
I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing difficulties, Deb.When the storms in life shake me to my core, aside from praying, I have to make a point of looking for things I can be grateful for. It’s hard sometimes, but there’s always something. For me, knowing that God is always riding that storm right along with me is the most comforting of all. Take care of yourself.
Deb Kastner says
Thanks Jill. We recite the Lord’s Prayer every week in church, and yet I have the hardest time turning my will over to His sometimes.
Sorry to hear things are tough. I love the story of Elijah- God is that still, small voice that comes after the wind/fire, the turmoil and chaos. I pray that you have people around you who pray for you, grieve with you and are there to help you find something to be grateful for. Blessings:)
Deb Kastner says
I love that story. I’ve always thought about it as “where God is,” but this is an excellent observation of what comes before. It really touched my heart today.
Elizabeth Maddrey says
I love the advice to grieve. So often I think Christians are expected to just put a happy face on and act like we don’t hurt when we suffer. Don’t wallow, obviously, but definitely allow yourself to grieve! Even Jesus wept.
Deb Kastner says
I tend to stuff my emotions inside, and then at some point they all come out at once. Not exactly the best way to handle things.
My way is not something I recommend but at least you see the glass half full…lately my glass is on the ground shattered.
Deb Kastner says
Hugs and prayers, Cassandra. Your words paint a vivid picture. It puts me in mind of God being the potter and we are the clay. Sometimes I think my life turns into a big, hopeless lump, but His masterful hands can make something of it. God bless!
I’ve found extreme comfort in God’s Word lately during my own struggles, especially the Psalms. I also have tried to be intentional about taking negative thoughts or thoughts that make me want to worry or fear captive-refusing to allow them in and then purposefully turning my thoughts toward God, His great goodness, and praising Him in the midst of the storm. It’s hard to do that sometimes, but I’ve found that when I do that (really acknowledge Him and His power and might), it helps me remember He’s got this and I am rewarded with comfort and peace. Sometimes I have to do this and then turn around and do it over and over again on days that are particularly rough. I have a blog where I’ve shared about my own journey in this recently. Here are links if you want to check it out. https://anothersinnersavedbygrace.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/hope-dweller/ https://anothersinnersavedbygrace.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/gods-goodness/
Life is definitely full of curveballs. Some are easily fixed and others just seem to lingers. Each is a lesson learned that hopefully makes us stronger. When some of these balls are thrown at me, one of my favorite song verse comes to mind “nobody told me the road would be easy but I don’t believe he brought me this far to leave me”. Those words tends to make me let go and let God. Trusting and believing that God has a plan bigger than mine.