I recently received two sweet letters from readers who thanked me for dealing with real Christian issues in my books, and how seeing the characters work through their problems had helped them work through their own. I wrote back to them, expressing my thanks and telling them how writing my characters also blesses and helps me with my own daily struggles.
As inspirational writers we all strive to depict Christians in a realistic way. We all face doubts, fears, insecurities and old hurts we can’t let go of. We know we should turn them over to the Lord, lay our burdens at his feet and move on, but in our humanness we continually let our worries overpower us, and keep us from enjoying the blessings God has in store.
With each story I write, I try to address one of those strongholds that plague many of us – overcoming a fear, letting go of control, trust issues, guilt, and maybe the most difficult, forgiveness. Every character I create has to have a spiritual journey and I must walk that path with them. I need to figure out:
- Why do they feel this way and what caused it?
- What life events can occur that will force them to change? (People don’t change unless they are forced to)
- How will the love interest demonstrate another way of seeing or behaving?
- What spiritual stronghold will the character have to overcome to be reconciled in his faith?
- What will the characters have to sacrifice to be worthy of the happily ever after?
Each book has given me greater insight into myself and into the strongholds I need to tear down. Writing Christian fiction keeps us all grounded in the truth. No matter what genre we write – suspense, women’s fiction, romance, young adult, the story has to have a spiritual thread running through it. It sits in the back of our minds as we write like the proverbial Yellow Brick Road. No matter what dark trails our story drifts down, that path always leads to the end of the story where our characters have grown in their faith, in their understanding, and in their self -awareness. Their reward is a closer connection with the Lord and (in romance) a loving partner to share their future with.
The author experiences this as well. With each The End I type I come away with a better understanding of myself and my position on my faith journey. I’m also reminded of my position in the writing world. I write the stories the Lord gives me, do my very best, and ask him to put them in the hands of the people who might need to hear this message.
Writing is our ministry so when a reader takes the time to send us a note or an email telling us how our books have helped, touched or encourage them, we are doubly blessed.
Not every inspirational book you read will speak to you but it might to another reader. We appreciate all our readers. Reading books is what set all of us on the path toward writing.
If you keep reading, we’ll keep writing, hoping to glorify God, and encourage his with our efforts.
Watch for Bachelor to the Rescue coming from Love Inspired May 2015. Shaw McKinney’s guilt, Lainie Hollings’ anger has kept them both from moving forward in their lives. Until they meet again in Dover and Lainie is forced to rely on Shaw to help her and her daughters. The only answer is forgiveness. Can they find the strength to trust the Lord to work out their future?
Sally Shupe says
This book sounds great! Can’t wait to read it!
Trixi O. says
I think it makes the stories more “real” when your characters deal with everything we do in real life. Our struggles, fears, hurts, etc….all the emotional things we go through. What I especially love to see authors do, is tell us how God fits into the fictional life. Is He the center, are they leaning on His strength, are they relying on Him to get them through? What I also like about Christian fiction, is you know in the end it will all work out! If I get done with a book & it has changed me in some way (ie:made my faith stronger), then I know that God has worked through you as an author to speak to me on some personal level.
I never really thought of writing as a ministry! But I can see that it is indeed, God gives you the story & the words & He works through it. Wow, what a powerful thing! So glad you are in tune with Him Lorraine. I bet it has made your life richer, fuller & more blessed then you would have imagined :-) You just keep writing for His glory & our reading pleasure. This inspires me to write to the different authors after I complete a book to tell them how it has touched my life.
Narelle Atkins says
Lorraine, great post!
“Not every inspirational book you read will speak to you but it might to another reader.”
This is very true. I love the diversity of inspirational fiction because it’s likely that readers will find at least a few stories, if not more, that speak to them and touch their lives.