Happy New Year!!
I recently completed the second book in my series! For those of you who read Anna’s Song, this is Sofia’s story. After making it through two editors, one for content, another for line editing, I went over it all again, correcting and filling in as needed. Now, it’s ready to go to the cover designer and formatter. It should be released by this fall.
Soon on the heals of Sofia’s story, will be a novella sharing Jacob’s story from the end of the war until he meets Anna Marie. His story made me cry and laugh. (Not at the same time.) His tale should be released before the end of the year if edits aren’t too complicated!
Looking over the stories I write and the ones I want to write, I find there is a common theme. This theme has been a similar thread in my life as well, and one that is very important to me. That’s probably why it leaks into much of what I put to paper.
I watch a world consumed with fear. We live in one of the safest ages of history, yet more people are depressed than ever before, many suffer panic attacks. They want medication to solve their fears. Fear turns into anger and blame. People refuse to accept responsibility or see that the only way out is through the God who created them. Many are struggling to know their true value, to know who they are. So many are like orphans, seeking to belong.
My story theme is this: I am who God says I am. Only in God will I know who I am meant to be. Only in God will I understand what it is to belong and have peace.
This is what I’ve learned:
I am not my past. I am not my “trauma”. The past is just that. God has a future planned for me, and I won’t keep looking back.
I am not my father, nor who he said I was or how he made me feel. Part of what he said is true, much is not. This is good.
I am not my mother, nor who she wished me to be. I am much of who she wished, but not all. And that is fine.
I am not my childhood rebellion, although that helped form who I became. I am not my childhood or younger me mistakes. I am not my temper, or my lazy streak, or all my many weaknesses, but they affect me and those around me. I am responsible when they take over. No one else bears that blame.
While I will always live with the consequences of past choices, they do not control who I am now. I choose to make better choices from now on. God gives strength for that.
As a repentant Christian, my sins are thrown as far as the east is from the west, they do not own me or define me. I am free. Guilt will not reside in my heart. Neither should resentment. Forgiveness needs to reign, along with thankfulness and contentedness. These are gifts that need to be accepted and surrendered to, nurtured and allowed to grow.
Habits are hard to break, the sinful man wants to be resurrected. By God’s grace that sinful me will remain in the ground, and Christ will live through the new me.
We so often identify ourselves with what we do: I am a nurse. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a writer. These are all important aspects of my life, but do not define who I am. My nursing career stopped, but I am still me. My children have grown, and, heaven forbid, may someday be taken from me. I will still be me. My husband may be taken, I will still be me. Most of my life, I didn’t write. The day may come when I can’t write any more. I will still be me.
So who am I? I am who God says I am. He says I am His child. I have a mission. I was made for a purpose. I am loved. I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I am a new creature. I am Christian. I am valued high enough to cost the life of God’s only son.
I am less than I thought and so much more.
As a daughter of God, I am learning to love what He loves and hate what He hates. I want to honor Him. I carry His name, and He calls me to act accordingly. I am the mirror God reflects on so others can see Him.
As a daughter, I am under His care. I need not live in fear or dread. Things may not be easy, there may be heartbreak. I might feel overwhelmed. Through it all, I can live with peace of knowing He is with me and He is ultimately in charge. He wants me to surrender to His will, and there is serenity when I do.
I am forgiven, and this is cause to be content and more than content. This miracle of forgiveness and renewal should fill me with joy and thankfulness.
I need to learn to extend forgiveness, as far as the east is from the west. Sometimes this isn’t easy, but I’m sure hanging on the cross was much harder.
If this isn’t worth smiling about, I don’t know what is.
Until next time,
P.S. As of the moment of posting this, Anna’s Song is on sale at Amazon for half price. I don’t know how long this will last, so grab your copy now!