Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hearing God in Fiction

by imagerymagestic
I recently read A Bride Opens Shop by Keli Gwyn and loved it! It had everything I love in a story - a great plot, awesome secondary characters, and heart-thumping romance. The unique thing about Keli's book was that I heard God whisper to me while I turned the pages. How cool is that?

In the book, widow Elenora Watkins is an independent woman. After being under the rule of a mean husband and then an overbearing father, Elenora wants some freedom. She packs up, heads across the country, and puts her savings into becoming a partner in a thriving mercantile owned by Miles Rutledge. Only he doesn't know she is a woman and refuses to allow her to be a partner when he finds out.

What I loved about Elenora is her independence and strength to do what women didn't normally do back in those days. Instead of running home to Papa, she opens up shop across the street, becoming the competition to Miles. Maybe I like her so much because I want to be like her...independent, confident in my abilities, unafraid to step out and try something new.

The problem comes when our independence gets in the way of seeing things clearly. It becomes all consuming...it becomes an idol. We want to be seen as invincible. We want to be the best. We want to win all the time and show others we are just as good - if not better - than everyone else.

Elenora faced that very thing. She felt like she had to prove herself in almost every aspect of her life...her business, her violin playing, and even in her shooting skills. Doing so caused a rift between her and Miles, because even though they had growing feelings between them, pride on both sides made them compete even harder.

Really what Elenora wanted more than anything was to be loved and accepted as she was...someone capable of being a partner, being a helper, being able to run a business and bring something to the table buisness-wise.

I could see myself in Elenora. I tend to want to prove to others I am capable, that I am skilled at many things, that I can be counted on for excellence. I compare myself with others and strive to be as good...or better. But really, all I want is to be accepted and appreciated, no matter what my accomplishments and giftings are.

And here's the kicker. I AM loved. I AM accepted. I AM appreciated...by the One who really matters. God loves me with an unconditional love. He is the One who has gifted me and enabled me to do the things I do. He would love me just as much even if I couldn't do a single thing! I just need to accept that love and revel in the beauty of it. I don't need to compete with others. I just need to be me and be open to the lover of my soul...my Lord and Savior.

Don't you love it when a piece of fiction like A Bride Opens Shop speaks truth into your heart? Stories have a way of showing us God's truths in way that really hits home, rather like the parables that Jesus told.

When God places a story on your heart, write the words boldly, knowing that God will use them to bless His kingdom. The stories you write will speak to encourage, to motivate, and to strengthen. They will be words of life to those who read them.

What have you written lately that you knew was from God? Or what have you read recently that touched your heart? 

This post is brought to you by
 Sherrinda Ketchersid

Sherrinda is wife to "Pastor John" and mother to three giant sons and one gorgeous daughter. A born and bred Texan, she writes historical romance filled with fun, faith, and forever love.


Joanne Sher said...

Sooo can't wait to read this book. Thanks, Sherrinda!

I'm reading "Making Waves" by Lorna Seilstad (in fact, the only reason I went to bed AT ALL last night is because my KIndle battery died at just past 1am :::roll::: ). It's really kept me thinking about lying of EVERY kind - even the "little ones" - that really aren't so little.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Both Susan May Warren and Rachel Hauck are experts at weaving God's truth through their novels.
I love the symbolism woven through The Wedding Dress (Rachel H.) and just had a sneak peek at one of Susie's upcoming books -- once again it had a strong scriptural truth woven through it.
What Iike is how these authors (and Keli, too) wove the truth so that it was organic to the plot. It wasn't forced.
Each author has their own style, their own voice -- and that's the fun of reading their books.

Jan Cline said...

I'm working on a series of WW2 novels and the information I'm learning about certain things in that era make for astounding stories. I believe some things need to be brought to light and fiction can do that in an entertaining way. God must have something in mind for my writing because He has brought people, opportunities and circumstances into my life recently that show me He cares about these stories. It will be interesting to see what He does with them.

Anonymous said...

Sherrinda, I needed this post today. Oh those mindsets we feed at times. Thanks for the reminders you shared. I love when good book does that--makes me think on God's truths and hold them up as a filter in my life.

Keli Gwyn said...

Sherrinda, you brought tears to my eyes when you said, " I heard God whisper to me while I turned the pages." There are those who ask why I write. This is why! I want the Lord to use me as His instrument. To think that Ellie's story spoke to you in a special way makes my soul rejoice. Thanks so much for this wonderful post.

For the record, you are an amazing woman. You have touched me in so many ways with your kindness, generosity, caring, godliness, and, yes, even your wonderful sense of humor. You're a gem, my friend!!!

Lindsay Harrel said...

This is why I write and it's why I read...truth.

And I LOVED Keli's book too. She's so talented.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Joanne, I haven't heard of Making Waves, but it sounds like it would be one of those great "speaking" books! And don't you hate it when your Kindle dies!!!! Arrrgghghh! :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Beth, I haven't read any books by either Susan or Rachel, but I do have one of each of theirs in my TBR pile. Sounds like I better move them up to the top. :)

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jan, that is so exciting to get confirmation from God about your story! It seems when things align so well, it is just a God-given blessing! I look forward to reading YOUR book someday!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Keli!!!! I just love you! I knew your book would be awesome, but I was so touched by the spiritual truths in it. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for YOU!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Lindsay, truth is such a noble calling for a writing...and reader, for that matter. May God bless you in your writing!

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Jeanne, I'm glad you got something out of the post today. Sometimes when I write something, I wonder what in the world was I thinking! This post flowed fast and free...it meant alot to me! :)

Anonymous said...

Beautifully spoken, Sherrinda. Thanks for pointing out one of the merits of godly fiction rather than just promoting a book.

Love that Keli girl.

V. Gingerich said...

This book was already on my to-read list. You just bumped it closer to the top.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Becky, I think everyone loves Keli! She is awesome, isn't she?

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Wanderer, I think you will love Keli's book! It is such a sweet romance and it really made me take a look at myself!