I don’t mind change. Though it’s easy to get complacent and wallow in the comfort of sameness, I truly enjoy when things get shaken up. I like the energy. I like the newness. Most times.
But not this time. They’re changing things at church. The “powers that be,” in their infinite misinterpretation of the word wisdom, are taking a step backward. We’re back to sackcloth and ashes, focusing on sin again, on how awful we are, instead of on love, self-worth and growth. It’s bringing up all sorts of emotional issues for me. I do not want this in my life. I do not want to deal with it.
But I have to. My latest book, coincidentally, carries the same theme: Sin, and its repercussions. To add the depth the story needs, I have to dig inside myself to where feelings of inadequacy still reside, tiny worms that wriggle in the dark of night: I’m worthless. I’m slime. Worse still, I'm unlovable. Bad things happen to me because I deserve it.
But I hadn’t intended to dig that deep. Now, the changes at church are forcing me to delve into places I don’t want to go. Feelings I can’t control keep bubbling to the surface, forcing me to really look at my core, at who and what I truly am. What I really believe. It’s making me angry. It’s making me cry.
But my book will be all the better for it. Beneath the mystery and suspense will lie a message of hope. Of worthiness. We don’t have to punish ourselves for our mistakes. We can learn from them, become better people, and find happiness.
My God is loving and kind, no matter what my church teaches. And my book will be all the better for having to deal with these long-buried issues. I have until Advent to decide what to do about the church. But I have my stories every day. I thank my caring God that I’m a writer. And I thank God I, too, am the better for it.
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