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I shared this post over at INSPY Romance last week, thought it was worth the repost.

“I didn’t lie, exactly, I just didn’t tell you the truth.”

Ever heard that before? Ever thought it? Said it? Done it?

You don’t have to raise your hand. We’re all friends here, right?

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Secrets are funny things. Sometimes they can be good, like a surprise you’re planning for a friend or spouse, a birthday party or a trip out of town – the good kind of secret that it’s okay to keep. And then there are the other kinds of secrets. The ones that keep us up at night, haunt our waking hours and gnaw at that place deep inside until we just … can’t … take it anymore.

Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re just so honest that you’ve never kept one of those sticky secrets. Never had to. But chances are, somebody you know has. And maybe they had good reason. But what’s that old saying? It all comes out in the wash … Or something like that.

And then what?

Okay, here’s my confession. I love writing about this stuff. I really do. Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I love putting my characters in the most awful situations. Taking them places they never dreamed of going, pushing them down into deep dark tunnels that seem unending. I like to let them wallow in depths of despair, if you will.

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Why? Am I just a little warped perhaps? No. At least I don’t think I am.

You see, in real life, sooner or later, we all go there. We all find ourselves in spots that make us uncomfortable, places we never ever imagined we’d wind up in, and we know we have no business being there, but by the time we figure that out, we’re not sure how to get out. Or how to tell anyone about it.

Secrets … whatever they may be, big or small … the secrets we keep can lead us into sin. But here’s the thing – and it’s really cool, so pay attention – God’s grace is bigger than any secret we can hide.

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Seriously. How amazing is that? Yeah, you know, right? You’ve experienced it. He’s brought you out of that dark place, revealed the secrets that shadowed your every move, dealt with you and them, and wiped them away. Clean. Gone. Like it never happened.

Except it did and sometimes the guilt comes crawling back around, threatens to jump you and take you down. Right? And then you’re on your knees again.

Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. Don’t we all struggle with the magnitude of those words? Don’t we all, at some point, wonder whether we’re really truly deserving of such astounding love?

I do. My characters do. And I’m pretty sure sometimes you do too.

This is why I write. This is why I let my characters go to those deep dark places. Because I know what it feels like down there. And I know what rescue and mercy and forgiveness feel like too. And oh, I so desperately want you, my friends, to know that feeling. To truly accept that there is nothing you can do, no secret you can bury, that could ever diminish the depths of God’s great love for you.

It’s a journey, isn’t it? Sometimes it’s so long and tiring and we just want to give up. But then someone comes along and grabs your hand and offers a smile, and you know you can do this. This thing called life.

We can do it together.

Are you willing?

Game on.

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