Tag Archive | heaven

Lessons Learned While Writing: The Necessity of “Tough Stuff”

A story that is all sunshine and happy times doesn’t keep the reader engaged. As an author I need to find an inciting incident to start my story. A disturbance of some sort to draw the reader in and make them want to take this journey with me. Obstacles need to be faced because this forces my character to make choices and face consequences—good and bad—for those decisions. Without conflict, the story would be boring. Without challenges the character doesn’t grow and change to become a better person emotionally and spiritually.

The challenge of living in this world filled with sin is we face conflict regularly in real life and sometimes that can be a royal pain. Sometimes we create our own conflict. Sometimes events happen over which we have no control and we are forced to deal with and react to them. Every choice leads us down a path filled with more choices.

The darkness in this world, the grief and heartache we face, serves to remind us of how human we really are. How far from heaven we’ve fallen due to the ongoing and exponentially growing prevalence of sin in the world. But the ups and downs of this life also help us appreciate the good times, the happy moments, the blessings that come along as well.

The stars don’t cease to twinkle when the sun is shining, even though we can’t see them. When darkness falls and we are way from city lights, the stars sparkle in the heavens. So too when life is dark do we sometimes see things clearer. The harshness of death, expands the depth of love. The threat of a terminal illness makes us cling to what really matters. 

Without the difficulties of life it would be, well, boring. At least on a page of a book. We don’t want to read about everything always going great on social media, do we? It’s not real. Everyone has some heartache and challenges they face from within or without. Maybe they won’t share it but it’s there. Sometimes we only get the highlight reel.

It makes me wonder how Heaven in all its glory will compare to this world filled with tears and sorrows, gains and losses, pain and healing. We will be awestruck. We will have work to do as we worship the King of kings and Lord of lords. But there won’t be the struggle, the pain, or the tears.

If you are struggling, hang on. It won’t last forever because we have something wonderful to look forward to.

How are things in Gloccamorra?

The past week or so I’ve been in a slump. Literally. No energy and just wanting to curl up with a good book.  Matter of fact, I’ve done a lot of that. Curl up by my pillow in my room and bury myself in novels. Since I had finished writing my NaNoWriMo novel (rough draft), I’ve read the works of others. I call it research as I read in the genre I write. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I understand however that in reality, I am depressed. It hit when I remembered the anniversary of a miscarriage and the trauma that surrounded that time. It was highlighted by the fact that seven years later, I still had no support from people in my life who are pledged to love and care for me. This was amplified on Thanksgiving Day where alcohol and thoughts of shopping were more important than relationships or *gasp* giving thanks to God from whom all blessings flow! Why was I with these people?

So I feel a bit like the leprechaun, Og, from Finnian’s Rainbow which just happens to be the play my husband and I attended on our first date. The funny thing is other than “How are things in Gloccamorra?” – are the words I remember from the scene below  that resonate with me: “Doom and gloom, gloom and doom!”

Ah, but gold was not meant for mere humans.

I am not in the worst funk ever. But it is amazing how the holidays can remind us of things we have lost. And I am reminded once again that this world is NOT my home. My Gloccamorra is heaven and my pot of gold lies in my future there – walking on streets paved with that glorious mineral, alongside my Savior.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

(‘Nothing Gold can Stay”, Robert Frost)

I need to remember where I’ve buried my treasure. It cannot be found in human beings who will only let me down. Yes, I can enjoy those holy moments that come in this sinful world. But ultimately I need to dig myself out of my hole to see the Creator of the rainbow, and not so much the mythical pot buried at its end.

Am I talking in circles? Maybe. But hey, that’s just where I’m at today. And that’s okay because as I told a friend on Facebook the other day, diamonds shine brighter against a black cloth and the stars shine brighter in the darkest sky. In my darker moments, God’s glory is greater to me and more desirable than if all the lights were turned on and I was feeling great and the world was my oyster (okay, but then we get to pearls, let’s just not go there here!).

Anybody struggling like I am? David writes in Psalm 38:9 “LORD, all my desire is before You, and my sighing is not hidden from You.”  Even in the darkness, I am not alone – and neither are you.