When the Voices in Your Head Go Silent
I read the last three chapters of my next book, Angel Resolved, to my daughter last night. She laughed in all the right places, started to cry a time or two, and sat on the edge of the couch as I read the last page. With the final sentence came a sigh, then a frown.
“It’s over,” she said.
“Yep.” I placed my pages back in order. “The ending was good, right?”
“It was, but it’s over. I don’t want it to be over. I like Lauren and Tyler. They’re my favorite.”
I smiled, completely understanding. For over twenty years this story has been developing in my head. Their story. Our story. The growth of their faith has paralleled my own. As their story developed, the deep questions I had about life were answered.
Can you trust God with your dreams?
Can you trust others with your pain?
Will God be there in the darkest valley?
Can you find complete healing in Christ?
Is there a point when hardships continue to come that you fall apart, even if you’re trusting God?
Is God truly good all the time?
Is it possible to find a peace that surpasses all understanding in the midst of the storm?
Will laying your life down for Christ really bring true happiness?
And the question I came face to face with this year—when a person you love faces their hardest obstacle and darkest hour, will you still believe God is good and in control?
I think the last question wrecked me the most. I’ve learned a lot about grief, life, and faith in the past few months. That’s when I came to admire my characters the most. I’ve always like them (well, Tyler was a little annoying and frustrating in Angel Discovered), but now I admire their strength. I appreciate their determination. And I rejoice in their commitment to God.
Yes, I know my characters aren’t living and breathing people, but they represent so many of us. The Christian wanting to be true to their faith. The person madly in love with someone who may never return their love. Someone who struggles with depression. The one who struggles with pride. The women and men who find their identity in anything besides Christ. Life is hard, the Christian walk is harder. That’s what my characters represent. That’s why we’re so attached to them. Because they’re real.
“I’m going to need the entire series when the last one is published so I can read them over and over again,” my daughter told me.
“Hopefully one day we’ll have the audiobooks, too,” I reminded her.
She cheered at that and headed off to bed, leaving me alone. For the first time in years I’m no longer hearing Lauren and Tyler’s conversations in my head. I’m not seeing their adventures. There’s still polishing to do before publication, but the story has been released from my mind.
I’m thankful for the adventures, for the journey of faith. I’m thankful for the laughter and the tears. Most of all, I’m thankful God gave me the opportunity to get to know them, to have a part in shaping them. When I started writing their story twenty years ago, I didn’t imagine it would be so beautiful. But I suppose life is like that when your Father is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Whatever season of life you are in, my friend, hold on. God’s not done with you yet. Stay the course and He will bring about a beautiful ending. Your happily ever after may just be a few chapters away.