Today's post is building up to a book feature on Friday. I just wanted to show it differently because this novel had such a profound impact on me.
You see, I read this book and it was personal.
A few weeks ago, we talked about authenticity, comparing it to my quest to find great Indian food in Atlanta. An authentic story is definitely personal. But there's something else to it, ya know? Maybe it's the perfect storm of the setting, the plot, and the actual writing style. This book definitely has that. But still I believe there's more.
I loved your comments on Monday about the names God has given you or the reasons why y'all write. When you said certain things, I thought, Oh yes, me too! I know that feeling. It's part of my reason. Your responses really made me think and evaluate my own life--so much that I rewrote the post for today.
You see, I went back to that room and looked in the mirror again (and the almost three years that have passed between that moment and now). I realized that sometimes I forget to live this identity. My characters do that too. Sometimes they forget. Sometimes they even choose to return to the safety and the horror of what they knew before.
Some days it's not so bad. I almost believe it. But then there are the days or areas of my life where I look back into the mirror, see the old name, and believe it instead. There's been a lot of talk in blogdom lately about insecurity. I know that struggle well, especially in writing. Sometimes it's easier to believe the lie, because then it doesn't hurt as much when you try so hard and it doesn't work out. This way you just prepare for the weight of disappointment beforehand and soften the blow.
My pastor has talked a lot about faith lately. The other day, he said something I can't forget: "It doesn't make sense for you to believe God for something He already did, like: I believe God's gonna make the sun rise this morning when it's already noon. That isn't faith. But how many of you have given up believing God can do something? Why do you think He's going to fulfill something now that you don't even believe He can do?"
There are things I have been tempted to give up believing in the past, like dreams of publication. Sometimes even the thought of success is overwhelming, because while failure stinks at least we know it. It's safe. Living the new name isn't safe. That's when we return to the old one.
The thing about the new name is that you can't just see it and walk away. You have to live it. You're accountable to it. That's what makes it personal.
In this book, characters are forced to reckon with things that completely change them and their perspectives on life until the day they die. Their internal struggles are so great as they battle what they knew to be true, what they saw, and where they are now. Isn't that a battle we all face at some time or another?
Have you or your characters turned back to the old name? Why?
How do you fight to live your calling?
See y'all Friday! I promise you'll find out the name of the book then!
3 hours ago