Personal Development, Personality, Talent
Comments 17

~ Why I Believe In Christian Fiction ~

Parables.

That’s why.

And what are parables? Simply defined, they are earthly stories with heavenly/spiritual meanings.

Jesus used them most of the time to teach His disciples and the crowd of people that constantly gathered around Him. And it achieved two things:

  1. To those who cared to listen and had the heart to obey, it presented the Word of God in a simple and more comprehensive way, so that what was a difficult teaching at the time, became easier to grasp.
  2. To those who were rebellious at heart, parables portably kept the meanings of Jesus’ teaching hidden from them so that it became their stumbling block, further confusing, angering and frustrating them.

No matter the case, parables always did one thing: speak the truth. By using parables, Jesus put in them the power of the Word so that upon hearing, the heart of a man/woman could be convicted and their spirits healed if they chose the truth. Parables were a mighty vessel that Jesus used to pour out salvation, deliverance and healing. He often used them to build the faith of His disciples and followers.

This is something that still happens today.

In the past, I never disputed that Christian Fiction was a good thing. But I often wondered about its place in the life a Christian, whether as a reader or a writer. Where we just killing valuable time that we could use for something more productive in the spiritual sense, or worse yet, wasting time away?

Imagine my surprise when somewhere along my walk with God, He lovingly showed me the connection between the Christian fiction of today and the parables that Jesus taught back then. In fact, they are one and the same, having the same goal—to carry the message of Christ! Christian Fictions are stories centered on God with the purpose of preaching His Truth.

This was such a relief and blessing to me because I knew God had gifted me with the talent of writing. I had already sensed in me that it was my purpose. But not understanding its place left me confused in some ways.

Prior to this time, not long after I had given my life to Christ at the age of sixteen, I had considered going secular. In my bid to unconfuse (if that’s a word) myself, I put it to myself this way: I know I’m supposed to serve God somehow with my time here on earth. But while I’m still searching how that would be, secular writing would simply be my job. I believed so much that writing wasn’t any way to serve God and that I could separate it from my spiritual life.

You see, at the time, I hadn’t come across Christian Fiction so much. Just the very few ‘HeartSongs’ that were passed around among friends. And it piqued my interest just enough to be a reader. Sometimes. I already had drafts of secular writing in the fantasy genre that I had created before I’d officially turned my life over to God, and I was getting ready to use them to establish myself as a writer.

But as I drew closer to God, He took a hold of me. It wasn’t long before I sensed in my spirit that God didn’t support my decision to become a secular writer. It wasn’t His plan for me. And He made it clear by confirming it over and over again in different ways. I thought I would die. It NEVER occurred to me once the possibility of becoming a Christian writer. Such a notion didn’t even exist in my sphere of comprehension. So naturally, I perceived that God was simply trying to take from me the one thing that gave me utmost fulfillment. And God didn’t make it easier for me either. You would think He would have said, “Oh no! I didn’t ask you not to write. I’m simply saying switch from secular to Christian.” He simply said, “Stop.” Looking back now, I can understand why. In my struggle to let go of my writing and the dreams I had created in my heart around it, it became clear to me that my art had become an idol that contended with God. If I would learn obedience and gain true purpose and fulfillment in my walk with God and in my work for him in this life, God had to become number one. I can’t remember ever struggling so hard to let something go like I did then. It made me even more upset with God. Why couldn’t He just find another way to teach me to love Him better? Why strip me of my precious talent that held all my dreams? But dear friends, aren’t dreams supposed to be held in the hands of our loving Father, God?—this I had to learn soon.

Making me choose was making me take a stand. I knew I loved God, and this is what followed: for two years I continued my life as a Christian but avoided the topic with God. I had given my life to Him but I hadn’t submitted that part of me. And of course, being so consciously aware of God, I didn’t dare write another secular fiction either. I was in a fix. I didn’t submit to God but I didn’t move forward with secular fiction either. I sensed that my position seriously stunted my spiritual growth and marred my walk with God. This hurt and frustrated me more than I wanted to admit. With each day that passed by, I knew I wanted to be closer to God. But that meant giving up something precious.

One day I couldn’t take it anymore. It was either God or my writing. It felt like Abraham’s story all over again—God or Isaac? Only this time it was happening to me. As painful as it was, I let my Isaac (writing) go. As strained and small as my faith was, I chose to believe that God would comfort and grant me fulfillment in another way. But isn’t that what Jesus said? Faith the size of a mustard seed could do wonders (paraphrased). And true to that, God took my broken heart and mended it. He took my hand and led me, and blessed me. In that short period, God led me along a path that changed my life forever.

Sometime afterwards while I was an intern at a government facility, I came across a lady that was into Christian Fiction. At about that time I also discovered a neighbor that devoured Christian fiction as well. Between these two ladies, I didn’t lack any Christian Fiction reads. It was about that time I came across books by Dee Henderson, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Lori Wick, Catherine Palmer, who soon became favorites of mine. Before I knew it, I was so much into Christian Fiction I wasn’t paying as much attention to secular fiction anymore. I remember one time putting aside Sydney Sheldon’s New York Time’s Bestseller, ‘The Sands of Time’ for Dee Henderson’s ‘The Negotiator’, without blinking. It had gotten to the point where it wasn’t just about how engaging the stories were anymore, but also what messages they carried. They represented God’s truth—leisure and entertainment interwoven with life-changing words. It was like I was rubbing minds with these books and they were rubbing minds with me. They taught me, grew me and broadened my perspective in so many ways that I never imagined. They were clearly set apart from secular reads that offered nothing more than a fantastically engaging plot at best, but no more. The secular romance reads were worse for me. Aside the fact that it felt like the same story was being told over and over again with different characters, they managed to do a good job of messing up my virgin mind. That did it for me. They had to go.

Then one clear sunny day, God told me, “Write again.” I was in so much shock, I pushed it aside as my mind playing tricks on me. Perhaps, it wanted to turn rebellious again and seek its own way. That frightened me. So I decided within me that I wouldn’t put up with any rebellious thoughts. I resisted. I loved God more. Period. But God who understood my fear, went on to confirm His Word in ways that were clearly unmistakable. Indeed, those who lay down their lives will take it up again, and those who lose it, will find it.

I found it. But this time, with a clear purpose in mind. I understood what it was meant for in my life. I understood that it is a calling, a ministry, not one to be taken lightly. I understood that I’m supposed to use it to encourage and teach the children of God and anyone else who cared to listen (or read). Just like parables, God would use it to heal the broken-hearted and restore hope to the disheartened. When I finally accepted this quest (if I would call it that!), a joy that I had never known before, filled my heart and my spirit. And it has never left me since.

Despite bumpy roads and difficult turns that could be faith-sapping, God has been faithful in leading me and preparing me. It’s clear that there is no turning back for me. And to add to the testimony of Christian Fiction, I have experienced firsthand its powerful effect, even in very recent times. God has used it to provide answers that I’ve prayed and waited for, and even to heal some of my brokenness. This happened even with the most recent books some authors/publishers offered to me to review. It’s so amazing how they came at just the right time!

Hear me now, children of God: for the times when you’re dealing with issues that you feel you can’t talk to anyone about except God, He can/may use fiction to teach you and heal you, just as Jesus did with parables, and is still doing today. In fact, records have it that Jesus taught more in parables than in straight language. For those of us whom God has called to use words as our tools, this is no different and shouldn’t come as a surprise. A servant after all, is never greater than his master. If Jesus is our Master, then we as good servants can only follow in His footsteps.

Readers, God bless you for choosing Christian Fiction and receiving the Truth that comes with it. And writers, as long as your work is in keeping with the standards of Scripture, God bless you even more for choosing to pour out of your hearts the truth that God has stored there. By your work, He is using you to reach the lost and the broken. And you are more blessed for this because it is better to give than to receive. Amen!

Friends, to read the Savvy Saturday Weekly Paper for readers and writers, go here.

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17 Comments

  1. Dear Miranda,
    Thank you so, so much for the words you wrote on my blog! Oh, your words blessed me so much, my Sister in Christ!

    And what you wrote here about Christianity in stories says so much that is true!
    “I remember one time putting aside Sydney Sheldon’s New York Time’s Bestseller, ‘The Sands of Time’ for Dee Henderson’s ‘The Negotiator’, without blinking. It had gotten to the point where it wasn’t just about how engaging the stories were anymore, but also what messages they carried. They represented God’s truth—leisure and entertainment interwoven with life-changing words. It was like I was rubbing minds with these books and they were rubbing minds with me. They taught me, grew me and broadened my perspective in so many ways that I never imagined.”

    I agree! There are so many fine, fine authors who weave truth into their tales so that it hits you right in the heart as you read.

    Writing and words and stories should be delighted in, and it is a true gift to have the calling to write and spread His truth with story! Because we know and love the One who made the worlds with Words, who wrote a Book to reveal Himself to us, and who sweeps us up in the Grandest Story of all…

    Blessings in Christ, and Glory to God for giving us words and tales.
    ~Faith

    • Faith, we certainly have a lot in common! You’ve blessed me so much with these words and inspire me even more. I’m so glad I took the step to explore your blog after thosez reviews you posted on blogging for books. I hope we have many more blogging and reviewing days together. Thank you so much for stopping by dear sister. I’m looking forward to your reviews.

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  3. WOW, Miranda, what an incredibly anointed piece!! I have to smile how God nudges us towards His will for us. 🙂

    Especially appreciate this line: “As painful as it was, I let my Isaac (writing) go. As strained and small as my faith was, I chose to believe that God would comfort and grant me fulfillment in another way. ”

    Oh, AMEN!! Ironically, I call this “The Abraham Factor” in my latest novel, building a whole scene around it, so it’s VERY fresh in my mind, beautifully underscored for me by your incredible post!

    I am excited to see where God takes you on this writing journey! We don’t know when or where … but we DO know it will be good. 🙂

    Hugs,
    Julie

    • Julie, I’m so happy you found this piece interesting! And to call it anointed, that just makes my day! It reminds me that God can use my words not only through fiction, but with blog posts as well.

      And thank you for sharing in the excitement! God is leading me, and it’s amazing how my faith grows everyday. Not with smooth roads and joyrides all the time, but with the tough times too. God’s faithfulness is so evident! And I’m so thankful for that.

      I look forward to reading that new book with ‘The Abraham Factor’ in it. I already feel excited to learn something new, and be reminded of the old truths already learned. Time and again, God has taken me back to that story and I’ve learned so much (isn’t it amazing how timeless the Bible is?). Learning trust by letting my ‘Isaac’ go, was just one of them.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. It means a lot to me!

      Hugs,

      Miranda

  4. Hi Miranda! I really enjoyed reading about your journey!! Isn’t it just like God to ask us to lay something down without telling us the goodie He has waiting in the wings?? He wants our utmost trust and love before all else. But, oh, how He joys in lavishing us with wonderful surprises once we do!! He is such a good, loving Father!! Thank you for sharing your story… IT sounds like God is taking you down a wild adventure.. Just hang onto HIm and enjoy the ride!!! Many blessings to you!!

    • Thank you so much MaryLu! I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I certainly look forward to where God is taking me. The path isn’t always easy, but God is in control and I trust Him completely!

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my story. 🙂

  5. Dr. Miranda,

    What a wonderful, inspirational, and applicable write up! It is very clear that you have a calling to write in such a way as to make a difference in the lives of others. Your story, although unique, is so similar to the journey God has taken me on as well, in his restorative work in my life. He helped me peal off what was not from him and in the process I discovered that he has called me to be a leader, teacher, communicator, and developer. I have been called to write to inspire, teach, and develop others both in and outside of the body of Christ.
    I felt I was often being sidelined from making a difference when often I was being sent to my office to just write! I would at times look out my window like a child sent to his room for timeout while his friends played ball out in the back yard.
    I have sense embraced why God has called me to this specific role in ministry. A fellow minister and friend was told me that I have been given the calling of a scribe. He asked me did I understand the value and importance scribes had in the shaping of culture?
    You words showed me my journey all over again and confirmed in me that God is taking us on a journey for our benefit and his glory.
    I will add as one who has a discerning gift as well that I believe you also have a gift of teaching. Your writing is so annointingly (I know I made up a word) clear that no only does it inspire readers, it will also give them clear ways of making personal application as well. Please be encouraged! You now have added a supporter and reader…I look forward to learning and being inspired by your writing!

    Blessing to you and yours,
    Tommy

    • Tommy, thank you so much for your words. They are so encouraging. I never once thought that a writer called by God is also a scribe. I will definitely ponder on that prayerfully. I’m humbled and honored that you perceive anointing in this story. And yes, I’ve often wondered that I’ve been called to teach, and I look forward to it joyfully in my writing.

      Thank you again for stopping by. I really appreciate it!

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  11. drmels says

    This period of my life, just like you, am struggling to let go. . . I guess it would have been easier if God gave me a replacement of what am letting go of . . Thank you for helping me believe that God would comfort me and grant me fulfillment in another way. . . This post is really anointed. . I love Christian fictions and I also love to write. . . I would love to read your debut novel “to die once”. . Please how do I get it?

    • Hello! I’m glad this post is helpful to you. I can only imagine what you’re going through … saying a prayer for you right now. Just hold on tight to God, and don’t let go. And you can be sure He’s holding on to you right now (and forever) and won’t let go!!

      I’m delighted you want to read my book. It’s available on Amazon, Kobo and Smashwords, and in a few days, hopefully, will be available on iStore, B&N, and other international stores. An easy access to the links is on the ‘To Die Once’ page at the top of this blog page. Just click on it, and you’ll find every information you need on the book. Thank you for asking. Please let me know if you encounter any problems or if there’s anything else you need to know. 🙂

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