At first, I thought I would just be sharing a life post but because of the fear that has set against me, it is in a way a life update as well.
I am in my fifth year of working with this series idea. At the end of 2012, God really helped me trust Him and showed me how He answers prayer. So at the beginning of 2013, I wanted to work on something I could give Him as my crown.
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Ever since I was four, He gave me an imaginative game and story. The origins of the book series.
One of the main lessons of the book series, one of the first lessons God gave me, is to, “Never forget where you came from.” Alongside that there is always more we need to understand.
In 2013, I started crafting characters. I didn’t know much about them. Not yet. Not ever completing a novel before, let alone, reaching halfway through writing one, I knew I needed to work on writing itself.
So, in order to get to know the characters, I thought I would write a particular scene with each of the main characters.
The first time I was ready to write the first character scene was in June 2013.
I was absolutely terrified.
I had never written anything like this before. In fact, since the age of 13, I only wrote poetry. I never imagined myself as a novelist. Which is why the desire to write a book series for God wasn’t exactly what I planned on, but that was what was planted in my heart.
I prayed before writing and I cried out to God.
The scene was very simple, only three pages.
A girl who knew the answers to a test, yet saw a change in someone she admired deeply. She had the choice to either go along with what she was told or go against it.
It was only when she turned against what someone wanted her to believe as truth, that my God character shows her what truth is.
The writing was coming from a part of my own spirit I didn’t think was existent.
Yet, here I was, with something staring back at me saying, “You did this. God showed you how.”
Two months later, in August, I started the first page of the next character. She had a disability, and her parents neglected her often, I didn’t even realize the pain I was writing onto this character, I wrote her pain out alongside hope and despair.
But by the second page, I knew this had a bigger story and a bigger secret than what was known.
If I wanted to write the crucial scene for the character, I needed to know the events before it took place.
I needed to write a novel. Something I didn’t think possible.
This what started the test novels. It took me over a year to write my first novel in 2014. The depth of darkness fighting against light, the lies fighting against hope, and the faith fighting against deceit. I was starting to learn the overall story.
In November 2014, my husband got orders to spend a year in South Korea, the following summer. I would spend an entire year by myself living in a state where I hardly knew anyone.
God used the first novel to speak to me. A character became deceived because he didn’t really know the truth, and God reminded me that I did, I knew the truth. I knew God would be there for me. He would provide, just like He always has.
The months between receiving the orders and before my husband left, I completed writing my second novel in late June 2015.
A girl who feels confused and hurt no one accepts her, and her best friend always hurts her. The further she tries to find strength, the more she gets kicked down. By the time, peers reach out, she has trust and anger issues. But later, she learns of someone who has much bigger trust and anger issues. She learns someone has to stand up through pain.
This novel spoke to me because I had fear. I had pain. I was lonely. I had shut out a lot of my feelings before my husband left, and he too, we didn’t know how to cope or talk about what would soon happen. But during this God grew a friendship for me, and I became really good friends with Andrea and her husband. They are the ones pastoring in Little Rock.
When my husband left, I wanted the next year to be about growing with God no matter what.
The third novel, which dealt with my first character I wrote a scene for, I wanted to expand her story. I wanted to learn about her family, and see how these characters connected to the other novels.
As with the first scene, my character had to battle truth.
Between what she thought she knew, and what she wanted to hope in and believe, against the fear of being wrong. She learned faith pushed what seemed impossible.
Forget the character, just a bit, I learned a lot. This novel took me the longest, as life happened. I finished writing it in April of last year, 2017.
The novels were beginning to piece together the overall framework of the entire series.
I started the first book, which mainly focuses on my first character and her story. I know her backstory. I lived it with her. But new challenges await.
I started to become afraid and doubt myself. What is the right way to tell the overall story? Maybe, my approach is wrong. Maybe, people won’t like it. Maybe…it’s too different.
But I thought about what God has done.
During the time of the third novel, it was June 2016. Three years almost since I wrote the first scene.
June 2016 is an important time because it was when I wrote my first blog post on this blog. I wrote what God put on my heart because I knew while I write the series, I needed to praise God through writing, and reach other believers as well.
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Inside Cup is meant to share all the lessons that God teaches me, but it’s brought a lot more.
I look back now, and I didn’t think Inside Cup could come this far. I wanted to hope, but I doubted. Just like the first novel.
But I worked on continuing to write for God because I needed to. Standing through pain, and fear, like the second novel.
And now…as my eyes brim with tears, I see with truth the connection to the third novel. It’s easy to be afraid and to trust my own knowledge and thinking. It’s hard to trust in the unseen. To go further than what I think I know.
But that is exactly what I must do.
I need to trust the One I call, “Great One.” Because He makes things happen. If I am on the path I need to be on, then God will show me what to do.
He has inspired so many lessons, symbols, characters, and scenes already for the book series. I can’t doubt Him now.
I can’t let my own doubt take away something that He gave me since I was four years old.
The testimony alone of this book series is huge. I can seriously point to God in every single direction. The blogging, this amazing community, all of you are part of this testimony.
I was accustomed to doubting myself. So many people made fun of me, as a kid, for being attached to this imaginative world. I was told by a professor, who never looked at my work, I would go nowhere as a writer.
God never treated me this way. He always gave me a reason, and I believe the series is part of my calling. It is something I’ve never understood before, but He has always known since before I was born.
The adventure I always imagined myself to be on as a child, never faded.
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And I know He is on the adventure with me. He may plan the journey, but He walks every step with me.
He’s my Teacher.
He’s the center.
He’s my everything.
He connects everything for me.
I will continue to walk forward in darkness because God Almighty provides His light.
Even in uncertainty. He’s there.
Even in uncertainty, He is still the Great One.
(NIV) Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
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