Greetings, Writers. Our guest post for this week is from a long-time committee volunteer who has moved up to our advisory board. She has great perspectives on both writing and the Christian walk, and she shows well how they work together in this post.
The Awful Truth
KCWC Guest Post by Kristy Horine
When I was in elementary school, I cheated on a test.
Probably not the first line you would expect from a Christian writer, yet it is one awful truth from my past. The guilt from that sin ate at my gut, pricked my conscience with a thousand blazing needles, and eventually left me in a torrent of tears as I confessed to my teacher.
I cannot count the times since then when I have thought, “If only that incident was the worst of the awful truths from my past.”
Awful Truths, dear Christian writer, are universal connection points between all of humanity. We tend to cloak Awful Truths with Secrets. Take note:
- We all have Secrets. They fall into the Thought, Word, and Deed categories.
- We all have emotions attached to those Secrets. The emotions include, but are not limited to Guilt, Shame, Fear, Pride (Yikes!) or a vicious combination of any or all of those.
- We all have a pathological escape plan from those Secrets. Consider Original Sin. Not only did Adam and Eve try to hide their sin by sewing fig leaves together, they played the Blame Game to avoid detection and confession.
Why on earth does this matter to a Christian writer?
First, knowing and understanding Awful Truths and Secrets can help us with characterization and plot. Take note:
- Has your character been shaped by an Awful Truth from childhood?
- Does your character feel the burden of protecting someone else’s Awful Truth?
- What does your character stand to lose if their secret is out in the open?
- What happens when that secret is revealed, but the character wants to remain in the Awful Truth?
- What happens when a villain discovers a character’s Awful Truth?
Second, and most importantly, knowing and understanding Awful Truths and Secrets can help us share the sweet relief of Redemption.
The word redeem means to deliver, to liberate, to pay the ransom for. No matter where you go to church or what denomination you claim, one of the most basic truths of the gospel is that Jesus Christ paid the ransom for sin with His very blood. Therefore, we find ultimate and eternal redemption through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
For our characters, and ourselves, it is one thing for Jesus to know of our sins; it is quite another thing for our neighbors, our co-workers, our families, or our fellow church members to know of our sins. How can we ever walk among people again? The answer is found in our third and final point:
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 (NKJV)
Did you catch that? Confessions and prayer bring healing.
Awful Truths and Secrets leave wounds. Some are emotional. Some are mental. Some are physical. Yet, wounds eventually turn into scabs. Those scabs eventually turn into scars. Scars eventually fade, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.
Healing is a process. A sweet gift of hope. That’s good enough to write about.
Kristy Horine is a multi-published, award-winning Kentucky freelance journalist and creative writer. She served as the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference Publicity Chair from 2017 to 2019 before moving into her current role as Executive Board Member. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2018, currently serving as the Ohio Valley Zone Director. She makes her home in Paris, Kentucky. Her desire is to be found faithful with her writing and her life. Contact Kristy via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.