Lately, as I've been editing my stripling warrior series, I'm finding these bits of useful information and wondering where on earth they came from. I'm way too stupid to have put them in deliberately. I came across this one tonight as I was editing In All Places.
Keturah is thinking about reasons why Gideon has not come for her. She knows he loves her, and yet, he stays away. She goes through this year of doubting herself and her ability to hear the Holy Ghost. This is what she says.
"I reminded myself how Gideon had not intervened when my unit teased and persecuted me. He had stood back and let me fight my own battles. To make me strong. To make me sure of myself. And I thought with tentative hope that maybe there could be something left for me. Maybe I could win this battle in my heart."
The phrase that keeps rolling through my mind is "to make me strong." That is why God gives us trials. That is why he lets us suffer for a time. That is why he allows temptations. That is the whole reason we are here--to become strong, and smart, and sure by faith, and I wish I could keep this all in perspective more than I do. When you realize what trials are doing to you--making you strong--and that they are all temporary, they become so much easier to bear. So often, I pray for perspective, and as always, God teaches me through one of the things I understand best--revision.
Battles of the heart don't always refer to falling in love, and even Ket has a couple different battles going on inside. There is her relationship with both Zeke and Gideon, but more importantly, there is her relationship with God. She's having trust issues and faith issues with Him, and I think that's something we all have in our relationship with God from time to time, especially in times of hardship.
I was reading the part where the striplings are nearly starving and Ket prays and how her burdens lift when she realizes they are not hers to bear, of the word of God and the love of God and dealing with problems that are bigger than her faith. And I think, how on earth did I write this? When did I learn these things? And if I know them, why do I have such a hard time applying them?
I've always disliked that part of the book. I've rewritten it plenty of times, but never felt good about taking it out. It turns out that I was the one who needed for it to stay in the book.
I got this sweet message from a reader yesterday. The girl said she hadn't been able to find many clean books lately, and thank you thank you thank you for writing my books. Is that the saddest thing you've ever heard? That girls who are looking for books that are clean, who don't want to be embarrassed about what they find in a book or completely surprised by it, can't find them?
I guess the point, if I have one, is that even though I sometimes feel like a big fat phony, writing LDS books, and failing to be able to follow my own bits of counsel, it's still totally worth every second I spend on it, which is a lot.
As always, thanks for stopping by the blog, and I hope you have a lovely Sunday.