One of the difficulties of Christian fiction is Romans 8:28. “All things work to the good…” Happy endings edify, if you tell Truth. Life is hard, right? Our task is to tell a compelling story while dealing wih these Truths.
Happy endings edify, but in this life is tribulation
Both of these things are true also. The Christian life is an interesting paradox, and completely confusing to the non-believer. My wife and I were talking this morning about something the Lord’s doing in our lives which would be foolish to share…even with believers.
The Lord had to put me through a lot of schooling. He had to let me go through a lot of things, so that now I know what I am talking about. I don’t tell about the tragedies; that is nobody’s business. You don’t publish your sufferings; you mask them. That is scriptural: “You anoint your head.” (Matt. 6:17, 18) Golden Grain, John Wright Follette
John is speaking truth here. So, what do we do? I can agree with John. I’ve been walkin’ with the Lord over forty years, and I’ve seen some really rough times. But they were specifically tailored to my needs as (with my prayer and submission) He cleaned out the garbage in my life and brought me into a semblance of righteousness.
But, I was truly a drug-crazed hippie when I finally turned to the Lord in desperation. It’s highly unlikely that much of my early post-conversion life would be edifying to anyone but me. I can use none of it in my teaching.
But! Are early trials useful?
As I look back on my life, all I really remember well are the victories, deliverances, and crises. What I must decide is what is necessary for the reader. I cannot do that.
But the Holy Spirit can. You cannot write transformational fiction without the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But if you ask, He will show you how to make it real without mucking it up with the swine.
Don’t drag your readers through the muck. Let the Spirit show you the necessary, so your happy endings are realistic and redemptive.