I was born into a family and extended family who believed the Bible, loved Jesus, and followed Him to the best of their abilities. I invited Jesus to be my Savior when I was a young child. Later I attended a Christian boarding school for high school and a year and a half of Bible school before marrying and starting a family. I have grappled with my faith with questions such as:
• Did I only believe because I’d been brainwashed as a child?
• Did/does God really exist?
• Did He create the world or did it evolve from nothing?
• Did/does He love me — not only as part of His human creation, but as an individual?
• How can a loving God punish those who’ve never even heard of Him?
I don’t know that my questions will ever end, and that’s not a bad thing! The Bible is complex, and humans were made to be inquisitive, thinking beings. I’m not a theologian. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but this is what I believe:
1. I believe there is one true God eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God, fully human and fully divine, and lived on Earth as God in the flesh.
2. I believe that the Holy Bible is God’s only inspired Word to humans, is infallible, and is perfect for instruction.
3. I believe that humankind is sinful and lost, requiring the one-time sacrifice of God’s perfect Son, Jesus, to offer salvation, fellowship with God, and eternal life.
4. I believe that Jesus’ death on the cross offers the only way to reconcile to God once-for-all to those who repent, ask forgiveness, and accept God’s free gift of salvation to all who believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
I mentioned above that I still wrestle with theological questions and don’t claim to have all the answers. I do spend time in God’s Word and in prayer daily, seeking understanding. But another way I work out these questions is by giving them to characters in my stories.
If you’re wondering if you’re alone in your struggles, you might identify with Chelsea in Plum Upside Down.
If you’ve rejected your faith because you feel disillusioned, you might identify with Liz in Berry on Top.