Hello Twinkle Toes,
This is a combo post since I'm in a contrary mood. I want to share my latest cover but it's also been on my heart to share a piece of myself also.
If you’ve read my author bio or interacted with me at all online, you probably realise I try not to take myself too seriously. Life is too short to be all doom and gloom, and sometimes the best way to deal with things is to laugh, right?
But in order to be authentic and real (something I value highly) I’m going to share more than I usually do because out there someone might actually need to hear what I have to say. So here goes.
I call myself a misfit, non-conformist Christian. And that’s a label I wear happily. Yes, happily.
I'm happy I don't conform to the standards of this world or to the complicated standards religion sets. I would far rather conform to God's standards of love as demonstrated in His son.
Those standards speak of things that aren't complicated at all. Compassion, patience, kindness and forgiveness are concepts children learn (I know I did) but often lose while indoctrinated through church.
Now, I'm not saying ALL churches are this way, I'm saying that some churches get so hung up on the law, and how they should be acting, they miss the joy of knowing Jesus they way that children instinctively do. With childlike faith.
You see, I grew up in church. Lots of ‘em in fact. From Anglican to Pentecostal, I’ve fluttered around trying to find a place to fit in. I’ve also lived on the other side of the tracks, made some bad calls and lived a lot of things to regret.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. Why? Because it made me see that there are many aspects of life that aren't simple. And it's given me an opportunity to be able to relate to different people over the years. But mostly, I don't think it's bad because God has used every single one of those experiences for His purpose.
That’s my truth. That’s what comes out in the themes I choose to write about, and it comes out in the way I represent faith in my work. Yes, some of my 'Christian' characters make crazy decisions and do bad things, but underneath it all, they are just like I was, trying to find their place in the world and trying to figure out who God is.
That's why I write characters who aren't all 'perfect' Christians who never put a foot wrong. How could I write perfection when I'm not perfect? I'm horribly, hopelessly, terribly flawed. I make awful decisions, act impulsively and am prone to getting riled up. And that is just the tip of the iceberg as far as flaws go...
And I know that if some of you knew the horrible, wicked things I've done in my life, you might tell me I'm not a proper Christian for having done them.
And you'd be right. Because there is nothing 'proper' when Jesus pulls you up and out of sin.
Religion is proper. Religion likes to parade around, and put on airs. Religion likes to think it is better than everyone else because it does and says certain things in public. Religion does not get down on it's knees and plead for forgiveness for the things they have done. Religion does not repent and admit they were wrong.
Jesus is not religion. Jesus was not proper. Jesus was humble, merciful, and at times filled with righteous anger at the misuse of His father's law and the injustice of the world.
And that is why I am happy I don't fit in. That is why I would follow Jesus anywhere He leads me. Because religion didn't yank me out of the pits of despair when I had lost hope. Religion didn't wrap me in it's arms and shelter me and tell me everything was going to be alright.
Religion told me the opposite. Religion told me if I just prayed a little more, if I just studied a little more, if I just followed the rules and laws I could save myself.
This is why I would rather be a Misfit who shows compassion and kindness than fit in to what religion deems acceptable behaviour. And I would rather be able to help someone who is struggling than look away because I don't want to get involved.
Which brings me to the point of the serious part of this post. If you’d like to chat without fear of judgement and need to talk about important topics e.g. suicide and depression in a supportive place, with like minded people, my Facebook group Misfits, Truth Seekers & Nonconformists might suit you. I'm pretty candid about my own life experiences, because I'm a very open and honest person, so be warned. You may just learn a bunch about me you'd rather not.
Feel free to message me questions or join and lurk if you are unsure. But if you are a troll spoiling for a rumble, or looking to argue, you picked the wrong place.
Here's the messy link for the group (appropriate since I'm a mess) I'm ironing out some glitches on the member questions, so if I don't know you and you want to join prepare for me to stalk you. (In the nicest possible way of course) I value my privacy and the privacy of those who have joined.
Now, on to the lighter part of this post....Savannah Jezowski, who by the way, writes amazingly gritty and meaty faith based stories, has designed an astonishingly beautiful cover for me. She's made some beautiful graphics up and I'm sharing this one just with you. Just keep on scrolling down the page. *winks*
Thanks for reading this. And thank you for your continued support. I'm about to put the kettle on and have a cup of peppermint and lemon tea...possibly some ginger crunch and hopefully do some writing. *grins*
As always, big smoochie kisses from NZ