Happy New Year’s Eve, readers! As we look forward to a promising new year and all the blessings that are to come, it is important to reflect on all that God has done for us as 2015 draws to a close. Sometimes, it is easy to follow His path but often times, we question where He may be leading us only to end up somewhere more wonderful than we could have ever desired.
As believers, we all ask questions of the Lord. Author Francine Rivers uses these questions as the seeds in which to grow all of her stories. Read below as Francine takes us through the questions she asked of God as she prepared to begin a new story.
Almost every story I have written since becoming a Christian has come from a question that regards a struggle in my own faith walk. The plot centers around the different ways that question can be answered by “the world” – but the quest is to find God’s answer.
Here is a list of my novels with the questions that started each story:
A Voice in the Wind: How do I share my faith with unsaved family members and friends who have no desire to read the Bible or hear me talk about my faith?
An Echo in the Darkness: How many times are we called upon to forgive people who hurt us deliberately — and (in many countries) would like to see us dead?
As Sure As the Dawn: How do you deal with anger – especially when there is “good” cause? What is “righteous anger” and how does it look?
The Scarlet Thread: What does “sovereignty” mean in man’s relationship with God? If He is in control of everything, what does that say about the bad things that happen to people?
The Atonement Child: Is there complete forgiveness and restoration for a woman who has aborted her child? Does abortion have any effect on the woman and the man involved in the crisis pregnancy? Does it impact people around them? (This was my most painful and personal book because I needed to face and deal with my own abortion experience. The character of Hannah is based on my story; Evie is based on my mother’s.)
The Last Sin Eater: What is the difference between guilt and conviction? This book came out of The Atonement Child. What I learned: guilt kept me imprisoned for years. Conviction sent me to my knees before the Lord where I received forgiveness and experienced His love and grace.
Leota’s Garden: Are abortion and euthanasia connected? Is euthanasia merciful or an act of murder? This novel also came out of my work on The Atonement Child. While studying the abortion issue from all sides, I realized the arguments for abortion are exactly the same as those for euthanasia. While going through a post-abortion class with other women (one a nurse), I learned that the elderly are already at risk. One scene in the book continues to shock people. I wrote it for that purpose. I want people to understand life is precious. The movement toward legalizing euthanasia continues to gain momentum (and has less to do with “mercy” than saving money for care).
And the Shofar Blew: What is a church? How do you build it? During my travels around the country and speaking at various churches, I saw many struggling through building projects and massive programs to draw more parishioners. Size of building and number of people in the pews seemed to define success or failure. Like a government out of control, the “church” (in many cases) has forgotten its foundation and purpose. Christ is the cornerstone. Believers meet together to study the Word of God, worship Him and encourage one another – and keep their doors and hearts open to those seeking God. Unfortunately, too many congregations have left their first love (Jesus Christ) and turned to idolatry (placing a building/drawing a crowd/being “politically correct” above a relationship with the Lord).
Her Mother’s Hope / Her Daughter’s Dream: What caused the rift between my grandmother and mother? When my grandmother had a stroke, my mother raced from Oregon to the Central Valley of California to be with her. Grandma died before she arrived. My mother was heart-broken and said, “I think she willed herself to die just so we wouldn’t have to talk things out.” I have wondered since: What causes people (even Christians) to hold grudges? What might have brought resolution and restoration to these two women? Could my grandmother have loved my mother without my mother understanding it?
Happy New Year!