By Angela Beach Silverthorne
Someone asked me why I loved to write. So many words ran through my mind, but one stood out. CHOICE.
I feel a need to write about the cost of choice, to show readers strategies that lead to success or failure.
Life choices are complicated and serious. I’m not talking about picking your favorite flavor of ice cream. I’m talking about decisions that change, transform, and destroy.
As a writer, I paint word pictures conjuring up good and bad characters and then throw them into a myriad of life scenarios. I allow their lives to touch one another in positive and negative ways. Once their lives are entwined, what erupts is not always pretty. Evil challenges good. One person makes an irreversible decision that often whiplashes onto other characters. Sometimes the weak become strong and the strong become weak. Other times the weak sink in despair and the strong get fiercer and more determined.
As an author, this is where my role is pivotal.
The characters begin to ponder their choices. They look at how to maneuver through and around them. Once a choice is made it is hard to withdraw it without cost or stabilize it without regret and remorse. Choice shapes the course of one’s history, setting up internal conflict, igniting dry brush into forest fires or bursting a dry meadow into lush green.
I want readers to visualize the importance and cost of their choices.
Why am I so passionate about this? Because I’ve made some poor choices. I see others do the same thing without stopping to think about the repercussions.
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” ~Natalie Goldberg
So, I write and speak about what disturbs me.
Having worked as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused, abandoned, and neglected children and later working with their abused mothers, I am passionate about the topic of choice. So passionate I write about real-life characters (names changed to protect the innocent) whose lives are messed up because of poor choices, and the people that come alongside them to encourage better life choices and options for difficult situations.
God has had me on a journey, facing my own demons and ministering to those whose demons have cut deep into their joy. Cries of Innocence, Cries of Grace, and Cries of Mercy (2018) demonstrate how people can rise above abuse, disappointment, and brokenness.
I have an awesome, but sometimes daunting responsibility as an author. When I write I am given the opportunity to touch the mind, heart, and soul of the reader.
“The printed word only has the potential for meaning, implication, response, and result. The reader is the one who must activate that potential and breathe life into words. How else could the quiet printed text become an active interplay of ideas and feelings. Reading makes things happen as we imagine what the characters are doing, and how they are going to navigate through situations and critical choices.
“Reading prepares us for the unexpected. It helps us share in a common humanity, encourages us to see other’s views, and depicts a myriad of life’s experiences for us to contemplate. Reading can make us see a new world or the same world in a new way.” ~Angela Beach Silverthorne, SUNY Graduate paper The Power of Reading
Here are three strategies I use when faced with a choice:
- Stop. Don’t make a hasty decision. The world will not fall apart if you wait. Psalm 27:14
“Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.”
- Pray. Don’t feel pressure to make a rash decision. Psalm 62: 5 “My soul, wait in silence for God only.”
- Write out the options. Choose wisely. Pray over your decision. Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking . . . to have peace.”
Never underestimate the cost of choice.
God bless you,
Angela Beach Silverthorne and her husband of 47 years, Dallas, live in Virginia Beach, Virginia with their Boston terrier, Miss Lillie. They are the parents of 3 granddaughters and have 9 grandchildren who often beg her to tell them “one more story.” She has a special place in her heart for women who are victims of abuse, brokenness, insecurity, and self-doubt. Visit Angela at www.angelabeachsilverthorne.blogspot.com