By Kariss Lynch
It’s inevitable in writing, publishing, and life – there will be high highs and low lows and sweet moments in between. How we handle both extremes often demonstrates our character. A slap to my writing and to my dreams caused me to wrestle with this concept when I graduated from college. I began to wonder, “Is God good in the midst of my earthquakes?”
This question surged in earnest when I watched from my safe home in Texas as an earthquake demolished the capitol of Haiti, an already impoverished country. It made my personal earthquakes look like a walk on the beach on slightly rocky sand.
From that devastating event and the stories I heard, Shaken was born. On February 4, Shaken celebrated two years of publication, but the question the book is wrapped around remains, “Is God good in the midst of earthquakes? How am I supposed to respond when they shake my very foundation?”
I loved wrestling through these questions with my character, Kaylan, as she fell in love with a people and country and then stood in the settling dust and rubble questioning the goodness of God and grieving. From the dust, a fighter emerged. I loved watching her Navy SEAL boyfriend, struggling with lingering PTSD, hold her up and then point her to her ultimate strength – Jesus. I loved that the journey was messy. As I wrestled with Kaylan, I also loved that I knew without a doubt where Kaylan would land, where you and I have to land after our own earthquakes – God is good, He is on His throne, and hope is found in Him alone. The road to reach that place differs for each of us, and sometimes it isn’t pretty. But the end is guaranteed.
He’s in the midst of the rumbling when family members leave us for their eternal home. He’s quietly lingering in the dust that fogs our view of the big picture when we or the people around us struggle with lies and addiction and other sin. He’s holding your hand when you cry aloud and ask Him the hard questions. He’s behind the scenes offering support and rebuilding in the rubble when our writing dreams take a hard turn.
He’s in the people He sends to support and celebrate you. He’s grinning from ear to ear when you sign that new contract or discover that new story idea or craft a scene that makes you cheer. He’s holding you when you run to Him, seek His help, and tell Him about your day. He’s there. At the end of the shaking, He is hope and stability and a beautiful future for you, not because life is always rosy but because our hope is not rooted in this temporary place where earthquakes devastate.
Our God is sovereignly in the middle of our earthquakes and mountain tops, sweet writer friend, and my prayer is that you cling to the beautiful hope He gives in this journey, even when you are shaken.
Kariss Lynch writes contemporary romance about characters with big dreams, adventurous hearts, and enduring hope. Surrendered, the final book in her Heart of a Warrior series, released in December 2015. In her free time, she hangs out with her family and friends, explores the great outdoors, and tries not to plot five stories at once. Connect with her at karisslynch.com.