When I started writing Stones of Remembrance, I didn’t necessarily expect it to take all the twists and turns that it did. I hadn’t laid in bed at night dreaming about pushing on some of the boundaries of Christian romance, I didn’t even anticipate publishing this book. I just wanted to write. As I did, the underlying and maybe not so blatant message about who we are as physical beings began to show itself. It was really a learning curve for me. I wrote things that made me feel a little guilty, but also invigorated, and had me looking from side to side to see who might be watching (just my wii-mote-wielding-4-year-old and a super sweet baby who was probably too busy dumping Cheerios out in the kitchen.). The Father gave me permission to explore some areas in my heart that had been closed off, as well as to imagine what it would be like if I’d heard some things presented and taught a bit differently while growing up. I found out that it was okay to acknowledge some of those things that had been bound up tight inside of me, and that I wasn’t the only one who’d been adversely affected by some of the ideals that existed in adolescence.
This past week I really began contemplating what I would want to say to women if I were given a platform. I went to my bible and read about Adam and Eve and the fall, and for the first time it struck me that the very first thing that happened after they ate the fruit that God had forbidden them to eat was that they felt shame for their nakedness. They suddenly realized that they were naked and were embarrassed. Before that, they’d happily gone about their business with their hoohahs hanging out! Then I thought about Moses re-telling the story to a group of children, and I imagined them all snickering (they way kids do today) about the fact that Adam and Eve were ever comfortable being naked. The more I thought about what a gift our sexual beings and relationships with our spouses are, the more I realized that acknowledging that gift is directly tied to accepting the Father’s goodness.
There is so much shame wrapped up in sex these days, especially in the church. Everything is taboo and you better stay away from the all-powerful “heat of the moment” lest it swallow you whole (It would have been awesome if someone had actually explained what that phrase meant. I knew it was bad, but I had no idea what it felt like or how I should get myself out of it when it hit.). But the truth is that we were created as sexual beings because the Father loves us and wants to experience His goodness. Until I started writing SoR, I never really realized that I was struggling with accepting that goodness. I didn’t realize that I had trouble believing that he wasn’t out to get me, and that feeling certain things wasn’t sinful or even shameful. It was how I was created.
Even as I wrote the book, which in my current opinion is actually pretty tame, I had insecurity in the truths that God was revealing. Then I began wrestling with the main theme: His goodness.
In my thought process this week, as I mentioned, I discovered that receiving His goodness is directly related to believing the truth about who we are as sexual beings. I realized that I would never be able to convince a group of women that they were normal, and not shameful, and that their bodies are a gift until they really believed that God is good. Think of this way: If you and I are not on good standing, if I don’t trust you and you give me a gift, I’m going to question your motives. I’m going to wonder if you’re really trying to insult me, or hurt me or show off, etc. But if you and I are great friends, and I know you’ve got my back and you give me a gift . . . well, then I’m going to simply receive it! I know who you are and I know that I can trust your gift.
So, again, I’m brought back to the fact that receiving, believing and trusting God’s goodness is key to moving forward and experiencing life as fully as possible. All it took for Eve to question was the seed of doubt. She doubted that God had the best in mind for her. She doubted his goodness, and look at the shame that followed her doubt-based decision!
“God is good and until we can receive that truth, we can’t fully receive the gifts that he has for us.”