To prepare for and celebrate the release of Mistletoe Melody, I have invited several authors to speak on the themes of the novel. Today, I have the privilege to introduce you to Emily Conrad.
Emily lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two rescue dogs. She loves Jesus and enjoys road trips to the mountains, crafting stories, and drinking coffee. (It’s no coincidence her debut novel is set mostly in a coffee shop!)
Thanks for joining me today, Emily!
How can we praise God if we seem to have been chosen for a special level of suffering?
This question stepped to the forefront as I read Stacey Weeks’ Mistletoe Melody, where amidst sweet family moments and Christmas traditions, characters deal with truly difficult circumstances.
As I read and thought about the impact of such life-changing events as the characters face, I wondered how I would feel in their situations. I didn’t have to think very long before I knew; I’d feel cheated.
But these circumstances aren’t only the stuff of fiction. So many people don’t have to wonder how they would feel in that trial because it’s already their reality, a reality they live instead of the life they dreamed of.
How is that fair?
Thankfully, the story also pointed me back to the answer—an answer I knew, but one we can never be pointed to too often: Jesus.
As a character says in the story, “Jesus came to me. Not to make my life perfect, but to walk with me through the pain.”
There’s such truth there.
Jesus Himself came to earth to suffer on the cross. If He willingly suffered such a torturous death, who am I to complain about whatever circumstances I’m assigned?
Philippians 2:8 tells us Jesus humbled himself by being obedient to the death, even when that death was by crucifixion.
Considering that, I realized my aversion to pain, this assumption that it would be unfair to suffer, is pride. I’ve got it all backward. Being healthy is a privilege, not a right. And suffering, whether from a disease or other circumstances, is a guarantee.
Yet, come what may, Jesus doesn’t leave me to suffer alone. (John 16:33) He promises He’ll never leave me. (Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20)
On the cross, Jesus asked His Father why He’d forsaken Him. (Matthew 27:46)
Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, that’s a question that… well, I’ll be honest. In the throes of discouragement someday, I may ask it as did David in Psalm 22. But if and when I do, God’s answer will be that He hasn’t forsaken me. Because His Son paid for my sin and I put my faith in Him, I’m His now. He’ll never leave me.
In Him, we have the promise of an eternity that will make the trials we experience here seem momentary and light. (2 Corinthians 4:16-17)
In this world, we will have trouble, but we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.
You can pre-order your copy of Mistletoe Melody on Amazon! Those who pre-order receive an exclusive pre-order bonus! You are able to watch a video telling the backstory of the character Janie, as lived by the character’s inspiration – Kyra. You get to download a FREE Christmas planner just in time for the holidays, some coloring sheets, AND you get to read the first chapter FREE. Email proof of purchase to writerSWeeks@gmail.com
Emily offers free short stories on her website and loves to connect with readers on social media.www.emilyconradauthor.com
Photo credit, Greyson Joralem, Unsplash.