pen quill paper photo Britney Lyn Hamm

The Author of Life Analogy: Seeing God’s Authorship When Reading a Book by an Author You Know

This is a guest post on my blog today by my friend Morgan Robertson. Morgan is a deep thinker with a stunning mind and a beautiful heart for God. She shared this concept with me the other day after she finished reading my Christian romantic suspense novel, Finding Freedom. I asked her to pen these profound thoughts into a post I could share with my readers – enjoy!

“All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:3-4)

Cosmic Creation earth photo by NASAI’ve read numerous novels in my lifetime. Romance, science fiction, dystopian fiction; you name it. Though the books themselves differ from each other, one thing they all have in common is that I don’t know the author personally. Sarah Dessen, Jane Austen, Toni Morrison, Agathe Christie, Phillip K Dick, I don’t know a single one of them.

I never really thought about that until I read a book by someone I do know personally. When you read a novel or any piece of writing by someone you’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking to, you start to see their personality, their identity in their works.

I just finished reading Britney Lyn Hamm’s debut novel, Finding Freedom. Though the plot and characters are not fashioned after her own life, I can still see evidence of her authorship throughout the novel. From the way she constructed the plot (I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet) to the development of the characters down to the nitty gritty of vocabulary choices, I could definitely tell that Britney is the author of the story. Many of her characters share some of her likes – mocha lattes, dance, music, her Lord and Savior. Some of the characters share her own abilities – Jeremy and Lila, for example, were excellent Biblical counselors, a skill I know Britney uses for the Lord. Through every dialogue, every thought monologue, every description of places, food, events, you can so clearly see the author of Finding Freedom showing herself through her work.

I couldn’t help but draw the beautiful parallel between knowing the author of Finding Freedom and knowing the pen quill paper photo Britney Lyn HammAuthor of Life. Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, has created a beautiful masterpiece of a novel with an incredible plot, insane character development, and amazing words spoken at just the right time. Throughout human history, you can see the Lord’s hand moving, writing, authoring the story of mankind. His kindness and mercy show through as well as His justice and righteous jealousy. The characters in His work reflect many of His own attributes – kindness, mercy, justice, righteous anger, love, morality. His characters are so fearfully and wonderfully crafted in His image.

God is a magnificently talented Creator and Author of Life. I imagine if we relinquish the pen more frequently, He’d use our lives to author an incredible story full of His love, redemption, mercy, and grace.

My question is this: Would Britney’s influence in her novel have been obvious to me had I not known her? The influence would still be there, the text would remain the same, but I wouldn’t have noticed it as much. I might have been able to piece together an idea of the author, but it wouldn’t be nearly as nuanced or detailed; just a vague sense of how this author differs from others.

In the same way, God’s influence on Creation as the Author of Life throughout human history has always been and will always be there. We just don’t really see it unless we know Him and His personality. At times, we can piece together a vague sense of some greater being behind it all, but the details are lost unless you seek to find out more.

At the end of her book, Britney has an open invitation for you to know the backstory of her choices. In her author’s note, she explains her love for Ireland, Maine, lighthouses, etc. She’s opened a door into her identity and has made her choices clearer for her readers.

Bible dock ocean sunsetGod gives us the same author’s note invitation to know Him in His Word – The Bible. He reveals His motives for the choices He’s made throughout the story of human history. He reveals the reason for the overarching plot, the climactic moment of His Son dying on the cross. He shows us His personality and how it affects the characters of the story, bringing some to complete repentance and others to total depravity and the hardening of their hearts. If you find yourself with some vague sense of who God is, both God and I invite you to dig deeper into Him. “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13).

Authoring a novel is another of many ways in which humans reflect the beautiful reality of how God works and who God is. This analogy can certainly be developed further, but I’ll let it rest with this simple invitation: seek Him and find Him throughout the masterfully told story of humanity.

 

Looking for a good book to read? Grab your copy of Finding Freedom – both ebook and paperback are available. If you order the paperback directly from my site, use the code FFRELEASE for 5% and free shipping or FFLOCAL for 20% off local pickup orders. And please, leave a review on Amazon when you’re done reading!

 

Earth Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Quill & Paper Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Bible & Water Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Priceless Story about Preemie Twins

Join me over at MBCPathway – an article I wrote is front page today! This is a priceless (pun intended) story about how God miraculously saved the life of twin boys born at 27 weeks over 20 years ago and how He is using those boys and their parents to impact lives today.

 

Priceless: Decades after decision to save premature twins, Marrs family advocates for life

What’s in a Name? Faith…Literally

Britney Hamm pregnant faith
On vacation in Tacoma, WA just a week after our ultrasound.

We were 20 weeks pregnant with our fourth baby. This was the momentous ultrasound, the moment we’d been waiting for, when we’d find out if our son would get his wish for a baby brother or if we would welcome a third beautiful baby girl into this world.

With nervous anticipation, we sat in the waiting room, the pounding of the machinery renovating the building doing little to calm our jitters.

Finally, the ultrasound tech called our name. I settled onto the exam table, my husband next to me holding my hand in the dark room. The sonographer smeared the cool jelly on my bulging belly. Black and white images appeared on the screen in front of us as she moved the wand over my stomach, naming and measuring body parts. The moment of truth…

“Those are definitely girl parts,” the sonographer said confidently, circling the telling part of the image on the screen.

After confirming her surety about seven times, a burst of love filled my heart. Another girl. Our son would be devastated. I had no idea how room arrangements would work in our 3-bedroom house with three girls once the baby outgrew the nursery. But we were having another precious little bundle of pink. How could I not rejoice?

My doctor entered the room. She and the sonographer studied something on the screen, discussing it quietly. “Your placenta is partially covering your cervix,” my doctor explained, pointing to the grey image. “It’s called placenta previa.”

I’d heard of that. I knew enough to know it wasn’t good. “You’ll need to take it easy,” she continued. “Nothing more strenuous than normal walking.” If it hadn’t moved by 28 weeks, we could face the risk of bleeding, early labor, and a C-section as early as 34 weeks depending on the health of the baby.

She assured us that there was a good chance the placenta would move; we just needed to be cautious just in case.

“Stay off Google,” she said before she left the room.

I’d had three textbook pregnancies and deliveries thus far. Pregnancy was my friend (mostly). Even before this news, I’d been fighting a little voice saying, “When is it my turn? When will my luck run out?” Sometimes I felt like I’d dodged a bullet – three times – but one would hit me eventually (I recognize the theological flaws with those statements; they floated into my head nonetheless).

With each pregnancy, my sense of realism increased. I was well aware that things can happen, things do happen, and things could happen to me. My best friend is a NICU nurse. We also personally knew families who had lost an infant or child. Child loss was not a distant reality; we weren’t so naïve to think it couldn’t happen to us.

Chances meant nothing to me. None of us know if we are the 99% or the 1% until it happens. Statistics don’t provide true reassurance. We would have to put our trust in something greater.

My husband and I decided that her middle name would be “Faith.” We needed faith to believe the placenta would move. And we needed faith in the goodness of God no matter what happened. Our prayer was that God would build our faith through this, and that whether we birthed a healthy baby at full term or joined the ranks of those who have lost a child, or anything in between – we would have faith in Him and worship him.

baby girl hamm born
Baby Hamm #4 arrived at 11:45am on 1/21/19 after 2.5 hours of labor!

Seven weeks later, the follow-up ultrasound revealed that my placenta had moved clear out of the way! Baby girl was  healthy. We could proceed forward with a normal delivery.

I didn’t realize then, nor did I realize for months later, that the entire trial with the placenta previa was for one thing: so that we would choose that middle name as we prayed for the faith to respond in worship to whatever may come. Faith was the point. Literally.

We thought we were asking for faith to respond in worship to a C-section. Bleeding during pregnancy. An early delivery. Bed rest. Post-labor hemorrhaging. Even child loss.

Instead, God was preparing us to respond in faith-filled worship to things we didn’t see coming. He, in His faithfulness was tuning our hearts to sing His praise even if.

Even if my friend’s baby passed away hours after birth just a month after our baby was born.

Even if I had breast cancer (I didn’t, but it took three ultrasounds and a mammogram to be sure).

Even if my dad didn’t survive a severe hemorrhagic stroke (he did, but it was life-altering nonetheless).

Even if my dad never gets out of the wheelchair.

Even if the fabric of my family of origin unraveled.

Even if the marriage of someone close to me fell apart.

 

That’s just scratching the surface of the things that transpired in the months following her birth.

 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1, ESV)

 

When we chose her name, we didn’t see how the story would turn out. But we chose faith.

 

We don’t see the complete healing for my dad’s body.

We don’t see the reconciliation for the marriage of someone close to me.

We don’t see the restoration of all that has been broken in the last year.

We don’t see the resurrection of my friend’s baby.

 

…In this life.

But we choose faith.

Faith that God is good. Faith that healing, reconciliation, restoration, and resurrection WILL come to pass in the next life. Faith that God is at work. Faith that God is providing what we need to endure the challenges set before us today. Faith that God will provide what we need for the challenges we will encounter tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

Baby Hamm #4 One Year OldToday, my sweet baby girl turns one year old. When I look at her in all her cheeky, chunky sweetness, with her toothy grin and her bright blue eyes, I am reminded of her name. Of why we chose her name. Of how God’s faithfulness is wrapped up in this little ball of joy. Of how we had no idea we would need such a tangible reminder to have faith, but He did.

What’s in a name? Sometimes, literally, it’s faith.

 

Happy birthday, sweet baby girl. May you always have faith in the goodness of God, and may your life be a beacon for others to see Jesus and respond in faith.