The Spiritual Side of Writing Breaking Free
by Jennifer Slattery
I’m pretty sure every writer has that one story they long to see get published. Perhaps it’s the first one they wrote, or maybe one that touches on a deeply personal subject. Or maybe they sensed God’s hand so strongly as they wrote it, the story took on a deeply spiritual meaning.
Breaking Free was the first purely fiction adult story I wrote, it touched on encounters from my past, and it came about after a long spiritual standoff. I first felt the nudge to write around 2004 but all I did was dabble. As I had time. But then, around 2008, things changed as I sensed a definite call. God wanted me to sever my safety nets and lay it all—my time, dreams, ambitions—my whole self, on the altar.
This terrified me, because I’d been lingering on the outskirts of writing communities enough to know how incredibly hard it was to get published. Shouldn’t I pursue a more rational career? One with a guaranteed paycheck, retirement plan, and insurance benefits?
But honestly, that wasn’t what I feared most. What kept me dragging my feet was the possibility that I could spend decades, potentially the rest of my life, pounding away at my keyboard with nothing to show for it but a bunch of old documents.
You see, I measured my success based on my accomplishments rather than obedience. More than that, I measured my self-worth based on my accomplishments. Therefore, if I wasn’t successful, I wasn’t valuable.
God used Breaking Free to show me how faulty my thinking had become and to remind me of who I was in Him. I suppose this story represents my own freedom journey in a way. And yet, the journey isn’t over. Perhaps it never will be, because I find it’s all too easy to slip back into that “do-to-be” attitude, measuring my worth on temporary things when my real life is hidden with Christ in God. When that happens, God must once again pry my reaching-grasping fingers loose, centering me in His truth and grace, because that is when my creativity truly comes alive.
What about you? Have you ever sensed God calling you to do something you found irrational or irresponsible? What made that nudge so frightening? How did you respond? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.
Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?
Read a free, 33-page excerpt here: Free sample of Breaking Free
Connect with Jennifer
- On Facebook
- On Twitter @Jenslattery
- See scene location pictures for Breaking Free on Pinterest
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at facebook.com/JenSlatte.
Jennifer, thank you for this transparent post. Plenty of writers (and others!) will relate. Thanks for the reminder to keep on finding our value in God instead of in our accomplishments. I’m glad that He loves us enough to keep pointing us back in the right direction.
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. I do hope God uses my post to encourage His children to pursue and persevere in whatever He has called them to. And amen to your last sentence! 🙂
Wow, this book sounds wonderful. To me it sounds like real life. Thank you for sharing this story.
Thanks for stopping to comment, Katrina. I’m sure Jennifer’s real-life struggle to write this novel has made the fiction feel like it’s real.