I’m a backsliding Christian. I wish that wasn’t a fact, but it is. I’ve come to Jesus more than once in my life and it comes down to a simple, inconvenient truth: I don’t have the strength on my own to live without sin. Thankfully, Jesus Christ paid the price for all of us, and despite straying towards the darkness many times, I am back and committed to serving Him.
It’s easy to place blame of my failures onto the stressful life of being in the Navy, the deployments, the high-stress situations, etc. But that would only attempt to gloss over the very real fact that I began falling into the abyss before the worst of it had a chance to turn me away from God.
Sure, there were situations I was in that made living out faith difficult, but come on, I was in the praise band on my second deployment and even formed one of the Christian rock bands I was in with one of the guys I deployed with. If I could maintain faith during that time, then it wasn’t the military poisoning my mind. What ultimately made me stray was my own idol worship of myself.
Yeah, I propped myself up like I was somebody. I began writing in 2012 and had the intention of putting faith and hope into those works. It was a solid idea, but the early execution of my publishing career left a lot to be desired. There’s more to being an author than writing a book. That’s merely the first step. So, as I “studied” my craft I began to pursue money instead of penning stories that inspired.
Make no mistake, even my early work would not be considered faith-based, but my heart behind it was much more inline with Christian values than my later work. My interest in turning writing into a lucrative career put me in the position to try and force ideals into these worlds that did not align with my original intent in writing, much less my morals. I don’t want to come across as preachy, but it’s difficult to stay in the light when trying to entertain the darkness. Inclusiveness should not mean changing who you are to meet an expectation that you can never achieve.
I tried anyway.
What resulted was a hot mess of what I would deem liberal sci-fi and a slew of books that I’m no longer fond of. Great advertisement huh?
So why would I promote books that I’m not proud of? Maybe because someone might need to read them to find this message. Or maybe I needed to write them to come full circle back to Christ. I didn’t find hope in the darkness. Instead, I found emptiness.
What does that mean for the future of my writing career? I’m not sure yet. I have some ideas swirling around, but I’m not going into it the way I was before, full-throttle and solely focused on the magnificence of “my” creation.
I want to go back and do things the right way, with a focus on honoring God and spreading hope to others. If that means I don’t write science fiction anymore, and switch genres, then that’s fine. If that means I never write again, then I’m ok with that too.
A lack of obedience brought me to this point: a place where I was depressed, discouraged, and drowning in darkness. I’ll take the right path this time and follow the light wherever it may lead.
I hope you’ll join me!