Erica here. I’m so pleased to feature inspirational romance author Betsy St. Amant today. I’ve loved Betsy’s writing since I read The Rancher’s Secret Son, and her newest release, Love Arrives in Pieces (isn’t that title amazing?!), is definitely in my To Be Read pile. When she sent me this guest post, I wanted to post it right away. I’m sure you’ll see why once you’ve read it.
Do you want to know a secret pet peeve of mine? I’ve always hated when parents say to their kids “are you telling a story?” instead of simply asking them “are you lying?”
“Story” and “lie” shouldn’t ever be interchangeable. I realize the connection between the two is fiction, and technically, fiction is “made up”. But “story” and “lie” should never be used as the same meaning.
Because stories are some of the truest things ever told.
And that’s why I write. I write to tell the truth.
Jesus spoke a lot in parables, and I believe it’s because He knew that’s the best way the human heart, in all its various, multiple flaws and complexities, could best understand and remember.
Compare your interest in history class when you were studying a particular war, versus an in-person, detailed account from your grandfather or great-grandfather who actually fought in that war. Your history book gave a factual account; your grandfather told you a story. Which one lingered the longest? Which one made you feel like you were there? Which one made you care?
Take a moment and think of some of your most favorite novels you’ve read over the years. Why are they your favorite?
Now think about this—do you read fiction to simply gain information, or to have something of importance revealed to your heart? Do you read fiction to simply learn new words, or to experience something outside of yourself and your current circumstances? Do you read fiction to simply pass the time in entertainment, or to discover truth in fresh ways?
There’s been many books over the years that have done that for me—told me truth, transported me to another time, and revealed things in my heart that needed healing, dealing with, or acknowledgment.
A few of those treasures include:
Susan Meissner’s The Girl In the Glass
Robin Jones Gunn’s Whispers
Rachel Hauck’s The Wedding Dress
Katie Ganshert’s A Broken Kind of Beautiful
Susan Meissner’s The Shape of Mercy
Becky Wade’s Meant to be Mine
Dee Henderson’s The Truth Seeker
Francine River’s The Last Sin Eater
Lisa Samson’s The Passion of Mary-Margaret
Kristen Heitzmann’s Halos
Lynn Austin’s Wonderland Creek
James Rubart’s Rooms
The above books, and so many more, taught me about romance and Jesus and hope. They taught me about waiting, about expectation, about longings unfulfilled. They touched spots on my heart I thought too deep to access and tugged at scars that weren’t fully healed and made me reevaluate important choices.
Stories matter. Stories count.
And stories never, ever lie.