My Operation First Novel finalist, Impossible Choices, initially started after a heart-wrenching story told to me from a dear friend. A woman who had in many ways mentored me when my daughter was young was now in need of support. After almost two decades of marriage, her husband became enslaved to addiction. But what bothered me most was that I wasn’t even aware they were struggling. I began to think of how we do Christianity. The Bible tells us we are a body, that we are to lean on one another, and that we are freed to live authentic lives, but most of us stay hidden behind plastic smiles. We keep our relationships at the surface level, not realizing the power in unity. The story has morphed considerable from the incidents that motivated it, but the primary message remains: Christ came that we may have life and have it to the full.
Although the story explores the devastating affects of addiction, it also points to a deeper truth: apart from Christ we are all enslaved. (Romans 6) Our bondage might not be as visible as Trent Goddard’s in this story, but it is devestating just the same. And yet, the good news is that there is freedom in Christ–from addiction, anger, bitterness and sin. When Christ died, He broke the power of sin in our lives. That is the beauty of Christianity. I think the gospel message has been watered down. Christ didn’t die so we could live defeated lives. He died to set us free, but that freedom won’t come from within ourselves. Our freedom comes once we’ve reached the end of ourselves and turn to God, knowing He alone can save us.
Jennifer Slattery is a novelist, freelance writer and columnist. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, Reflections in Hindsight and is the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. You can find out more about her and her novel at http://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com
Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!