My friend Alice has just written a stonking book about sharing Jesus with pre-schoolers. I asked her if she’d talk a bit about it – and her own relationship with God. Is her writing an expression of confident and overflowing spirituality? Or has it been part of the process of learning to walk with Him? You might be surprised by her answer…
“Christian writers are people with unshakeable faith in God, right? Well, my first book has just come out and it’s all about Jesus – but there were times writing it when I wasn’t sure I wanted to follow him. Here’s my story of how writing about Jesus brought me back to him.
I sat in the car and begged God to help me. I cried and asked him to please, please just show me he was real and that he loved me.
For me, depression goes hand in hand with doubt, rather like those mean girls you remember from primary school. The utter absence of hope I feel while I’m depressed seems to suffocate my hope in God. Just at the point when God’s closeness would be the greatest comfort, it felt as though he abandoned me.
The medication improved most of my other symptoms but didn’t seem to be designed to cure spiritual angst too. I asked for God to help.
During this time I was finishing writing a book. It’s a book all about Jesus and how wonderful it is to be able to introduce our children to him. I had loved writing it, but now I struggled. I wasn’t sure about my faith and it felt hypocritical to be writing about children getting to know Jesus when I wasn’t sure I wanted to know him anymore. I begged God not to leave me or forsake me.
The problem with writing a book about Jesus when you’re trying to ignore him like an angry teenager, is that you can’t avoid him. He’s there in every story, in every prayer, in every activity you write. And I was annoyed; I wanted to give up on Jesus but every time I read about him, every time I wrote about him, I couldn’t help but notice how good he is. I asked God if he could hear me, whether he could even answer prayers?
God seemed utterly silent in those months. Just when I needed him he seemed to have gone.
I waited and wondered why he hadn’t answered. Why hadn’t he helped me and shown me he was with me and that he loved me? And while I waited I wrote stories about Jesus that were simple enough for a 3 year old to understand and while I wrote I was struck again by how irresistible Jesus is.
I needed those simple, gentle stories. Those stories that were about Jesus’ love, power and goodness. I needed to come to him again like a child – and the stories helped.
Now I’m getting better and those stories are the marker stones of my journey back to Jesus. God was gently holding me, quietly guiding me, slowly answering and helping me. When I read the stories to my children they aren’t just words for them, so that they would know the goodness and love of Jesus – they are words for my childlike heart. I need them and I need him.
There’s something irresistible about Jesus. And I’m so glad.”
Alice’s book, “Playing through the Bible” is a wee gem – with lots of simple stories and activities for pre-schoolers. You can get it here.