So, I had a bit of an epiphany this morning an I want to share it with you. It happened in one of the last scenes of Alvin and the Chipmunks 3. No, really. Apparently one can have a life affirming revelation absolutely anywhere. For it to make any kind of sense you need to know a little bit about my life this week.
So I’ve been busy. REALLY busy. I wrote and edited 18k in a week. Now for some that might seem reasonable. Consider I generally manage to fit in just 1k of writing a day and you see it was quite a feat. If you look in my kitchen you’ll see what had to give to make room for the extra writing too! I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and it’s been a tough old week. Totally worth it, mind, but tough all the same.
Now add on top of that a conversation with someone I respect greatly, someone I consider as a friend who doesn’t really understand how I can write what I write and still be a Christian. It was a good conversation really. I got my point of view in. How I believe God is love and how I can’t see how he could disapprove of anyone falling in love. Be it a man and a woman, two women or two men or whatever combination worked.
I talked about the sin associated with sex. How I believe it is the negative consequences of certain sex acts that is the sin. Like the lies and deceit when a person has an affair for example. But it is the guilt, the hurt caused to others, the damage to self esteem and confidence, the anger and violence that can brew from sex that isn’t mutual, consensual and positive that I think we’re warned against. Not everything associated with sexual activity or fantasy.
At the end of the day I stood up for what I believe in and I felt good about that. However I couldn’t help but wonder if that conversation was a message from God, maybe he wanted me to be something else. Maybe my erotic writing and everything associated with it didn’t please him. Maybe I was wrong.
It’s a possibility, I’m quite regularly wrong. So I’ve been pondering things. I’ve been pondering my future and what I believe in. I believe in Loving my neighbour as myself, or at least trying too and loving God above all else. Those are right at the centre of my faith. Along with the bit that makes me a convicted Christian, the part that is celebrated at Easter. I believe Jesus died for me and my sins and when I kick the bucket I’m off to Heaven which is a place with God that’s so awesome my mind can’t comprehend it. That is in me. It is as much part of me as my green eyes, my curly hair and my scars.
But I am also an author. I have a skill with words and especially words created to tease and arouse. Stories pop into my head. And yes, sometimes they’re ideas for children’s tales or fantasy books but predominantly they’re romances. Romances with the bedroom door swung wide open. Often my characters don’t ever make it into a bedroom. I like sex, I like to write about sex and love and all the emotions that stem from people meeting and falling in love. I explore areas of the erotic that might make some people uncomfortable. Multiple partners, spanking, dominance and submission. A little bondage, homosexual sex, bisexual sex and other flavours that many will consider to be less than vanilla.
Can these parts of me live happily within me?
And so we move to my revelation. I’ve been thinking and praying on these things, talking to people and asking advice. I have a few courses of action in mind and I felt good about my decisions. My revelation? Well, it came when 6 fluffy chipmunks were dancing around on stage singing a high pitched version of this song:
And these words in particular.
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way
And there I was in a cinema filled with kids crying my eyes out because I’d just received the exact message I needed to hear. And here’s more:
Whether you’re broke or evergreen
You’re black, white, beige, chola descent
You’re Lebanese, you’re orient
Whether life’s disabilities
Left you outcast, bullied, or teased
Rejoice and love yourself today
’cause baby you were born this way
Baby I was born this way and God makes no mistakes. I make mistakes, copious numbers of them (ask my editors! Ha.) and I have my doubts and my worries. But God made me in his image and he made me just as I am. My favourite psalm in the bible talks about how God knitted me together in my mother’s womb and how it doesn’t matter where I go he’ll always be there with me. (PSalm 139 btw) I might not have all the answers but I trust that God does.
And I feel at peace today. My way might not be the easy way and some people might never be able to understand how I can be a practising Christian and an erotic romance author. That isn’t my problem. I am called to be me and to continue along the path chosen for me.
I’m not going to lie to you, it can sometimes seem quite attractive to wimp out and to stop writing or stop going to church. The problem comes when I think about life without my faith. I cannot imagine that. Or a life without my writing. In that life I go insane because of the stories fighting within me to get out. Neither option is pretty and I’m happy to say I believe I don’t have to chose.
I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.