When You Disappoint God
by Janalyn Voigt
“Write what you know” is common advice given to authors. I write about triumph over the consequences of sin in my characters’ lives. I consider myself an authority on this topic because I lived it. Lifestyle choices led me down paths I shouldn’t have taken. Like America Liberty Reed, the heroine of Hills of Nevermore (Montana Gold 1), I became an unwed mother, afraid I had separated myself from God’s love forever.
Does God hate us when we sin? I knew from studying the Bible that He doesn’t. My sense of shame whispered that He did.
I tried to compensate by staying up late and rising early to provide the best life possible for my child. After a long commute to and from my high-stress job in a Seattle skyscraper, I came home every night to care for my daughter. I could barely afford to pay for babysitting. I didn’t qualify for food stamps because I was buying my house. This went on for about a year. My pastor’s wife cared for my baby while I worked, but really her whole family adopted her. My baby cried for me when I left her each morning, and she cried for her babysitter when I took her away each evening.
Why does God hate sin? I asked in prayer, years later. The answer came back, loud and clear. Because innocent people have to pay for it. I saw that in my child’s sorrows. I wanted with a passionate zeal to make her life better. I determined to find a way to change our situation. Heartsick, I prayed for a way to work from home. My main duty, issuing insurance policies, could be done from home. After I pointed this out to my boss, he agreed to allow me to telecommute.
I still thank God for his mercy to my child and me.
Why do bad things happen to innocent people? America asks this question in Hills of Nevermore. She receives the same answer I did – because sin exists.
Ah, but so does mercy. God helped me understand the arrogance of holding myself guilty when He did not. I was able to forgive myself, receive God’s forgiveness, and start anew. Today I am married to a wonderful Christian man who is a good father to my sweet daughter.
“You have turned my mourning into dancing for me. You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness, to the end that my heart may sing praise to you, and not be silent” (Psalm 30:11-2 WEB).