Weekend Coffee Share: God?


If we were having coffee this morning, I’d tell you that it’s been an ugly week here. On the positive side, I managed to pass my apartment inspection; on the negative side, I’ve been sort of stewing about something.

Grab yourself a fresh, hot cup, because we’re going to talk about God today and it may take a while.

About a year ago, I was approached by someone who was a friend a long, long time ago. Confronted, really. She said she sampled one of my books and was sad to see that God is not in my work. She wanted to know why I have turned away from my faith. I blogged about it at the time, and I felt pretty good about my response to her. I thought I did a good job of explaining that I haven’t turned away at all.

I spoke with her again this week. Again, she expressed sympathy for what she sees as my straying and turning away from God. She condemned me in the kindest, most condescending way possible, letting me know that she’ll pray for me to find my way back. She mourned my lost faith and told me how sad she is that I’ve become callous, that I’ve hardened my heart.

I’m not going to lie; that hurts. I feel judged.

I am a Christian. I do my best to be a good one, but I am human and therefore I am flawed. The fact that I see faith as a private and personal matter doesn’t make me any less of a Christian than those who are more vocal about it. I may not be able to quote random Bible passages at will or show up at every Sunday service like my friend, but that doesn’t mean I’m going straight to Hell.

Folks, Christianity is NOT a competition sport.

You see, God IS in my work, because He is the One who gave me this gift of storytelling. He is the One who changed my life and gave me this opportunity. I thank Him every time I pour a little bit of my heart and soul into a story.

God is in my work because God is in ME.

He is the One who gives me courage and strength on the bad days. I have leaned on Him through pain, through heartache, through everything. And you know what? He’s always there for me. He’s never shamed me for not living up to His standards. He loves me, no matter what, and He forgives me when I screw up.

My books aren’t Christian fiction, even though I like to think that my sweet historical romances are somewhat inspirational. People in my contemporary romances have sex before they are married and they swear once in a while. Some of the stuff I say in my humor collections can get pretty raunchy at times.

I’ll be the first to tell you that not everything I write is appropriate for every audience.

But my characters always find love. There is always a commitment that comes with the sex. I try to write them as basically good people who grow and become better people by the end of the book. It is my goal to inject at least a little bit of hope into everything I write.

A little bit of love.

A little bit of joy.

That’s my version of Happily Ever After, in romance novels and in real life.

If my friend insists that God is not in stories about hope, love, and joy, then one of us doesn’t understand Him at all.

Author: A.J. Goode

I am a romance novelist, single mother of three, and a high school lunchlady. To be completely honest, I have no idea which of those jobs is the most rewarding and which is the biggest challenge. I love them all. I write romance novels about the kind of people who might pass me on the street every day. My characters are often hurting in some way, and need to learn to trust others in order to heal themselves. I also blog about trying to focus on writing, and about my day-to-day experiences in small-town America. I write about life. The good, the bad, and the just plain odd.

9 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: God?”

  1. I am, as you know, a bit of a cynic. I trust very few people and at the very top of my hate list, are people who are cruel or neglectful of animals. I don’t make friends easily; the ones I have had, have been around for years, with the exception of present company. I’ve known you, Amy for about three years and although we have never met in the flesh, her being on the other side of the Atlantic, we have spoken often on Skype. Anyone who believes she doesn’t have faith, is too far up their own backsides to see daylight.

    I’ll tell you something else that is on my hate list – God botherers. If one of my friends ever mentioned God to me in the way you describe, they wouldn’t be a friend any longer. You are right, Amy; faith is private. Most of the these God botherers have never read the Bible and have no idea that Jesus Christ himself said that it should be private.

    I suppose it makes them feel superior, to preach to everyone else without a clue that not everyone wants to be like them. I got to a point where the Jehovah’s Witnesses would sneak past my door quickly, hoping I wouldn’t see them. I had them in so often, got out all my books on the history of Christianity as well as other religions, and had them all saying: ‘I’ll have to go’.

    There are many subjects I believe everyone should keep to themselves. They include sex (who cares what they got up to?) and religion.

    If I were you, girl, I’d stay away from this particular ‘friend’ and give her share of your heart to your lovely cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It CAN be, in the wrong hands. But so can ANY religious group if they aren’t careful.

      For the record, the “friend” who condemned me has ancestors who once ate our ancestors’ family pet, so there’s that. 🙂


      1. I seem to recall that the slave traders and owners of the post were very fond of preaching from the Bible. They found something in there to justify their disgusting trade; if you look, you can find something to justify anything in the ‘Good Book’.


  2. I enjoyed reading your weekend coffee share post. I couldn’t agree more. Narrow minded attitudes turn others away from the Christian faith.

    Keep on doing what you do, and dismiss the naysayers.


  3. You definitely have found god. I can see it in your writings. I feel your faith is personal. You don’t have to force someone to believe. They need to find there on way and it can be different for others. My sister and myself approach religion differently. However, we both ended up at the same end place.


  4. I, too, have been on the receiving end of judgement like this. From my own relatives, no less. I would just keep in mind “judge not lest ye be judged”. She will be judged for her behavior toward you. Small solace now, I know, but you have others who stand with you in your pain.


  5. Religion is a business. Faith is personal. Writing is your way to express yourself… key word here YOURSELF. She is not a friend for judging you for not being what she thinks you should be.
    Like water off a duck’s back, you should let her words slide…


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