Thirteen years ago I climbed into my family’s big Suburban and locked the doors. Locked out my noisy siblings, the exuberant talk of adults on vacation, speedboat and dune buggy engines. I dragged in a breath of solid heat and stared at the Silver Lake dunes through a frame of pine branches. A notebook and pencil lay motionless in my lap. Thick silence filled my ears like cotton balls. Then a story was born in my head. I began to write.
A lifetime has passed since then — college in a nearby city, marriage to a man I’d secretly loved for years, four children in quick succession. We forged new friendships and watched other friendships dwindle. We limped through times when money seemed as rare and precious as water in a desert. We have been battered by life’s sucker punches — a good job lost for the sake of another’s career, manipulation and false accusations of “friends,” the lightning strike of a rare type of cancer on my otherwise healthy sister, and the slow rot of our church home. And we have had moments where time gave way for the sweetness of life. My husband’s sleepy whispers of love. My baby chuckling in his sleep. The perfect back and forth of a conversation with an old friend. The power and playfulness of God in a series of Lake Michigan waves.
I have been writing the same story for twelve years. All my fears, the lies I believed, the oppression that ruled me, my insecurity and hopelessness are embedded in those pages. And so is my victory — the triumph of God’s voice and love and power over every other influence in my life. It is my story, but much more so than I ever meant it to be.
Now that we’re on the brink of publishing The Inferior, I look back and wonder how I dared begin such a project. It meant peering into the cobwebbed closets of my heart and bringing my brokenness into the light. It meant delving into the crooked mind of Adolf Hitler and staring at the grotesque underbelly of history. It meant immersing myself in a world without hope and finding that hope breaks in anyway.
I hope this story resonates with others who are on the same journey. May it be an encouragement to those who fight daily with fear and lies. May it be “a candle to see by.”