You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety

Happy Friday, Confess-ers. Today we have a special guest post by Beth Vogt, author of Wish You Were Here, a May 2012 Howard Books release. Beth talks about personal fears that authors hide in their fiction writing, and the truth we can all realize by reading fiction. Enjoy!

Here’s Beth:

The Truth Hidden in Fiction

It’s said that novelists weave little bits of themselves into their characters. We’d never put a footnote at the bottom of the page cluing readers in: The main character just recreated a moment in the author’s life. So distracting, right? But rest assured, you’re catching glimpses of the author within every novel you read. And why not? We know our strengths and weaknesses so well.

In my debut novel Wish You Were Here, I gave my heroine, Allison, one particular personal characteristic. Not my hazel eyes. Not my love of jelly beans. Not my size ten feet.

My fear.

Fear and me? We were companions for far too many years. I know what it’s like to be afraid … and to find blessed relief from unrelenting fear.

Rather than share a time when I was anxious, I thought I’d share a time when Allison battled fear.  But remember: you’re catching a glimpse of me.

Setup: Allison’s off-kilter since pulling a Runaway Bride redux on her wedding day. In this scene, she’s scared she’s about to make another disastrous mistake. She’s crawled into bed and is talking on the phone to her best friend.

“. . . I’m going to bed. I’m tired, that’s all. It’s been a long day. A long week.” Allison twisted onto her side, moving her legs back and forth, trying to create some body heat.

“Okay, Allison. I can only imagine the stress of putting your life back together after canceling a wedding … Are you going to be okay? Do you want me to come over?”

“No, I’m good. It’s late. We’ll talk tomorrow. ‘Kay?”

“All right. Tomorrow it is, then.”

“And Meggie?”

“Uh-huh?”

“Thanks.”

“What are best friends for? Talk to you tomorrow.”

Allison flicked her phone shut and tossed it onto the end of her bed. She turned her back toward her bathroom, wrapping her arms around a pillow.

Just stay in bed. In peace I will both lie down and sleep . . . in peace I will both lie down and sleep . . . just stay in bed . . .

What helped fictional Allison resist the oh-so-strong pull to give into fear and make a wrong choice? The same truth that very-real-me clung to when I laid awake in my bed: Psalm 4:8, which reads “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”  (NIV)

Sometimes it’s not about being brave enough. Sometimes it’s all about resting in the sweet assurance that we can crawl into bed, too tired to fight the battle, knowing God is awake all night long. Trusting He is standing watch over us – and that we dwell in supernatural safety.

Beth K. Vogt’s novel, Wish You Were Here, debuts May 2012. (Howard Books) Beth is a nonfiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor–or anyone in the military. She’s a mom who said she’d never have kids. Beth’s discoverd that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” Join the conversation over at Beth’s blog, In Others’ Words.

*****

A big thanks to Beth for standing in for me today! I’ll take a note and begin confessing Psalm 4:8, one of my favorites because it’s gotten me through many terrified nights.

You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Whether I’m afraid of the dark (and what seems to be hiding in it) or afraid of the daytime and the living I must face, the Lord makes me dwell in safety. I’ll be confessing this into the weekend as I meet with someone who will challenge me to confront my fear of speaking – and of being found lacking. “You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

What fear will you confront this weekend?

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie Maxwell Allen (@DebbieMaxAllen)
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 09:24:28

    I can’t wait to read the book! And I love how the main character deals with fear–something everyone can relate to.

    ~Debbie

    Reply

  2. RachelHauck (@RachelHauck)
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 09:51:22

    Good job, BV!

    Reply

  3. Beth K. Vogt
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 09:52:15

    Thanks for dropping by, Debbie.
    It’s said we authors write what we know … and I often think that’s where some of our strongest writing comes from.

    Reply

  4. Edie Mahoney Melson
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 09:52:21

    Great thoughts, Beth. I can totally relate to Allison.

    Reply

  5. dtopliff
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:02:40

    Very good, Beth. You made this live (& I liked your confessions).

    Reply

    • Beth K. Vogt
      Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:57:48

      Dee,
      Shelley added the confession at the end, ensuring my post stayed within the flow of her blog. I appreciate her honesty and encouragement when she writes.

      Reply

  6. Michelle Lim
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:37:21

    Fantastic clip, Beth! Can’t wait to read the book.

    Reply

  7. Alena T.
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:44:18

    Hi Beth.
    So very, very true! Life sometimes seems like a series of crossroads of which I cannot see the end destination. When I face the fears of the unknown, my favorite scripture is in Proverbs, “Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path”. It reminds me as long as I’m seeking Him, trusting in Him, HE will direct me in the right direction.

    Reply

  8. Ginger
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 10:48:54

    I know what you mean. Rest. Just rest. That’s certainly what I’ve been doing in Him cuz there’s nothing else I can do. Sometimes He has to just hold me while I sleep. That’s what one of my characters realize too.

    Good post, Beth…as always :)

    Reply

  9. Beth K. Vogt
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 16:06:16

    Thank you, Ginger, for joining the conversation. I always value your insights, just as I value you.

    Reply

  10. Ashley Clark
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 16:08:45

    Such a great post, Beth, and so true! I think it’s easy to hide our fears from our characters because we don’t want those things exposed, when in actuality those same fears make our characters so much more lifelike. Thanks for the great info and example!

    Reply

  11. Beth K. Vogt
    Mar 23, 2012 @ 20:41:44

    Ashley,
    True, we could hide our fears from our characters — just like we try to hide them from others & even from God.
    But I’ve found such freedom in writing fiction to delve into the truth in new ways — all through fictional characters.
    As authors, we’re told to wreak havoc in our characters’ lives. Yeah, I do that. But I know things will work out for them too.

    Reply

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