Do you believe in evil beings? Do you think evil exists in our world?
Many people don’t but I do. I don’t only believe evils exists, but I know it exists because God says so.
Although I do believe in good and evil, my feelings ebb and flow over the years as I have underestimated or overestimated the power of supernatural beings.
As I work on Premonition, I’m learning how I have erred in both directions.
I avoided writing in the Christian Thriller & Suspense genre for years because I overestimated the power of evil. had a scary encounter as a child that kept me afraid of dealing with the duality of life on earth amid the supernatural because I couldn’t tell whether the event was a dream or if it really happened.
I was afraid of the enemy, signing over power to him in my life. As a result, I diminished the power of God. When I realized what a slap in the face that was to my Father, I apologized and opened myself up for Him to lead me where I ought to go.
He was kind to me while I avoided writing scary stories that the enemy’s schemes and even more gracious after I apologized.
During my avoidance years, I tried to write in so many genres: Sweet Romance, Romantic Suspense, Young Adult Fantasy, and Cozy Mysteries. In November 2018, I was ready to give up writing. The stories I wrote weren’t bad, but an essential element was missing in all of them.
Not me as a character in my books, but the heart of what makes me Ali Dent, my faith and compelling desire to share about Jesus in person and in my work.
Rather than give up, I cried out to the Lord, “What’s wrong with me? Should I stop writing?”
After that prayer, I had a strong urge to go to the library. I usually work in a local coffee shop, but not that day. I climbed the stairs to the top floor and set my computer bag and purse on a table facing a long wall lined with aisles of fiction books organized by genre.
I thought I was there to write. I sat down but didn’t start writing. Instead, my gaze drifted down the right side of the wall reading the labels on the end cap of each shelf. I felt at home among so many of my book friends
I’ve written YA Fantasy. Cozy Mystery. Yep, I have a mystery story in my files. I skipped over the Christian fiction aisles to the romance section. Recalling the stories I had written that would fit on those shelves, I began to feel pretty down on myself.
A gentle nudge in my heart drew my attention to the Christian fiction section.
I stood up. Paused. Then I entered the aisle. I ticked off dozens of books I had read in that section until my eyes focused on the Ted Dekker section. A friend had recommended his books to me a few years earlier, and I had read a couple of them. I pulled Eyes Wide Open off the shelf and returned to my seat. Six chapters in, and I stopped reading. A sense of contentment washed over me and I felt a Cheshire grin spread across my face so fully that an onlooker might have guessed I was reading a comedy.
I whispered, “Yes, Lord.”
My Precious Father pointed me in the direction that would please him and make me happy even though I had held back on Him for so long. He never stopped wooing me to write in the genre that had appealed to me in my early 20s, starting with a book called This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti.
Would he have minded if I published in another genre? I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think so. However, he knew how he had knit me together in my mother’s womb and that my highest satisfaction comes when I share the gospel. I not only had left me out of the other stories I had written. I had left God out too.
What I understand so far
- I have nothing to fear because God is my protector.
- I need the Lord’s constant guidance to keep me from overestimating and underestimating the power of evil.
- You, my Thriller Family are worth writing mind-bending stories about people who learn how to thrive in the realm BETWEEN good and evil.
For those of you who have known me for a while, you know how important accuracy is to me, especially when it comes to the Truth. Writing a fun story for you to read is super important to me. Getting the Truth right is vital to my happiness while I’m writing the story.
So, I reach out to God to teach me. Tim Keller is one of my trusted teachers. I’ve been reading and watching his videos on the subject of spiritual warfare. The video I’ve linked to below might appeal to you if you want to learn more about spiritual warfare.
“Modern people are uncomfortable with the existence of evil, let alone the existence of the Devil. Yet, the Bible teaches that we cannot fully understand the world we live in unless we realize that there are supernatural agents of evil. But it is not enough to believe in the Devil; a Christian must study his methods. Satan practices evil subtly. He tempts and accuses people rather than overthrowing their will. Temptation is when the Devil asks us to ignore the holiness of God. Accusation is when he blinds us to the love and grace of God.” — Tim Keller
|Ali Dent |
P.O. Box 2
Lindale, GA 30147