Thursday, 23 September 2021

G Guest Editorials

Celebrate Lit: Faces of Courage

How God Can Use All Things for Good through Our Writing

by Susan K. Beatty


Watching your daughter go through three bouts of breast cancer and ten surgeries is hard. Hearing she is stage IV metastatic, for which there is no cure, is harder. Of course, it doesn’t compare to the “hard” for the patient.

Faces of Courage website ad availableWatching our daughter Melanie’s incredible courage as she walked, and continues to walk, through the trials, each one building her faith and courage stronger, has shown us one of God’s truths: He promises He will use all things for good. Without these trials, would her faith and her courage be as strong as it is today?

We wondered if other good could come from her horrific trials.

Inspired to tell stories like Melanie’s by showing others how courage can come at the intersection of faith and grit, the idea for my Faces of Courage novel emerged. Shortly after, my passion to spread the word about God’s goodness blossomed into more stories begging to be told, and my Faces of Courage series was born.

The series consists of two novelettes, House of Courage and Isobel's Mission of Courage, along with my debut novel Faces of Courage. While all deal with an aspect of breast cancer and Melanie has been the inspiration for writing them, these stories are not hers.

In Faces of Courage, Olivia is terrorized by her husband’s mistreatment, confused by her misunderstanding of how God views her, and challenged by her lack of strong faith. Just as Olivia’s courage matures and strengthen through these problems, she’s thrown by those knee-buckling words, “You have breast cancer.”

This novel shows, by necessity, a gritty look at domestic abuse and the realities of dealing with cancer and its various treatments. I wanted to show Olivia’s growth as a wife, how she experienced the cancer, and how her courage flourished.

Melanie has been my expert content resource on what breast cancer patients face before, after, and during treatment. She and I wanted these books to be authentic, which also means they may be grim in the details.

This also applies to the subject of domestic abuse. It, too, may be difficult in its uncomfortable specifics. My daughter did not face this issue (praise God!), so my expert resources came from a lot of research and reading. The character's domestic abuse situation was her training ground in courage. By the time she confronted her cancer diagnosis, her courage muscles had already formed, exemplifying God’s promise to use everything for good.

Cancer and domestic abuse are not the only issues in which humans are asked to find courage. A face of courage is necessary when being confronted by the need to ask forgiveness, or to grant forgiveness, to someone who’s not looking for it. Or when feeling out of place in your family, or so deeply swaddled by family, it makes saying goodbye that much more difficult.

My Faces of Courage series will continue to address these and other issues. New in the series will be my third novelette, Carmen’s Journey of Courage, coming September 2021, several short stories as companion pieces, and a second novel, The Fragrance of Violets, releasing May susy beatty 2022.  

I pray that even if the reader has not faced cancer (or domestic abuse), she will have a better understanding of what others endure. If she has been in these situations, I pray she can find comfort and encouragement in the stories.

Whatever trials you face, remember this promise: He will use all things for good. So, step out, emboldened, and discover the courage you seek at the intersection of faith and grit.

For more information about my books and to read my blog, please visit me at SusanKBeatty.com.

           

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