Questions and doubt aren’t a sign of lackluster faith. #youarenotalone

I haven’t had a chance to post a #youarenotalone post in a while, and when one of my friends was hosting a blog tour for New Name by A.C. Williams, it seemed like the perfect book to feature in the #youarenotalone category. So, let’s all welcome A.C. Williams to the blog today! new-name-blog-tour


I grew up in a solid Christian home, attended a solid Christian church, and had mentors who were all solid Christians. And somewhere along the line, I assumed that being a Christian meant that you were always solid. You didn’t doubt. You didn’t question. You didn’t ask why. You just had faith.

Faith. That ethereal, unreachable, incomprehensible concept with very little practical application. Or if it has practical application, no one knows how to explain it. We just take things on faith. We just believe things on faith. And while those are exceptionally poetic and beautiful statements, they’re immensely idealistic and frankly not very useful when it comes to real life.

It’s easy to tell someone to have faith when they feel abandoned or neglected. It’s a fast, quick answer for the down-trodden: “God has a plan.” It’s the stock reply when it feels like life is spiraling out of control. Have faith. Romans 8:28. Just keep believing.

Newsflash: Faith is hard. And anyone who tells you differently is selling something.

For years, I thought of myself as a lackluster Christian, someone who just wasn’t good enough, because I had deep doubts and trust issues when it came to God. I wanted to believe Him, but I just felt like He’d let me down too many times. And I honestly don’t remember when it happened, but one day the truth hit me like a truck.

God loves me. And if I want to get to know Him better, I have to ask Him questions. Doubt comes naturally to us human beings, and the only way to overcome doubt is to ask questions, to seek answers, to look for truth. And in all of the Bible, not a single person who ever came to the Lord with honest questions was ever turned away.

God welcomes my questions. Questions and doubt aren’t a sign of lackluster faith; they’re a sign of a faith that is growing and alive and real.

So when I started writing the Destiny Trilogy, of which New Name is the final installment, I wanted to tackle this issue of faith in action. I wanted to write character who struggled with believing that God was worth trusting because so many of us are there today. And I wanted to present it in a way that readers could understand that doubting God is okay.

Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean you automatically have a superhero kind of faith. It doesn’t make you perfect. It doesn’t make you better than everyone else. Christians are still human beings, and we struggle with faith like everyone else. We still screw up. We still blow our lives up with bad choices, and we still have to face consequences. And we still wonder why we’re following Jesus when nothing in life is going right.

At least, that’s my story. And in New Name, that’s Aura’s story too. She’s done everything right. She’s held on to her faith in spite of danger and pain and horror, and in spite of all of that, things keep going wrong. The question New Name asks isn’t, “Are you a good enough Christian?” The question it asks is, “Can you keep having faith even when nothing goes right?”

That’s faith. And you won’t have that kind of faith unless you struggle, unless you doubt, and unless you ask questions. But the awesome part of God is that He’s big enough to handle it. He doesn’t sit up in the heavens fretting and wringing His hands because we don’t believe Him. He isn’t bothered when we can’t wrap our puny brains around His plan. Nowhere in the Bible (as far as I know) does God denounce having doubt. But He does state that the only way to impress Him is having faith.

Are you a doubting Thomas? Are you a Christian who struggles with taking God at His word? Are you afraid to express reluctance in following Him because you just aren’t sure He can be trusted? Guess what? You’re not alone. Every Christ-follower struggles with those same things, and if they’re honest they would tell you that. But Church culture has beaten that honesty out of many of us and replaced it with an everything’s-always-okay mask.

Don’t give in to that. It’s okay to doubt. Doubting is part of having faith. It’s a step on the journey of getting to know Jesus, so don’t be afraid of it. Don’t be ashamed. And don’t be quiet. Ask questions.

God may be too big for us to understand, but that makes Him big enough to handle our doubts and insecurities too.

About A.C. Williams

acwilliams_headshotAmy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Connect with Amy:

Email: blogtour@amycwilliams.com

Website: amycwilliams.com

Facebook: facebook.com/AmytheStoryteller

Twitter: @acwilliams05

Instagram: instagram.com/acwilliams05

Pinterest: pinterest.com/storytelleramy

About New Name

An unlikely sisterhood.
An unwanted child.
An unthinkable sacrifice.
Aura Morningstar takes the last fragment of the time travel stone and escapes the Knightshade Syndicate by stowing away on a mercenary ship. Despite a rocky start to their relationship, Aura builds a new life with the crew, eccentric mercenary sisters Snow and Rain Stormcloud.new-name-cover

But the consequences of refusing to change history are only beginning.

Aura discovers she is pregnant with Darien Stone’s child. The Stormcloud sisters are pressuring Aura to terminate the pregnancy, but Aura knows all too well the easy choice isn’t always the right one. Can she ever truly accept a child born of rape? Can she face the constant reminder of all she has lost? And if she keeps the child, will Snow and Rain continue to shelter her? Without their protection, Knightshade will find her, take back the time stone, and rewrite history for their purposes.

Aura must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice—Stone’s child or history itself.

 

Purchase Links

Amazon (ebook): https://www.amazon.com/New-Name-Destiny-Trilogy-Three-ebook/dp/B01LBQ3YE0

Amazon (softcover): https://www.amazon.com/New-Name-Destiny-Trilogy-Morningstar/dp/0990555550

Barnes & Noble (softcover): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/new-name-ac-williams/1125189101?ean=9780990555551

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33146655-new-name

Crosshair Press Direct: http://crosshairpress.com/bookstore/crosshair-direct/

Amy has generously offered to give away a signed copy and e-copy of New Name. The signed copy is open to US only, but the e-copy is open to international residents. Winners will be announced at the end of the Facebook party on March 11th.

Giveaway Link: http://giveawaytools2.com/giveaway.php?sk=25146859047

Join the Facebook party as well!

new-name-facebook-party-banner

 

 

 

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Keep Walking: Guest Post by Author Kadee Carder

What do you love doing? I like to write. I dig a great movie, I hoard cheesecake, and I adore new purses, but I come alive when I write. What makes you feel blissful? Are you trying to kickstart a new venture, pursue long-term goals, or basically weather the storm? All those things which make us feel alive, they are so valuable, are they not? What would life be without bliss and passion and fulfillment?

You know, I’ve noticed that those undertakings, while bringing sparkle and adventure and pink polka dot fuzzies, come with a side of heartbreak and an extra shot of the tears of your ancestors. Adventures aren’t always fun. Behind the light, shadows lurk. The good news is…we’re in this together. And we have coffee.

I believe in hope, I hope for trust, and I trust in faith. Faith powers tenacity. And with faith in a loving God, we can do amazing work. Good work. Excellent work. [Break for a sip of coffee.]

Now, first of all, I’m going to be terribly honest with you. That means I’m going to smudge those rosy-colored shades a smidge: All of this is hard. It’s all hard. But while it is challenging, it’s also filled with hugs, and laughter, and blue skies, and soft breezes, and chocolate.

Recently, at a particularly low moment, I shuffled along the road. I just had to get out of my house, away from technology, and away from the goals I was trying to pursue and having only overwhelming, looming walls blocking me from advancing. My shadow reflected my wounded spirit. Praying, hoping, and absorbing the golden sunlight, I wound through the neighborhood. Countless sighs drifted toward the ether. And then a Fed-Ex truck pulled up beside me, and the driver, smiling, called out to me, “No! You cannot stop! Keep walking.”

Laughing, I nodded and agreed with him, and he wished me a good day and an enjoyable walk. “You look like you’re ready to be done with your walk,” he added as he drove away. “Keep walking.” I thanked him and shoved my hands in my pockets.

Even Batman can puzzle the implications as to why on this particular day this particular girl slumped along and a particular Fex-Ex driver felt the need to say that. But he did. He dared venture to speak the words I desperately needed to hear.kadee-carder-quote

Do you need to hear them, too, friend?

No, you cannot stop. Keep walking.

Life is an accumulation of shared gifts. You or I may not always be the best at something, but you are best at the gift you have to give. You are in your space to help those within your reach. Only you can offer your love in your quirky manner, so go get it out and dish it up.

Now let’s discuss the walking.

I’ve got an extra mug poured for you. Cream? Sugar?


About Kadee:

kadee-carder

 

Deep in the heart of Texas, Kadee Carder resides with her husband and daughters. Carder earned a BA in Public Relations at Howard Payne University and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University. She teaches English courses on the university level and plans her schedule around coffee availability. When she’s not dancing around the living room with her daughters, she helps at church activities, creates encouraging blogs, and orders pizza like a boss.

Connect with Kadee:

Website: kadeecarder.com

Twitter: @kadeecarderink

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kadeecarderink/

Instagram: kadeecarderink

And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com

 

Do you enjoy fiction? We humans have to be stronger than we ever imagine, love ourselves in the process, and dig in when the ground seems to sink. We not only relish adventures, we create them. That’s the basis of Saylor’s story in my young adult science fiction trilogy, Insurrection.

Book Blurb:

Saylor started out on one adventure and ended up on another. After finding herself on a Caribbean island filled with strange noises, dazzling beaches, and a secret military base, Saylor must seize the missing pieces of her fate. While harnessing her ability to communicate with deadly weapons of mass destruction, attending the annual gala, and fighting her growing feelings for the hunky Australian soldier, Saylor’s instincts become increasingly distressed. Tempted by greed and independence, she must determine what she stands for and on whose side she belongs. Power within in her. War without.

They wanted a warrior. They got one.

Purchase each book for only $4.99:

Amazon

Nook/Barnes&Noble

iTunes

Kadee is giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to her email list at kadeecarder.com. The book is called Ignite and offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace.

 

Reviews:

“I loved this story. The characters are so witty, well developed and real. The growth Saylor goes through is touching and had me rooting for her every step of the way. The technology introduced is intriguing and frightening. Like what would happen if your favorite pastime started fighting back and you were thrown into the deadliest game of baseball you could ever imagine? In the midst of the awesome kick butt-ness are the girl giggles of a first crush that will have you swooning and wanting more.

An amazing first novel in a series that I can already tell will become one of my favorite series.

If you are looking for a unique science fiction book you need to pick this book up! You will be memorized by the story, the wonder of the strange island, the romance developing, and the unwavering friendship.”
~ Amy

***

“I loved this book. As a mom, I’m always looking for good adventure stories for my 15-year old daughter to read, and Insurrection takes the cake. The daring heroine is unafraid of adventure but also not ashamed of romance. (I have to say, though, that it was refreshing to have the focus be more on the adventure and less on the romance!)
I can’t wait for the second and third books.”
~ Laura

***

Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com/incomplete.html for book trailer, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!