Tuesday, August 7, 2018

People Need the Lord by Laura V. Hilton

… for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (Matthew 16:7b KJV)
Laura V. Hilton

There is a song that was popular many years ago. Written by Steve Green and titled, “People Need the Lord,” it talks about the people he saw each day who hid their pain and how Jesus knew the cares of their hearts. (To listen on YouTube, click here.)

The lyrics have been brought home to me lately as I begin a new story. As readers know, for characters to become real, their struggles must be realistic. Like the song, their lives must be hard, but I also like my characters to have a fun side too.

I’m struggling with these new characters because I know nothing about them. What lies do they believe about themselves? What is their private pain? I don’t plot out stories, but there are a few basic things I need to know to start. And yes, it could be compared to the military’s: “Name, rank, and serial number.” Or law enforcement’s: “Just the facts, ma’am.” But not exactly.

In the story I just finished and turned into Whitaker House, the heroine believed she was too outspoken to find love. Yet she couldn’t quite seem to manage her tongue. She even struggled to believe that God loved her. Did He hear her prayers? The hero believed that he wasn’t worthy of trust. He wanted to prove himself, but how could he when he failed so miserably? He was limping through life with weak faith.

If you were to meet these characters in real life, you’d think they were happy people. They knew how to laugh and have fun. They had jobs they liked—most of the time. They even said the right words when they were around other believers so people didn’t know they were struggling with their faith.

Just like us.

Sunday I was sitting in church, shamefully not listening to the sermon, but instead mentally composing a letter I would never mail, telling a family member what I thought about their actions and how much it hurt me. I looked at the pastor. I turned to the scripture references. To all intents and purposes, anyone in church would think that I was paying rapt attention to the message. I can tell you the scripture reference… but that is it.

I laughed and spoke with the other members of the church. But not one person there (other than my family) knew how much I was hurting. How much I struggled with the words someone had said.

I needed Jesus. I needed His help to forgive this person, and His help not dwelling on the way I had been treated. God is helping me feel peace and work through the pain.

And that is real life. We play church. We laugh and talk. We hide our private pain. And our characters have to do that too. Yet, since we are in their heads as we read, we have to know what hurts them. What they believe. And how Jesus is going to be able to reach out and touch them in that dark, painful spot so they can begin to find healing.

Is there some way that you need God to work? Can Jesus help you forgive someone for something? Do you need His spirit to heal the hidden pain in your heart?

Dear Lord: You see our hearts and know the pain we’re feeling. Please help us to forgive and heal our emotions. We need You. Amen. 

For more posts by Laura V. Hilton, click here.

About the Author

Award-winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom, and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: 
Patchwork DreamsA Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow GlobeThe Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015.

See below for information on Laura's latest, The Christmas Admirer. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura
visit her blog: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Laura_V_Hilton or @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

Firestorm by Laura V. Hilton

Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.

Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.

As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.