Today has been an emotion-filled day, beginning with a lot of stress because Grandma was coming to visit (Easter Sunday, you know?) and the house wasn't clean. At all. Then a dreaded trip to church, not because I don't like church or have any qualms about Resurrection Day. I just really love to worship on this day, for after such a week filled with thoughts of God's amazing love, I want really intense worship. And my church loves to do big productions on Easter for all the visitors that have never done anything for me. I know it's just a personal preference, and it would never be enough for me to get in an argument about (though a rant I would perform), but I feel like I can rarely appreciate Resurrection Sunday for what it is, you know?
Today was different. It started out the same, and it was definitely a "production," but it was a production that meant something. Granted, it started with a dramatic dance to "Were You There?" which made me slouch in my seat and silently bemoan the production aspect of Easter - almost as bad as Christmas. Then our pastor read that one passage - the one he always reads on Easter Sunday (feels like) - from what I think is a Max Lucado book, a first-person account by Simon of Cyrene, which is very good but not when you hear it every year.
Then a guy in our church got up and gave his testimony. And then a girl (EW) gave her testimony. And then a ton of people from our church - people that I know - gave their cardboard testimonies to Hillsong's "What the Lord Has Done In Me." If you haven't seen a cardboard testimony, this is the video that started it all:
(Watching it again makes me realize that this was the first time I heard "How He Loves." Amazing song.)
Something you need to know about me - I am not an outwardly emotional person. I have emotion, but I'm not big on tears, and I hate funerals because I always feel like I have to look sad. Recently, I have learned that this is because God made me an Emerald, but whatever the personality, I am still very, very composed even in really emotional situations. I don't cry during chick flicks, and I don't really cry in church.
Today, I sobbed. The cardboard testimonies were going by, and I teared up. Normally, I would stop it right then and there and hold it all back today. But emotion is not a bad thing - indeed, it can be good - and I have really been learning to stop thinking of what others think of me. So I cried. And then I sobbed. And when we stood to sing again, I couldn't sing because I was sobbing. Only twice have I cried so hard in gratitude: once while I saw The Passion, and then today. Usually I only cry when I am sad. It is an entirely new feeling to me to be crying because I'm so happy that a smile cannot contain it.
I do have a point to all this, a writing point. I don't know if it was planned, but the entire morning seemed to hinge on one thing: the story. The love of a God who braves humanity to save His bride. The happy ending. The absolute ransom. The sacrifice of blood made. It wrenched my heart, the heart that adores stories because of the romance they portray. And it made one story rise to the top, one that I have thought of only recently. I'm not sure what it's called, but I know it's epic. I'm not sure how long it is, but I know it could be Lord of the Rings.
That sounds prideful. But in my head, it is! It is Lord of the Rings and Paradise Lost and Dekker's Circle Trilogy, great, epic pieces of literature that portray the love of God. This one - oh, but I cannot spill the plot! I just know - I think I know - that it is what I was born to write. Everything I write before it, published and bestselling that it may or may not become, is just practice for this thing that is being formed. The magnum opus.
In other news, I think I'm going to break my vow. Thin Ice is calling me, calling me, calling me. I've reconciled Lottie to being blond, my first blond main character ever. (I was telling a friend of mine that I had never written a blond main character, and she, being blond, said, "Jane, we're not that bad!") So I'm taking a big step forward and making Lottie blond. I think it's really going to fit with the story, anyway, because I want her to look as vulnerable as possible. And SD, a guy who is now reading my book to critique it, said to go ahead and write. Why not?
(I was a little scared to ask SD to read Ivolet, even though he is a writer, and a good one. But we were chatting on facebook, and he says, "Speaking of which, is it a teen girl novel?" Oh, no. Oh, yes. Given such an opportunity, I had to ask if he wanted to read/critique, and he said that he would love to, "I could say I read it b4 all those suckers in new york who put you as the best seller." So SD is reading my book, too. Two guys. I'm going to value their opinion more than anyone's because they can have an objective, honest evaluation about a "teen girl novel.")