Each of us experiences profound moments, the ones that define us and shape us as individuals, a couple, or a family. We begin to encounter them as far back as we can remember. We hold them close to us, and like valuable treasures, we occasionally bring them to the forefront of our thoughts, and we remember.
I was eleven-years-old, living in Germany, when I read my first chapter book, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Because of family trauma, I felt the weight of the world resting heavily upon my shoulders. Even at a tender age, I understood that I would never experience what it truly meant to live the carefree life of a child. Picking up C. S. Lewis’s beloved book from his The Chronicles of Narnia series caused everything to change.
That singular defining moment of my life has become one of my most beloved moments of profoundness. To this day, I can picture myself leaning back against my twin-sized headboard, while the clock ticked away the late hours of the night. With the cold Bavarian wind pressing against the glass of my window, I devoured every word of Mr. Lewis’s wonderfully written book and discovered a whole other world outside of my own!
Some would say that my encounter with fiction only served as an escape, a savored reprieve from the world and all of its ragged harshness. There is no question that during all those quiet hours alone in my room, with my nose tucked between white pages with black print, my current problems and pain found a temporary place on the shelf of my heart. For me, the real wonder of discovering fiction was the tiny shoots of hope it pushed forth into my life–hope that there was something better waiting for me on the other side of my childhood.
Years later, I would learn that the noble lion, Aslan, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was written by Lewis as an example of the sacrificial love of Christ. Looking back at that young girl who was trying to make sense of her world, I hadn’t yet experienced the magical love of Christ that Lewis portrayed. What I did gain in that pivotal moment was a promise that there was worth and meaning to my life.
As an author, my greatest joy is to walk readers through the hardships of life feeling as if they have gained more than they have lost, to illustrate with words a backdrop for the hurt that is a very real place for all of us, and to phrase for every reader the beauty of the moments in between.