About Behind the Books We Love From the Authors We Love tour
Books are often so much more than just a way to pass the extra minutes or hours of the day. Books are both a way to escape reality, as well as to reshape our reality with the values we take from stories or testimonies. Any dedicated reader likely has a favorite book that changed the way they looked at life or a situation, and that’s because authors–often intentionally–write their books from personal passions or experiences.
In our new blog series, we are sharing the purposes and inspirations of these books. Behind the Books We Love From the Authors We Love will be an ongoing series for the next few months and will feature authors of all genres to all ages of readers. You may recognize some of their books as being featured on Literature Approved before, and others are entirely new. But these posts are sure to give you a fresh look at a book that you loved, or may even motivate you to pick up one you’ve never read. We invite you to join us by checking back with us every couple of weeks, or ensure that you’re following us so that you get the articles in your email–who knows, maybe your favorite author will be featured?!
Behind Seek from Angela R. Watts
Seek, book 1 of Whispers of Heaven, is a novel I first completed at the age of fifteen. From the beginning, my hope was to show others that emotional abuse is just as real as physical abuse, and that healing and forgiveness can happen. The following two years were a hard journey of learning to forgive those who have harmed me, seeking the Lord through the storms of life, and choosing faith instead of fear. At the end of those years, I independently published Seek with full confidence God would use it to bless others. If you’ve been emotionally abused, have had a narcissistic relationship, or want to feel something again… I wrote Seek for you.
Before I was born, my family adopted a baby and she grew up to be my best friend and sister. I told her all my secrets, cracked too many jokes with her, and followed her around like a puppy. For a long time, I didn’t find her attitude or actions wrong–they just were. Surely, when she hit us to hard when we were ‘play-fighting’, she hadn’t meant to cause welts on my brother and I. Surely, she didn’t mean to hurt us when she stole and lied to us–after all, she said she was sorry, and that meant something even if she kept doing it, right? My sister began to lie early on in life and by the time I was a preteen, her getting into trouble became routine and very normal to me.
Once I was a preteen, however, I began to see and feel more. I began to see how her lies didn’t add up and how she lied over very small, petty things. By that time, my sister was extremely unstable in her mind, to the point my parents feared for our safety as a family. Therapy did not help her and we didn’t know what to do for her. Eventually, my sister left town.
I cannot describe the numbness in my spirit once she was truly gone from our lives. A part of me was ashamed for not weeping myself to sleep over losing my sister, though by that time, she had broken my trust completely. Another part of me was both relieved and indifferent, because while she could no longer hurt us, I knew how hard it would be to rebuild as a family. My sister did great harm to all of us. I was broken in spirit, so I shut down.
Then, the Lord gave me a dream. That little, crazy dream sparked the novel Seek. Through the drafts, edits, and publication mishaps, I kept my eyes on the Lord. I begged Him to help me feel something–anything–so I did not continue to be numb. I feared if I remained numb, I would eventually become my sister, and I didn’t want that. As I did research and life continued on, I understood that it was never anything I did–my sister was not stable. She was a narcissist and God knows what else, but that was not my fault. I loved her. I still love her. But by letting her go, and now entrusting her to the Lord, I accepted the gift of Christ. And that is forgiveness.
See, forgiveness is not always simple. However, with Christ, all things are possible. And you know what? After I forgave my sister, I was free. I was not bonded to her any longer, but free to seek Christ without any chains or pain holding me down! It was a precious gift to be set free like that and able to feel joy again as a fifteen-year-old! I understood forgiveness isn’t easy, but when we diligently seek the Lord, it is possible. It is possible to forgive a narcissist. And it is possible to let them go and give them to Christ.
I shed many tears over the novel, praying that it would help someone else just as much as it helped me. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without writing Seek–and if only one person reads the novel and isn’t the same after, I have done what the Lord needed of me. If you have ever been emotionally abused, this book is for you. If you have ever had a narcissist make you believe you were the unstable one, this book is for you. If you’re lost and want to seek God but don’t know how, this book is for you. And if you’re pleading to feel something, this book is for you, too. May the Lord show Himself to you, my friend.
Angela R. Watts is a Christian fiction author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does. She’s a homeschooled highschooler living at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel. She’s been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and being manager at Reveries Co.