Guest Post: Where Real Life and Fiction Meet by Susan K. Beatty

It is my pleasure to welcome Susan K. Beatty. She shares about her new book, her daughters fight against cancer, and how it inspired her series. I know she will be a blessing to you today. Leagh

Among the most terrifying words today are: You have cancer.

When our thirty-one-year-old daughter told us, “I have breast cancer,” shock dropped us to our knees.

Over the next eleven years, Melanie would hear those words two more times. The second episode labelled her stage IV metastatic, of which there is no cure.

Talk about the need to be on our knees praying.

Melanie’s faith and courage throughout her journey have encouraged many, and it inspired me to write about “Courage at the intersection of faith and grit” in a series entitled Faces of Courage.

In each of the novelettes and the full-length novel, Faces of Courage, are characters confronted by breast cancer. And, because life likes to throw us more than one curve at a time, other trials befall each one.

Besides breast cancer, Marissa, in House of Courage, deals with weather events that threaten to destroy her family farm. In Isobel’s Mission of Courage, Isobel feels compelled to take in a homeless woman–while undergoing cancer treatments. Olivia’s husband, in Faces of Courage, becomes increasingly abusive.

Where will these women find the strength to get through such difficulties?

As many of us do when confronted with a new and frightening trial, they begin by thinking they can’t handle the situation and that they have no courage. But as they work through their emotions, pray, and turn to God’s Word, these characters begin to discover it won’t and can’t be done in their own strength.

How many times have I struggled against something, trying to be courageous, only to realize I’m trying to handle it by myself? (More times than I can count!)

Courage begins with faith. God commanded us to believe in the name of Jesus, and we are saved by grace through faith, a gift of God. That faith is a confidence in God the Father to do what he has promised us He will do. He promises to be with us always, He loves us, and has a plan for us.

Throughout the Old and New Testaments His people are told to stand firm, take courage. I Corinthians 16:13 tells us: Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.

As Melanie waded through her treatments, her faith grew stronger. One of her most difficult surgeries involved having two-thirds of her cancer-diseased sternum removed and replaced with a donor bone attached with titanium clamps. If you’ve ever had a cracked rib, you can imagine in a small way what it may have felt like having everything inside feel broken.

Yet her faith stood firm. She will be the first to tell you it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t in her own power, but in the power of God.

 I strive to show real, flawed characters, like we are in true life, struggling to find courage, but increasing in faith and stepping out with grit.

And in the end bringing glory to God.

Susan K. Beatty

Susan K. Beatty is in her third career—from journalist to homeschool mom and tech writer to her lifelong dream to be a novelist. Cancer diagnoses in her daughter’s life and in her own propelled her toward a passion to find and write about courage through faith and grit. Susan is the author of several novelettes and short stories. Her debut novel was recently released. She is working on another novelette and a novel.

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