Friends, today we have a special guest. Kellyn Roth is the author of The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series, a series which I have had the pleasure of copy editing for her. The latest Alice & Ivy book, At Her Fingertips, released on July 17, 2021, so is now available.
Be sure to stay tuned after the guest article, because Kellyn is hosting a giveaway.
The Strength in Our Weaknesses
by Kellyn Roth
I’m Kellyn Roth, a historical women’s fiction and romance writer who loves filling my novels with Christian themes. Today I’m here to talk about one of the themes in my novel, At Her Fingertips.
This book is practically brimming with ideas—and I never planned for any of them! God just likes to toss random things into my novels, and this was one I hadn’t planned at all.
You see, my idea was to write a novel in which my main character, Alice, struggles to release her plans to Christ. As the Bible notes, “[God] knows the plans [He] thinks toward you.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Our end is “expected” to Him—He’s already got it all figured out!
So with a control freak like Alice (sorry, girl—it’s true!), I had a lot to work with!
However, one day, I was writing along, minding my own business, and suddenly, this happened:
“She was doing it again—letting pride and stubbornness pull her away from those she loved. She’d rather appear strong and reject vulnerability than have a close relationship with her family. But she wasn’t strong; she was weak, and every time she failed to show her weakness, she became weaker.”
After this happened, I had to go back through the rest of the novel during rewrites and think over what I really meant and do some serious Bible research.
Here’s what I arrived at.
The Bible’s message is clear on pride, something Alice has plenty of. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) Our command is simple: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10)
However, Alice’s specific pride comes from relying on her own strength—and refusing to accept help from anyone. The Bible is pretty clear where our strength comes from, of course: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13, italics added for emphasis)
Actually, one of my favorite verses on the subject is below:
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
I’d always interpreted Alice’s specific struggle as refusing to accept help from God, but I realized that another, more in-the-moment sin is her refusal to accept help (including sympathy) from others.
We’ve been given another command on this specific subject: “comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” It’s so vital for us to turn to others—not only for love and encouragement, but for fellowship. We need other humans in our lives to point out our sins and push us toward Christ.
However, if we’re not vulnerable, if we always try to present a perfect front, if we’re too caught up in our own pride to let them in, we lose the support we so vitally need.
This is why it’s so important to “seek help,” even for the little things. We can and sometimes should rely only on God. However, God puts people in our lives for a reason, and a lot of the time, He uses them to help us get through the tough times and to encourage us in the way we most need.
We think, in our own human frailty, that hiding our weaknesses and working on them by ourselves is the best way to get to the root of the issue. We don’t want to share those dark places; we’d rather clean them up before they were shared. However, that’s simply not how it works.
Our weaknesses are actually an important part of our story.
How does God view us? He knows all our weaknesses … what is He thinking when it comes to them?
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
Folks, here’s the thing. God has said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” For us to say that we are stronger without them is utter lunacy.
Oftentimes our weaknesses are what God uses to reach us … and then it becomes what He uses to reach others, to change lives, to make up the tapestry that is life.
If we can “boast in our infirmities,” shouldn’t we then be sharing them with others? Rejoicing in Christ’s power over them? Instead of focusing on the depth of our sins, can we focus on the depth of Christ’s love for us? How big and real and all-encompassing His salvation is?
Ladies and gentleman, God’s power is incredible. He is amazing—utterly beyond the description of any words I could provide. Never is this more evident than in the incredible work He did to separate us from our sins, our weaknesses, which seem to be the very basis of who we are at times.
Yet we as Christians are washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb. These sins that seemed so permanently affixed to our nature are no longer keeping us from God’s holiness and from Heaven.
What an incredible sacrifice Christ did make on the cross!
Though I only did a brief exploration of the theme in the actual novel, I’m having a fun time developing Alice’s character and teaching her to be vulnerable and rely on others. It’s actually one of the most interesting themes I’ve played with, because I have a little experience with this particular trouble, too!
It’s challenging for me to be open with my friends about the things I need—and though I will complain about all the things I have to do, it’s hard for me to let others take over things for me—let alone take advice on how to work through my weaknesses.
And there are some things I’d rather keep buried, admittedly! Though I’ve worked to not do so, it can be hard for me to admit certain faults and flaws—real or perceived. I’m so incredibly happy I stumbled upon this theme, because putting Alice through it will doubtless be incredibly helpful for me in the end.
Well, folks, that’s all I’ve got to say on the subject for now! Thank you so much for reading this blog post—and special thanks to Andrea for allowing me to post on her blog today! I had a lot of fun writing this article, and I’m so thankful for you!
About the Book
Debutante Alice Knight is ready for her first social season in London. She’s determined to impress society and her mother with an affluent match, at last escaping her past and embracing a future of her own making.
Peter Strauss, an American reporter visiting England, isn’t exactly what Alice had in mind. However, his friendship proves invaluable as Alice faces the challenges of her debut. Almost immediately, she attracts the attention of a well-born gentleman—perfect save for the simple fact that he’s not a Christian.
The life she longs for is finally at her fingertips, but between her own heart and the convictions of her faith, she isn’t sure she ought to grasp it.
About the Author
Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who has independently published multiple novels, the most notable being The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. You should definitely call her Kell.
Kell lives on family-owned property outside an unmemorable but historical town with her parents, two little brothers, arbitrary cat, precious border collies, a dozen cows, and lots of chickens. She also possesses a classic, vintage aesthetic which does not at all speak to her country girl side, but such is life.
When not writing, Kell likes to blog, teach writing to her various students, have day jobs which allow her to keep her car properly insured, and spend lavish amounts of money on Dairy Queen french fries. She also likes to talk about Keira Knightley and her own books way too much.
To sign up for the giveaway, please click on the below link.