Sunday, February 08, 2015

I WISH I HAD A DIFFERENT FAMILY—by Christine Lindsay



As a kid, I wished I had a different family. Not all of us grew up with the loving dad who carved the Christmas turkey, took us on vacation to the beach, and fixed broken toys. In fact, my dad broke my toys—accidentally of course—but he broke my stuff more frequently than he gave things to me.

I was ashamed of my father, embarrassed if my friends saw him staggering home drunk.

My dad’s drinking robbed me of my childhood. From the time I was twelve I was looking out for my mother, watching that my dad didn’t hurt her too much. Helping to financially support her, myself, and my younger brother and sister with my babysitting jobs.

I often wonder how many families have been destroyed by alcoholism.

Thank God the heavenly Father didn’t leave me in that despair. From the time I entered my teens I began to learn how much the Lord loved me and He became my dad. It was also the power of a loving savior that gave strength to my mother, to help her stand up to her abusive and neglectful husband. My mum and we three kids ran away from my dad way back in 1978. He never changed, and sadly remained an alcoholic to his dying day.

My mother’s story inspired Shadowed in Silk, the first book in my series.

As for my real life, I could have carried the despair and bitterness that my father’s drinking had done to us the rest of my life. For many years I did act like a victim constantly fighting against the world, feeling sorry for my poor childhood. Even though I was a follower of Christ it took decades for the Lord to teach me what the love of a father was all about.

As time passed, things went well for me. I married a wonderful Christian 
man, and watching the way he loved our kids healed the last bit of bitterness about my own childhood. But sadly my younger brother and sister inherited the same addiction as our dad. Both my brother and sister succumbed to alcoholism even though they both believed in Christ. With despair and disgust I watched how the drink destroyed their lives.

And I was reminded again how much I hated the family traits that seemed to be passed down through our bloodline. It seemed the Spirit of God wasn’t winning against the natural traits in our family.

It took years of prayer, but three years ago I saw God change my brother and bring him out to a life of sobriety. I’m still praying for my sister. But as I watched my brother go through rehabilitation and choose sobriety for his life I was reminded of Romans chapter 7 

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do… As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing…20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it…

It took some time, but not only have I seen God’s work changing me, but I’ve seen him change my brother, and other members of my family.  

Whatever the natural trait you inherited from your bloodline, it can be healed through Christ.

Bitterness doesn’t have to be your middle name.

A dark childhood can be changed into a bright and beautiful life.

I believe in happy endings in my writing because I’ve seen happy endings in my own life through the promises of Jesus Christ.


My entire series Twilight of the British Raj shows the healing of a family first tainted by a father’s alcoholism. In book 1 Shadowed in Silk, my heroine Abby Fraser stands up to her drunken and abusive husband. In book 2 Captured by Moonlight my Indian heroine Eshana stands up to her fanatical Hindu uncle who won’t allow her to live as a Christian. And in the final book 3 Veiled at Midnight my character Cam (who was a boy in book 1) and is now a man, faces his inner demons that he has inherited his father’s addiction to alcohol.

All sounds very dark and dismal. Alcoholism? Why would I ever want to read a novel about that, never mind an entire series?

How many of us have been hurt by our families? How many of us have been hurt by our father, our mother, or another loved one?

It’s because I’ve experienced the joy of a life cleansed and renewed that  I write not about drunkenness, but the tingling feeling of when God makes everything thing new. Humor, light, and hope shimmering within the pages.

I hope you’ll take a look at the multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, the historical, romantic, adventurous, exciting, and passionate, books Shadowed in Silk, Captured by Moonlight, and Veiled at Midnight.




You might find something to strengthen your faith while you're being entertained.

Blessings,

Christine 

1 comment:

Elaine Stock said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt testimony you've shared, Christine, on the healing power of God's love for us. Although not alcoholism, mental illness was/is the plague that swept through my family. To this day I'm still learning about the magnificance of God's glory and learning how to be thankful. It's so much easier to move forward with Him in the lead as well as beside us.