As I begin this post, I must say that I do not condone everything in the Twilight Series. I desire to share personal testimony of God, who is able to meet us where we are in the process of maturing in Love and can speak through anything to get our attention. While reading these books, I had one of the most significant encounters in my journey with the Lord and continued to find language for what was in my heart. It has become a mile marker in my journey. The story is a memory stone; a reminder of a God who enjoys me in my weakness.
I had been walking with the Lord for three years when I stated to read the series. After coming out of such a dark lifestyle, I had to separate myself from the worldview I had previously known. This was necessary for me at that time, but it formed a religious mindset. I thought If I was not doing ministry, studying the Bible, or focused in prayer, then I was walking in sin. This filled me with shame anytime I found enjoyment in anything that was not overtly “Christian.” I believed that God would look away from me when I sinned and did not enjoy me unless I was focused on Him.
When I started reading Twilight, I got sucked in. It was a real page turner for me. It would be late at night, so I would say “just one more chapter,” then find myself still reading several chapters later. One night in particular, I found myself in tears, saying “Lord I want you to be the page turner. I want you to be the reason I can’t get to sleep because I am so fascinated with you.” In that moment I felt the Lord’s nearness; like He was sitting in the chair right next to me. I felt His enjoyment over me. He began describing the reasons He enjoyed me by listing specific details about me- everything from physical features to my personality. Each detail would cause a wave of tangible love to wash over me, like electricity.
In the story, the main character, Bella, is in love with Edward who is a vampire. Bella struggles to believe Edward loves her because she recognizes his strength and beauty, while she is weak and “ordinary.” Edward expresses many times how he loves Bella in her humanity and she doubts it through most of the series.
This is the truth that God wanted to communicate to me; even in my weakness, He delights in me. The picture He gave me was that of a Father who is with His son. His son gets preoccupied with a toy and is filled with laughter. Though the child is not focused on the Father; He still enjoys the child’s enjoyment. Jesus was with me as I was enjoying this book, and He was enjoying my enjoyment. And then beyond enjoying things in this life, Jesus delights in me through my struggles with sin. He does not enjoy my engaging of sin, but He sees my fight. He sees my sorrow over sin, my repentant heart, and my reach for Him.
The Lord continued to speak to me powerfully throughout this series. To be honest; this humbled me greatly. I would have judged any believer that I saw getting into a fictional series. Who am I to criticize another’s journey? The Lord shows great compassion towards us in the process. The world is aching for Jesus and you can hear the cries through what is expressed in creativity. I am so thankful He does not criticize, but comes alongside us in the process to show us how to walk in His ways. This is all of our stories; learning full dependence on Jesus and not on our own meager attempts at perfection.
Zack Roberts — zackroberts.blog
Operations Director at Ember