Friday, November 11, 2011


I hope you have enjoyed this week with me. I have learned much from my guests and I hope you have as well.
When I first set out to write Yesterday's Tomorrow, I wasn't really sure what I was getting into. I knew I would have to do my research. I didn't know much about war. Didn't really know how I felt about it. Some days I didn't want to write the book at all.
It was too terrifying.
But as I researched and read and learned, I found countless stories of men and women who possessed a courage I'd never imagined. Men and women who left their families and loved ones, left all they knew and stepped into hell, who sacrificed so much - I wanted to know why. Why would they do that? Why leave the comfort of home for a sweltering jungle? Why take up arms against foreign men in foreign lands? Why die for the sake of freedom?

Like Kristin in my book, I had many questions. Many doubts. And, like Kristin, I found there were no easy answers.
Most of the accounts I read from those who served all said the same thing. No regrets. They served because it was the right thing to do. Not because it was easy. Not because it was honorable. But because it was right.
There are always two sides to every story. There were those who were drafted. Those who protested. Those who ran.
But those who served, even when they were no longer sure what the right thing was anymore, they deserve our honor and our respect.

I'm still not sure I have a definite answer on how I really feel about war. It's ugly. It leaves scars. It kills. But it exists. It is reality. And as long as it is, there will be those who are called to fight. And really, whether we agree on the concept of war or not, we should all agree that they are out there doing what many of us could never do.
So how do we reconcile all this as Christians? What is it like for those who believe to go out and kill another human being? I asked those questions a lot during the writing of my novel. I write from a Christian worldview, so I knew this was something I needed to address. Yet once again, I found no easy answers. The best I could come up with is written here, in a discussion that Kristin has with her brother Teddy, who is serving in Vietnam.

He reached for her hands. "Have you stopped being mad at God?"
Kristin pinched her lips together. Where was God in all this madness? 
The prayers she muttered when she felt the need seemed  futile.  Since coming to Vietnam, she’d seen nothing to convince her God even existed.  
“Not really. I’m more confused than ever. You know what it’s like out there.
You’ve seen the death, the destruction. How can you  sit there,  knowing what’s going on up in those hills, and tell me God is okay with all this? 
That He loves us?”  
“Kris.” He tightened his grip on her hands, his eyes filled with a light she didn’t understand. 
“God didn’t make this war. We did.”  Clear determination and passion shone from his eyes.
“When I think about this  war, think about the guys on the frontlines, I can’t help but think of Jesus. ‘No greater love has a man who lays down his life for his friends.’  That’s what the guys out there  are doing for us, Kris. None of this makes sense,  I  know, but it makes even less sense without Him.” 
Respect for her brother and what he was doing out here overrode any  counterargument she could make. “I love you, Teddy.”  
And perhaps, in some way, he was right.  
Perhaps there really was no greater cost.

We may never have the answers to all the questions we ask. Maybe we're not supposed to.
However you feel about war, I urge you to remember those who serve. Pray for them. Remember their loved ones. Pray for them. Remember to say thank you.
They are laying their lives down for us. For me. For you.
For our freedom.
And for that, thank you is not enough.
But it's all we have.
So to all our Veterans, those lost to us and those present, those who still serve, and their families today, on this Remembrance Day, THANK YOU and MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU SAFE.

I'll send the winner a copy of Yesterday's Tomorrow, here's all you have to do:
LEAVE A COMMENT telling us how you are celebrating Veteran's Day
FOLLOW THIS BLOG (if you aren't already!)
And make sure you leave your email!


Katie Ganshert said...

This post reminds me of how much I love your writing!

Catherine West said...

Aw, shucks...
HUGS to you my friend!

jmrinaldo said...

Celebrating Veterans' Day by praying for all our soldiers, past, present, and God forbid future. I'd love a copy of your book!

Rebecca DeMarino said...

Thank you, Catherine! From a family of vets, this means a lot to me! Can't wait to read Yesterday's Tomorrow!

Anne Payne said...

Wonderful post!

I am praying today for the veterans that are active in our families life, as well as other veterans. We have some that are extra special that work with our boys every week through our local Civil Air Patrol program (USAF Auxiliary). The time they give to instilling honor and integrity in our young men and women is sacrificial. They get no monetary compensation. We have veterans from Korea and Vietnam!

I can't wait to read your book. I just got to read the excerpt today and was in tears before Ch 1 even started :)


Sharon said...

Catherine - Would love to read your book...sometimes we need to dealt with the harshness of living in this world. Oh the joy of heaven that awaits us! Thanks for the give away and for blessing us with your writing.
South Sub Book Club

Sandra Orchard said...

Amen, Cathy. Oh, boy, I don't usually cry easily, but this week every time I saw war excerpts on the news or in commercials and then especially watching the Remembrance Day services today, I couldn't help it. I finally sat down and watched the memorial video from my dad's funeral and had a good crying jag. He was a proud veteran (didn't die while serving...all the pomp just brings back heart bleeds for those who lost husbands and sons and fathers and wives and daughters)

Lynnette Bonner said...

We have lots of military in our family. Thankfully most of them are home now. I still have one nephew who is over there. Today there was no school. I'm celebrating by sleeping in and lounging on my bed and working on writing, today.

I've been wanting to read Yesterday's Tomorrow for quite some time. The excerpt on Amazon really captured me. I'd love to win a copy.

Catherine West said...

Thanks everyone! I'll announce the winners for all the draws on Monday, so there is still time to enter over the weekend! Please tell your friends!

Carla Gade said...

Cathy, what a poignant post. You really inspire me. The excerpt from your book was very moving. Today I made sure I called my father and I put up a post on my genealogy blog to honor him. I also put my husband's picture up and mentioned that they both served in the Navy on facebook.

I'm following your blog now (sorry, thought I already was)and would love to win a copy of your book. carlagade [at] gmail [dot] com. I'm going to tweet about your post, too!

Amanda Stephan said...

Wonderful Post! Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts.

I spent Veteran's Day with my father, a Vietnam Vet. We went to the movies and went out to dinner. I praise God that He brought Dad home ~ and by some of the stories he's told, it truly was a miracle.

Thanks Cathy.
amanda38401 at gmail dot com

Gary Eugene Howell said...

We celebrated Veteran's Day by calling my wife's Grandfather to wish him a happy Veteran's Day. Funny thing though, it turned out he wasn't home. He was at the American Legion, serving other vets. We talked to him the following day. We are proud of the service he gave in India during WWII.

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ชื่อที่แสดง said...

Thank you, Catherine! From a family of vets, this means a lot to me! Can't wait to read Yesterday's Tomorrow!