[serialposts]When I started writing my novel back in 2009, I didn’t set out to write about human trafficking.
I just wanted to tell the story of a girl we mentored, but I wasn’t surprised when my characters took on a life of their own and what came of their words was a tale I’d never imagined.
I first heard about trafficking in 2007. A dear friend would send me articles from the BBC about trafficking rings being found and he would include this simple question: how come US News didn’t cover this?
It bothered him, and it bothered me. It was one of the few issues I actually lost sleep over. I researched, contacted organizations and learned as much as I could about this topic because I couldn’t let it go – the abolitionist blood in me began to boil – I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t being talked about. And then that summer, in the middle of North Carolina mountains, I heard God whisper tell My stories – tell the stories of the world no one knows.
Two years later, in the midst of me writing, sex slavery was a little more known. But it was still ignored.
I think this is why I’m so adamant about spreading the word, really.
Because it’s one thing to not know about human trafficking and it’s something all-together maddening to know and choose to not act.
I was asked by my publisher why I wrote Come Alive – and for awhile it was difficult to answer. I didn’t write the story to get famous. I didn’t have an outline or an agenda or a purpose going into it – I literally stumbled into this plot. But the more I got into it, the more I realized it wasn’t the one coming up with the words.
This story – Stephanie’s story – was a story needing to be told.
And even now, months away from releasing my novel, I’m realizing part of my purpose.
Some people advocate through rewriting laws. Others travel and rescue those stuck in brothels. Me? I take pen to paper in hopes to inspire someone – anyone – to see the worth and beauty in those who are broken.
Stephanie’s story isnʼt the typical high school drama of unrequited love and pressures of academia. Itʼs dark and twisted and reveals a horror most people would ignore. Who would believe her if she whispered the truth? Who would understand her as a victim if she pointed the finger to the very ones who meant to protect?
And while sheʼs at her lowest point, sheʼs hit with the beauty of love at any cost – redemption in the face of ruin.
Come Alive isnʼt a happy story, but it does end with hope – the truth that there is beauty within brokenness and rescue is possible for anyone – even those who face some of lifeʼs ugliest monsters.
And to me, this is something we all can remember.