Dying to Self — Denise Weimer
Today I’m happy to welcome author Denise Weimer as she shares the heart behind her latest story.
Past betrayal has turned John Kliest’s passion to his work as a builder and surveyor in the Moravian town of Salem, North Carolina. Now, to satisfy the elders’ edict and fulfill his mission in Cherokee Territory, he needs a bride. But the one woman qualified to record the Cherokee language longs for a future with his younger brother.
Clarissa Vogler’s dream of a life with Daniel Kliest is shattered when she is chosen by lot to marry his older brother and venture into the uncharted frontier. Can she learn to love this stoic man who is now her husband? Her survival hinges on being able to trust him—but they both harbor secrets.
In my new novel, The Witness Tree, Clarissa comes to realize that she’s not only on a journey to the Cherokee Nation, or even a journey to find love—though trust me, there’s a lot of romance in The Witness Tree. The hardships she faces show her that she’s also on a journey to Christ-likeness. She’s asked to set aside her dreams—to die to herself, or be broken, much like the fraktur drawings she creates.
If we desire to become like Christ, we, too, will face times that feel like they may break us. Isaiah 48:10: “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
The Moravian Church became one of the foremost mission-sending agencies of the eighteenth century. One of its leaders, Saxon Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, told members that they must be “content to suffer, to die, and to be forgotten.”
We don’t like those words today. Our cultural mindset has wed us to our rights and comforts. If we do agree for God to develop our character, we want to pick the ways we “die,” the parts that “die,” and even the methods of death! But we must be willing for the Master Potter to have his way.
Here are a few things to consider when facing a time of breaking:
- “To suffer, to die, and to be forgotten” seems to go against God’s promise of “life more abundantly” … unless one leads to the other. Think of the seed in the ground.
- Do we expect the promises and protection of God to ensure the rights our culture and our flesh tell us we deserve? The worst may happen, even to believers. He sometimes does give us more than we can bear in our own strength, so that we begin to draw on His. Do we believe God is still good and working a good purpose even when the flames blaze around us?
- It’s okay to question God. He wants us to learn deep-seated truths about ourselves, His character, and His purpose for our lives during painful trials. Often compassion and ministry will result.
- The ultimate test of suffering is if we will love God for Himself, not only for what He gives us.
Find out how God brought “beauty for ashes” (Isaiah 61:3) for Clarissa in The Witness Tree (https://www.amazon.com/Witness-Tree-gain-break-heart/dp/1645260623/), and please share any lessons you have learned from times of trial below.
Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She is a managing editor for Smitten Historical Romance and Heritage Beacon Historical Fiction, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, and the author of The Georgia Gold Series, The Restoration Trilogy, and a number of novellas, including Across Three Autumns of Barbour’s Colonial Backcountry Brides Collection. Her contemporary romance, Fall Flip, is also releasing this month with Candlelight Romance. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses! Connect with Denise here: