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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Usually I listen to the accusations and don’t respond. Eventually he goes away. But there was something different about this day.

 “You’re a failure,” he said.

 “You always say that.”

 “Because it’s true. You are a flat-out failure at life and everything you do. Especially the writing.”

A pause. Maybe he’s right. “I’m trying,” I said.

“You’re a child playing with words you don’t understand.” 

“I’m a child who’s been forgiven.”

“Ach, Cliché! Who cares if you’re forgiven, you’re still a failure. You’re a loser. You’ve worked how long to get to this point? Decades? You still have nothing to show for it.”

Thinking. Waiting for a comeback. I utter something but my heart is not in it. “It’s taken me this long to realize I have everything I need.”

The Devil laughed. “Right. And that’s why you look so intently at the best-seller lists. And when you walk in a bookstore and can’t find a single thing you’ve written, you get depressed.” 

Silence.

 “If I were you, I’d curse God.” He plopped a stack of bills in front of me. “You call this blessing?”

It was an unusually large stack. And there were more in the kitchen.

“Face it. God doesn’t care about you. You pray, you plead. He’s not listening.”

A clock ticked somewhere in the room. It was the only sound, other than my heart.

“You’re trying to praise this God of yours with an inconsequential life. With your inconsequential talent.”

He tapped the screen. “This is garbage. Hackneyed, putrid fluff.”

He drew close enough that I smelled his sulphurous breath. “You sit at your desk filled with unpaid bills and pretend you’re reaching people’s hearts. And your ego brings you back to the page because you think that one day someone will notice your greatness.”

Perhaps he’s right. I do have expectations of being noticed. That someone will actually read my words. “I would be lying if I didn’t admit I feel inadequate at times.”

“Inadequate? You’re not even in the ballpark. You must have talent to be inadequate.”

I wanted to find some scripture, some sentence like, “Man does not live by bread alone,” but I couldn’t. I was confused again, the way he always confuses.

“Admit it, you’re a failure. Let me pull up the bestseller list. What a surprise. I don’t see your name.”

Stammering now, shaking, I said, “My success is not measured in numbers. My success is measured by how faithful I—”

“Faithful?” he said, bellowing. “You fail him every day with your attitude and your thoughts and your words and the way you treat your family and feed your ego by sitting here pretending all of this is important.”

I pondered his words. Some truth skittered through my mind. Measured and even I said, “First of all, you don’t know my thoughts unless I express them. Second, you’re right, I make many mistakes. But every time you bring up failure, he brings forgiveness.”

“Oh, please. Give up. You are never going to amount to anything.”

Something flashed inside, like a warning light, a signal from somewhere deep. Real truth I need not simply understand but claim.

“If I’m never going to amount to anything, why are you here?”

He paused. His eyes darted.

“Why wouldn’t you be content to let me flail away if I’ll never amount to anything?”

“Because I hate failures.”

“Perhaps you’re projecting,” I said, wind picking up the sails. “You know, when you put on me the things—”

“I know what projecting is, you don’t have to explain.”

“You lost. You failed. In fact, you thought you had won, but at the cross—”

“Enough,” he screamed, and it was a long, reverberating shout of pain and anguish, as if I had tapped some primeval spring.

“I don’t value your opinion,” I said. Instead of lashing out, his voice flattened.

What if I offered you success?”

“Tempting, but that fruit is stale.”

“But I have power. You have no idea. A million dollar advance. A big house overlooking the ocean.”

“I don’t need the view. And I’m not selling my soul.”

“Really? Every man has his price. Name it. Anything you want. Anything at all.”

I looked at him squarely. You can always see fear in the eyes.

“You can’t buy what’s already been sold.”

“What?”

I shrugged. “I’m not my own. I’ve been bought for a high price. By God himself. You want me, you’ll have to dicker with the owner.”

He turned to walk away, muttering. “You’ll always be a failure.”

I almost felt sorry for him.

39 comments:

Major Bloodnok said...

Can I just say thank you, and leave it at that?

Brandon Butler said...

This resonates deeply with me. As a not-yet-published writer, I get a lot of those nagging little attacks like "What if nobody reads it? What if it's not any good? What if the things I write about and care about and feel driven to express don't mean anything to anyone else?"

It's good to be reminded that these things are just the devil's attacks. God gave us our talents to be used, not buried.

Anonymous said...

Love it!

We have to constantly slam the EVIL one with our dept is paid in full! Exchanged for God's GRACE! His substitutionary sacrifice was fully accepted by our LORD JEHOVAH. He sees me/us as righteous, that is all that matters.

Press on!

Michael Ehret said...

Chris, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You will likely never know why this has moved me so, but by being faithful to God and writing it, you have performed me a great service.

Lisa K said...

Led here by Jerry Jenkins, and I am so glad to have read your flog this day. I will remember this as I write.
Thank you and God bless
"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere" ( II Corinthians 2:14)

Jennifer L said...

Well said, Chris. Well said. When you bring up the TRUTH, he flees. You keep writing and we'll keep reading. Thanks for your courage.

Berta Dickerson said...

Hey Chris. This is awesome! I thought about printing it and hanging it on my wall but that would give Satan a foothold in my life. I'll lean on Jesus!

kurt bennett said...

Chris, you rocked this post! Thank you for what you do

mhowr said...

Good stuff, and a tonic for my soul!

Mark H.
Indiana

mhowr said...

Great stuff, and a tonic for the soul!

Mark - Indiana

Julie-Allyson Ieron said...

Amazing! Thanks, Chris!

Jeff from Dade City said...

Hey Chris--I tend to feel like I don't convey well when I call in so I'm trying this for a change. As I grow more and more I find that I have listened to satan in areas I never realized.

I truely belive that ANY selfish thought is a manipulation from him in an attempt to tear others down, destroy relationships, and dis-credit the church. As soon as I find myself taking on a defensive or self justified stance I look 180 degrees and find where Christ is asking me to nail that thought to the cross. Even (especially) when I have the RIGHT to think or respond in that way. It has changed me as a father, as a husband, and as a Christian trying to do God's work in a world where justifying our actions is perfectly acceptable.

God bless.

Ebojager said...

I found your radio program today during lunch and was amazed by the subject. I've been having the same type feelings your caller had. Thank you very much for your program and this post. I didn't catch all of the program, but what I did, was very helpful. Its funny how easy it is for me to fall into the trap and believe his lies. Thank you for helping me to understand and that God has not turned his back on me. I've been struggling to grasp this concept and I thank God for his answers through your program today.

Anonymous said...

Listened today to the program- God had it starting just for me when I turned on my car. Your words seemed tuned for me in particular, so you HAVE touched another life and God has used you to lead me back where I belong:) Thank you:)

Natalie S. said...

Chris,
What you wrote really hits home for me. I'm always feeling like the devil is trying to bring me down, sometimes I feel as if my thoughts are not my own. Right now the devil is trying to make me second guess my new belief in God, but I wont yield.

I already know God is real and that Jesus was a real person (God-man) that died for our sins. But I feel like the devil is working through my athiest ex husband to try and make me give up my faith. My ex husband is trying to raise our young children to be athiests and I am trying to raise them as christians. This is a daily battle. Sorry for the rammble!

I think you are a great writer, God has blessed you with that talent...I think he blessed me in other areas, definently NOT writing! I listen to you on the radio all the time and I find your program very uplifting! Thank you and God bless!

-Natalie

Anonymous said...

Chris, I listened to you on my way home from work today and except for you as a writer and I as an engineer, that sounded way tooooo familar. Thanks for your transparancy and exposing the opposition for who he really is and how he opperates.

Thanks. jc

Jessica said...

Thank you for writing this. A great read and gives some insight on how the devil like's to try and trick us up. My Favorite part was (“Oh, please. Give up. You are never going to amount to anything.”
Something flashed inside, like a warning light, a signal from somewhere deep. Real truth I need not simply understand but claim.
“If I’m never going to amount to anything, why are you here?”)
God bless :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chris. I am the caller that left the message on your line. That you responded so quickly is truly an act of God. That your message line was open even more so. I know that God loves me, but I'm not feeling lovable. How do you pray for forgiveness when you willfully engage in the sin. Thanks for the blog "masterful" and what I'm feeling exactly. I haven't read my bible in 3 days and after listening to your program I feel the need to reconnect with my God.
You are a wonderful representation of what God wants his people to become. I'm so thankful for your ministry and that you care. God Bless you and your family and don't stop, God has his eyes on you.

Anonymous said...

Possibly the greatest and truly Spirit filled
dialogue I've ever heard. Oh the reward, I pray,
that will be yours as you have helped this sinner
turn back to the Lord Jesus Christ in full surrender
and thanksgiving for the bridge Jesus provided us
to be reconciled to God!

Heather said...

Thanks, needed to hear this Chris.

Gophergirl said...

Oh, my gosh - turn the story around, and this is what has been going on with me today! I had an encounter - actually, it was more of a PTSD experience - regarding my previous work situation that made me ill from mold. And all last night and today I have been fighting the voice of failure for the things I didn't do correctly in my previous job. It just took all my joy from me! Yes, I, too, have already been bought, and thank you for sharing this today, Chris, so I can grab hold of what is important - my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the worth and value He sees in me, and what He has done for me!

kim said...

As you well know, you're our favorite author, and we're always amazed at the words that pour out of you. My husband read this blog post to us at the dinner table last night because we have similar issues with The Accuser. Our 19 yo daughter got Best of Show ribbon at County Fair this past week but still struggles w/perfection, inferiority, and fear of failure...she's one of several here under similar attack!

When I'm feeling low, I appreciate others' words of encouragement and TRUTH...here are some for you from worldmag.com in praise of your most recent book and then comments that followed that glowing review:

Fabry has built a rewarding story; it’s hard to imagine inspirational fiction done better than this.

Good to hear about a Christian novel which doesn’t follow the usual failing formula. Perhaps the real success of a book like this is that it depicts human life as it really is. Too many Christian novels present a sanitized view of people.

The Publisher’s Weekly blurb on the cover of my book says, “A mesmerizing tale . . . Fabry’s story will surprise readers in the best possible way.”
Quite an endorsement.

On the basis of this review I have requested our city library to order the book. I was surprised to note that our library already has several of Chris Fabry’s books on its shelves.

My husband has been reading Chris Fabry novels to me while I drive us home from the office. They are wonderful books. We are about to finish June Bug. We have read Dogwood and Almost Heaven. Just yesterday I received my order for this new book, Not in the Heart. I am glad to see such a positive review of it, but based on reading the others I would expect no less. He is a great author.

Love you Chris!
The Newhouse Family

Kathryn Sirven said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing. I struggle with feelings of failure, too. Do I have your permission to print a copy to hang in my cubical at work?

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I listening to your show every day. Yesterday I heard the story you wrote “The Devil and The Writer” WOW!! You have no idea how much that helped me. You see I’ve started a small ministry called “Heaven Cent Pennies” we have been doing it now for going on 3 years. We use real pennies and punch out Christian symbols in the center of them and press them in dogtags and make Keychains and Necklaces. We started this as a faith based Ministry the idea is that someone would see your Keychain or Necklaces ask you about it opening that door to share you faith. When we started I knew that GOD was opening doors every thing from the name “Heaven Cent Pennies” to the (web site to the patent & copyright) all GOD. Somewhere I stopped listing to what GOD was telling me and tried to speed things up on my owe (Mistake) all it caused me was a lot of worry and grief wandering what I was doing wrong. Satin intervened and everything that you wrote in your story crossed my mind at one time or another. I was really discouraged didn’t know what to do till I heard your story yesterday as I was driving home from work ‘talk about right place right time’. When I heard “If I’m never going to amount to anything then why are you here” it brought tears to my eyes. It was like a giant weight was lifted off of me it was just what I needed to hear and for the first time in a long time I felt that GOD was there. I now know he never left he was there all the time I just couldn’t here him because I wasn’t listening. I was to busy wondering what I could do instead of letting GOD do what he can do. THANK YOU for your show and GOD BLESS YOU!!!!

dickyto.com said...

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your words of encouragement!

Jim Vieceli said...

Thank you for this. So encouraging.!

Jim Vieceli said...

If I already sent this comment my apologies but it is Google's fault!

Thank you so much for this. It was so encouraging to me today. I had to raise my hands in my cubical as I heard you read it. God bless you brother. -Jim

Marlene Molewyk said...

Loved this posting! I really needed to read this today, it provided a good boost of encouragement.

Jackie Schmidt said...

The devil *really* does not want you to get positive feedback! This is the third time I am writing the following comment, and each of the previous times, when I tried to post it to your blog, something went wrong and I had to start all over again. I could just hear him saying, "Chris Fabry doesn't care about your stupid little comment. You're Nobody." Well, devil, you're going to lose *this* battle, too.
(If I run out of space I will just put up a subsequent post.)

The conversation that you had with the devil was intense. To put your own personal struggle out there for us to read was incredibly brave. I have had similar conversations with him, but I never knew how to fight back, so I would just let him beat me down. Your writing *matters* and this is a perfect example of *how* it matters. You have shown us step-by-step how Satan works to pull us down to his level and make us question if our God really loves us. But the best part is, you have shown us "step-by-step", how to fight back. It is the most important fight we will have to face. Thank you for showing us how to win. ~Jackie Schmidt~

Angi Stepp said...

YOU are loved!
For GOD so loved... JOH 3:16,17

Remember Job?...Nothing's changed!
Same accuser and tactics.
Same old stuff.
The ONLY answer is JESUS!

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!
Thank GOD for you and your family.
Angi - Cleveland, OH

Barb said...

Love that you/we have victory in Jesus. Satan must hate that he's already lost the war. (And just for the record, your words are inspired and have great meaning to those of us who "know." Thanks for sharing your honest open heart.
Barbara, a listener/reader in Ohio.

Barb said...

I love that you/we have victory in Jesus. Satan must hate knowing that he has already lost the war. (By the way, your words are inspired and have great meaning to those of us who know Him.) Thanks for sharing your heart with us.
Barb, a listener and reader in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

Awesome...and thank you.

Robin J. Steinweg said...

wow. This is my first visit. Your post nails it, spot on. In addition, your example can be applied to much more than writing! Thank you so much--I'm going to go remind the enemy he's defeated...

Anonymous said...

As we were on our way home, my husband and I, we were listening to you on the radio, the Holy Spirit shows up every time. I'm not published but for years the LORD has told me to write my story and as your conversation with the enemy went, mine goes repeated but now I've been reminded of whom I am and to whom I belong. I give all honor and glory to my heavenly Father and thank you Mr. Fabry for your obedience! Such a blessing!

Marty Roppelt said...

Chris,

This post is proof of a gift the Lord has given you. And you're right -- it's wrong not to share the gift, whether with a dozen or with a million.

Who knows where this will lead someone?

Tanara McCauley said...

What a creative way to illustrate the Christian writer's heart and struggles. I was encouraged and ministered to by this post. It is a must print for my writing space! Thank you.

Tanya Miller said...

Thank you, Chris, for being real and sharing what we all struggle with. As a newer Christ-follower (since Feb of 2011), it's invaluable to me to see how other believers handle the nuts and bolts of this walk. God Bless!

Tanya Miller said...

Thank you, Chris. Your example helps more than you know.