Friday, May 17, 2019

Are You Trading the Truth for a Lie? By Jordyn Redwood

Recently, I became intrigued by the story of Lee Israel, a famous literary forger. The movie, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Melissa McCarthy highlights her life and career.

This post will contain spoilers about Lee Israel's life so you've been warned.

Lee Israel was a writer who had fallen on hard times. She had achieved literary stardom by writing a book that hit the NYT bestseller list. After that, things in her writing career started to falter. Dropping book sales made it difficult for her to get another contract. Money stopped coming in. She was late on several bills and then her beloved cat got sick. Out of desperation to get money so the vet would treat her cat, she sold a real celebrity letter gifted to her for cash.

As a biographer, she had access to some of these priceless letters written by celebrities for her research. She stole a few from the library and sold those. Then she discovered she could forge these types of letters and began to make a significant profit off of these forgeries before law enforcement eventually caught up to her.

At the end of the movie, Lee is walking by a bookstore selling one of her forgeries. She goes in and inquires about it. Surprisingly, the forgery has a "certificate of authenticity".

She remarks,"Does the letter of authenticity have a letter of authenticity?" Eventually, she writes a note to the bookstore (in an inventive and creative way) letting them know this letter was a forgery. However, the bookstore owner keeps it up for sale-- knowing that his customers likely won't be able to tell the difference between the forgery and the real deal.

They won't be able to tell the difference between the truth and the lie.


For some reason, that struck me deep to my core. How often is it that I will trade the truth for a lie? Is it in denial? For status-- as someone who bought this letter might want? Is it because the truth is too hard?

In this era, finding the truth almost takes supernatural abilities. Fake news abounds. A person's "personal truth" is always the right truth . . . but is it? It seems we can all operate on our own set of chosen truths.

Shortly before venturing into Lee's story, I'd also listened to Lysa TerKeurst's book It's Not Supposed To Be This Way. In it, she discusses some of the difficulties she has personally faced over the last few years: an emergency abdominal surgery, a cheating husband and the possible dissolution of her marriage, and a cancer diagnosis. In speaking specifically about the cancer issue, she remembers an appointment she had with the oncologist who outlined her diagnosis, treatment, risks and benefits, and statistics for a cure.

What she said also struck me. "These were just facts. They weren't the truth."

The Truth, as she shared, was that God loved her. God had DIED for her. God wanted good for her despite the feelings she had concerning her present circumstances.

And then I thought-- this is the Truth we always need to fall back on.

Despite the facts.

What about you? What do you think about Truth? What is the Truth of your life?


Jordyn Redwood is a nursing supervisor by day, suspense novelist by night. She hosts Redwood’s Medical Edge, a blog devoted to helping authors write medically accurate fiction. Her first two medical thrillers, Proof and Poisongarnered starred reviews from Library JournalProof was shortlisted for the 2012 ForeWord Review’s BOTY Award2013 INSPY Award and the 2013 Carol AwardPoison shortlisted for the 2014 INSPY Award and the 2014 Selah Award. Her novel, Taken Hostage, won the 2018 Stiletto Award in published romantic suspense. In addition to her novels, she blogs regularly at Redwood’s Medical Edge and the Love Inspired blog. You can connect with Jordyn via FacebookTwitterPinterest, her website and via e-mail at 


  1. A thought-provoking post, Jordyn. It's harder and harder these days to identify what's really true. And social media doesn't help when it's so easy to repost "fake news" without digging deeper to determine the accuracy. Then pretty soon it's all over the internet and gullible people are buying into it.

    I love what you said, though, about falling back on the real Truth--God's unfailing love no matter what the world throws at us. That's the only Truth with the power to make a lasting difference in our lives.

  2. Loved your post, Jordyn. The truth is so hard to come by these days. But the one truth we can always count on is God's truth and I'm so grateful for His word.

  3. Thanks, Myra and Mary.

    So glad you enjoyed the post.

  4. I want to see this movie but it makes me nervous. I don't like lies. And when I know what's coming because of someone's bad behavior I get anxious. I try to avoid that feeling.


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