Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Created for Love Stories


"...should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope
you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early
possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have
obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied."
-Abigail Adams to John

"I shall cork up all my kindness--yet the volatile essence may fly off
in my walk--you know not how much tenderness for you may escape in a
voluptuous sigh, should the air, as is often the case, give a
pleasurable movement to the sensations, that have been clustering
round my heart, as I read this morning--reminding myself, every now
and then, that the writer loved me."
-Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley to William Godwin

What was the first love letter you received?

I still carry fond memories of the notes written in black sharpie by
my mother on a folded napkin in my Strawberry Shortcake metal lunch
tin. The note and the accompanying homemade brownie or other goodie
brought a smile to my face even as I opened these notes with sly
abandon on my lap, sneaking a glance and hoping nobody would notice.
These were the years you didn't admit you had parents. When I would
stage whisper, "Mom, please get back in the car..." when my mother
waited for me outside our 8-seat Buick wagon. Mom used such classic
phrases as Love 4 U before twitter shortened the American attention
span for the written word.

I have a wooden jewelry box stacked with college-ruled notebook paper folded into quarters, relics penned from my husband during our university years. I take them out periodically and when I need a smile.

Yet in reality, every romance and every love letter is a shadow pointing us to the glory of the bridegroom and his love for the bride.

Everyone loves a wedding story, I think its in our DNA. After all, whether we are married or single we can rejoice as we prepare for the ceremony yet to come. I’m reminded of one of my favorite worship songs.

“You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham

When we arrive at eternity's shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We'll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we'll sing
You're beautiful

Story reminds us we are made for a different world. Just like the crest of the black moment in our favorite novel, it somehow leads to an HEA ending though its impossible for the reader to see in the moment. It is difficult to even see how the heroine could come through her latest trial, yet she somehow does. And sometimes it is difficult to believe we will get through the loss of a loved one, the unemployment or…fill-in-the-blanks…

The Psalms are full of tender moments between God and his people. Here’s one of my favorites.

“… If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe. When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.”-Psalm 91:14-15

If you love me and truly know who I am. The maker of the universe woos us and wants our love. He wants us to know who he is. We all cry out to know and be known. We all want someone to know us inside and out and love us still. The best romances contain but a shadow of the unconditional love of our God.

The cry of our hearts is for intimacy, with man and with God. We know we are not meant to be alone. Whether single or married we seek out community.

I will rescue you and keep you safe.

Popular recent releases in CBA include K-9 rescue dogs, a military hero struggling with PTSD, and the sheriff of a small Western town just to name a few. Yet Jesus was the ultimate rescuer.

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. -Matthew 9:36

When we were helpless in our sin, he came to rescue us. We were harassed by Satan, nothing we could do could save ourselves.

We love stories that dangle danger, yet in the end we long to sigh with relief as the heroine lives to see another day. We look for security in other relationships, in earthly things, in temporary circumstances…just as the heroine is lured by the same temptations. God uses story to show us how others have endured struggles and we find the hope that we can persist on in a life of faith.

Its no accident that God gave us a love for story. A heart that craves after words, a soul that begs for intimacy that can only be fulfilled by our Heavenly Father.

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.-Jeremiah 31:3

I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.-Hosea 11:4

***Speaking of love stories...everyone loves a good surprise! Cover reveal on Pepper Basham's blog for her upcoming release JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. Stop here...****

Julia Reffner

1 comment:

Teresa Tysinger said...

What a sweet, thoughtful post! I really love this, Julia!