I love how a story is able to convey deep theological truths in a compelling and applicable way. I love being lost in a character, thinking and feeling as deeply as them, struggling to find God in their broken dreams, and knowing—as the writer—their happy ending is with their Saviour.
Jenna, from The Builder’s Reluctant Bride, was a particularly challenging character to write; she had been deeply wounded. Like all of us, Jenna is accountable to God for her response to the wounds inflicted on her. For a time, she held onto her anger and bitterness, pulled away from God, and put up walls between her and the people who loved her. Like all of us, Jenna had a lot to learn about forgiveness, love, and the Lord.
If you know what it is like to hold tight to a dream or desire and struggle to submit it to God’s will, you will connect with Jenna. You will ache as she aches, weep when she weeps, and celebrate when she celebrates because you know the struggle. You know what it means to want to forgive yet still feel anger. You understand wanting what God wants but battling with the hardened and wounded heart within. Life isn’t fair, it is too hard, and forgiveness seems to cost too much.
Jenna’s moment of complete surrender is my favorite passage in the book. It’s where she considers that God hear her prayers, and He collected each and every tear she shed, that His love for her was not dependant on her ability to trust more, act more, pray more, or be more — but was based on Him. He had walked so closely to her during her struggles that she blamed Him when He had wanted her to lean on Him.
Jenna’s broken dreams were the catalyst that sparked a search for a deeper intimacy with the Lord. As she examined her sin that exposed the deceptions she believed, she shows us how to move toward fulfilling God’s ultimate purpose for our life – glorifying Him in the good and the difficult.
Jenna’s story raises questions: Do your unfulfilled dreams prompt you to call out shamelessly to God for grace, mercy, and restoration? Have you laid down your dreams and ambitions at His feet in complete surrender?
Jenna’s story, The Builder’s Reluctant Bride— of Best Romance at the 2016 Word Awards—is only .99cents!
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