Have you ever read about someone or watched their story portrayed in a movie and wished that you could meet them some day? Or looked forward to chatting with them in Heaven? That’s how I felt when I read Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place and Eric Mextaxas account of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life in Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (Student Edition). Then, there are the biographies I read where God is still writing their stories, and I wish I could meet them sometime soon – to sit down with them for coffee and talk, to tell them how their faith inspired my own, how I was challenged and encouraged, to ask about all the details they left out and hear what God is doing in their lives now.
People like Katie Davis. Katie’s book (Kisses from Katie) had been on my wish list for years, but I finally made the commitment to read it this year with the kids as part of our study in geography, culture and missionaries. We actually listened to the book on audio, and it was beautifully read. (The only downside is no highlighting!) Her story is incredible. Her faith amazing. Yet, what probably captivated me the most was probably how real she was – she didn’t sugarcoat the hard stuff. By the time I reached the end, I almost felt as if I knew her in some very small way, and I wanted to know more. I looked up her blog and found her Facebook pages. Tears of joy came to my eyes when I saw that she was now married (when I remembered the heartache of leaving her first love and thinking of how God had a better plan in mind) and now their family of 15 will soon be a family of 16!!
(Image courtesy of the Katie Davis Facebook page.)
If you have not read Katie’s book, I highly encourage you to pick it up today!
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This February, I also read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers . . . for the fourth time! (If you couldn’t tell, it is definitely my favorite!) The book’s love story (based of the Biblical account of Hosea) always moves me. But it also reminds me of someone (maybe this time especially) . . . someone that sometimes I wish I could forget . . . me. Or at least, the me I used to be. There are images I wish I could erase and wounds that have left deep scars. However, God has called me to not forget, but to remember . . . to remember my past and see how far His redemptive love has carried and transformed me.
“Those who are wise will take all this to heart; they will see in our history the faithful love of the LORD” (Psalm 107:43). Over and over, the Lord reminded the children of Israel of their past and commanded them to share the story with future generations. Was it to shame them? NO!! God wanted to remind them of His faithfulness, mighty deeds and passionate, pursuing, redemptive love!
So, when my mind lingers long in the painful places, I can point to the cross and Isaiah 53 and be reminded that He bore the heartache and shame for me. When I ask, Why do You want me to share this? Can’t I just keep this part a secret? He reminds me that it’s not my story to keep silent – it is His story that He is writing in me!
What story is He writing in your life? Is He calling you to share it?
“When asked why, she said, ‘I never want to forget where I came from and all God has done for me.’”
~Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love
The month isn’t quite over yet (we even get a bonus day!), but here’s what I checked off my playlist this month:
The February 5
Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love & Redemption By Katie Davis with Beth Clark
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader By C.S. Lewis
Oh Valentine, We’ve Lost Our Minds By Dan Gutman
(Part of the My Weird School Series. The kids thought this was hilarious, but it was my least favorite in the series—too much potty humor.)
Redeeming Love By Francine Rivers
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are By Ann Voskamp