I’ve been pondering what to blog about on this day before Thanksgiving. It needed to be Thanksgiving related, right? And romance related.
What could that be?
So I sat here and thought.
My husband and I have been talking Christmas gifts for the kids. We’ve decided to go a little light for each other this year, and he asked what I wanted. I gave him my usual answer — books! Because, well, I adore books!
But not just any book. Books that have moved me. Changed me.
And I realized that was it! Today I’d love for you to take a few moments to really stop and think about books that have made an impact on your life. What book or books have changed you?
Take a few seconds… I’m doing that too.
The first book for me is Karen Ball’s The Breaking Point. While the book was published in 2003, I didn’t come across it until a year or so later — right when my marriage was going through some really painful months. Why does that matter? Because the book is about a couple, a Christian couple, whose marriage just isn’t working. They both love God, but they can’t seem to get along for anything. And we’re not talking petty, forced conflict. We’re talking real struggle here.
Karen wrote this book after she and her own husband had gone through rough years in their marriage. She took a very, very painful place she’d been in and poured that out into this book. And as I read this book, for the first time I heard someone — via one of Karen’s characters — tell me that marriage was not my fairy tale. Not my right to a happily ever after. Marriage was one of God’s methods for making me more Christlike.
Wow. That changed me. Completely.
I’m thankful to say that my marriage is pretty stinking good most days — and has been for years. I know God worked on me and my husband and brought us through that time. But I know He used Karen and her words to show me something I wasn’t getting before.
I’m so thankful she wrote that book.
Book number two for me is Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind. (Anyone remember this original cover? This is the one I have.) When I reread it now, I’m always surprised to see that it really does read like a genre romance, a genre I don’t typically like. But there’s also a whole lot of spiritual depth that broadens the book and packs a punch. I identified so much with Hadassah. I’ve often felt plain at best and was so shy growing up and during college. Painfully shy. I loved God. I wanted to serve Him, but I couldn’t talk to anybody about anything, much less about Him. Which bothered me and concerned me about where I stood in my spiritual walk.
If you’ve read that book, you know how much Hadassah grows in this area. She’s shy. She’s told she’s ugly. She loves God so deeply. Yet she’s scared. Scared of where life has put her. Scared of what will happen if she mentions God. So she kinda doesn’t.
She tells stories about Him, but even there she knows she’s holding back. And she wants so badly to be bold for God. So the entire book — and it’s a nice, thick one! — is us watching her go through this change until the very end when she’s so incredibly bold for God.
I read that book repeatedly over a few years, wanting to see that same change in me. And it was Francine, through her characters, who encouraged me to take steps to be more bold. To speak up about God.
I’m so thankful Francine wrote a book that would challenge me in my spiritual walk.
How about you? What books have moved you? I think books that move you have a real chance at moving others, right? Please share those titles in the comment, and then share this post with your reading friends. I’d love to hear what books have impacted today’s readers.
And when you’re done? Maybe it’d be time to let that author know how much they and their book have meant to you. :) That would be a pretty amazing Thanksgiving gift for them.