Have you ever had anything bad happen to you? First off, you're not alone. I am pretty confident that just about everyone would answer with the affirmative. What's worse is that a lot of the time, we let whatever happened play a part in our definition of who we are - maybe even if what happened was completely outside of our control.
While reading Married 'til Monday, I was again struck by the magnitude of God's grace in our lives. It seems to be a recurring theme throughout my own. Sometimes, we wear the shame of past events under a coat of isolation, thinking that if we just don't let anyone close enough, they won't see how broken we are. We can so easily convince ourselves that we're not worth loving, and eventually convince others because we constantly push them away. But the cool thing is, God doesn't give up. We are so precious to him even when we are in our most wretched state.
But God demonstrates his great love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 8:5
Not only does he love us, but he proved it by literally giving his life for our (seemingly worthless) life. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 But it doesn't stop there, he goes on to transform us into a righteous (good, virtuous, upright, upstanding, decent) person. Our stain is no longer present and we are a new creation 2 Corinthians 5:17. We are then free to live the amazing life that God has planned for us Jeremiah 29:11.
This might seem a little old hat for those who have heard all of this before, but this is not a small thing! I was listening to someone the other day that said the reason for their testimony (they are known for their radical generosity) is that they never got over getting saved. I think a lot of us get complacent in our relationship with the Creator of everything, and forget just how awesome it is that He would even think about us, let alone die for us and give us the Holy Spirit to empower us in this life.
It's great getting to see this lived out by book characters - sometimes we can even learn from the mistakes of fictional people. Not only does Married 'til Monday dive into some deep waters with some of Abby's issues, it is also wildly entertaining on a surface level. Enjoy!
Married 'til Monday by Denise Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Man, can Denise write intimacy! Her romantic moments are the perfect blend of juicy steaminess and wholesome affection. They're completely absorbing without going to far.
Ryan and Abby are probably my favorite characters in the Chapel Springs series. They're the best developed and it's the only book in the group in which both people grow emotionally and spiritually over the course of the story. They are both deep and their personalities really resonate with me.
I love Ryan's relentless pursuit of and desire to protect Abby. I often feel like she does throughout the book - flawed, shameful, and unworthy of love, but I love Ryan as a character manifestation of how God pursues us in the midst of our brokenness.
Excellent character dynamics, wonderful plot, and passionate romance make this a novel you'll want to read again.
Although this book is excellent as a stand-alone piece, right now the 4-book Chapel Springs collection is only $3.99 on Kindle. Go get yours now right HERE and fall in love with the whole McKinley family!