I have a confession: I have had this book for three years and just now read it.
This rarely happens at my house.
Generally I buy a book and have read the first twenty pages by the time I leave the bookstore parking lot.
Having finished it now, I can plainly see that this was God's timing. I NEEDED this book more now than I did three years ago, and I am 100% positive that I wouldn't have appreciated it nearly as much then as I did at this point in my life.
To put it mildly, I LOVED this book. In case it's not one you're familiar with, it's based on the book of Hosea in the Bible. It's a beautiful story of unconditional love and forgiveness, but it also speaks volumes about recovery, acceptance, and dealing with the hardest of hard times.
I've said this before, but for a long time I was very skeptical of Christian fiction. Shame on me, I know. I think I was just scared that Christian fiction would be like bad Christian music. By this I mean, there is some Christian music that I just can't get enough of, that moves me to the point of tears, and that rocks me to my core. However, there is also some Christian music that makes me want to rush to change the station before I am eaten up with cheesiness.
While I'm sure some Christian fiction is a little cheesy, this book is certainly not in this category. In fact, this was one of the most emotionally powerful books I've ever read, and my friends,I have read A LOT of books. There were literally parts that were hard to read-- not because I didn't understand them but because they were just so upsetting and overwhelming.
With that being said, let me also say that I now believe I have a greater understanding of God's forgiveness for me and unconditionally love for me than I've ever had. God used this simple story to confirm His love for me and His desire to pursue a relationship with me.
BUT, the best part, in my opinion, is how I can easily see God using this book in so many different ways in so many different lives. It can mean one thing to me, one thing to you, and one thing to someone else. I LOVE when God does this.
So, this weekend I suggest you snuggle up with this book, a box of Kleenex, and some mint Oreos.
You can thank me later.
God has great things in store for you, lovelies, and if you read (or have read) this book and it moves you, do tell. I LOVE hearing how God uses something as simple as a book to touch our hearts.
Here's wishing a happy Friday to you and you and you.