Remember when we sent our packets in for college applications and they wanted to see how well-rounded we were? I came across boxes of high school memorabilia a few months ago when my parents moved out of the house I grew up in. What a bittersweet day that was. It’s all this excitement/angst/hurt/happiness/love/anticipation: all remembered at once. I like to remember where I came from. And I like to honor all the parts of my mind and my spirit and this ferocity I feel when I talk about something that touches me deeply. I want to stay well-rounded, as they say. While I love my daughter to infinity (Seriously, infinity. I lose my heart to her toothy grin every single day), I also want to be the truest form of myself, for me. I want to put words together that make people think, words that matter. How else are we supposed to use language? I mean, sometimes it’s completely appropriate to say shit that needs to be said (Mom). But is has to be well placed and effective, which makes it authentic. Not just there because you can’t properly express yourself otherwise. But sometimes four letters are all that will do, sorry Jesus. (No sacrilege).
There are rare moments when a story comes together that is so deeply rooted in who we are, that we literally hurt our own chances at being the best version of ourselves if we ignore it. Enter: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. Please read this book. This story is set in the “Wild West.” Yep, just like the one pictured in your head. It’s the gold rush and it’s harsh and cut throat, and Angel feeds on skepticism and hate. She meets a man that changes everything and teaches her what unconditional love really means. Unconditional. I think we throw that word around like it’s easy, but it’s not. Unconditional love. I will love you, unconditionally. I probably still don’t know what that really means. What an incredibly selfless choice to make in this life. Because all my experience leads me to believe that loving someone comes down to a choice. What moves me so much about this story is that Michael seeks Angel over and over and over again. She fights against it with all she has, just downright destroying herself. But she is one of The Salvaged. There is beauty in redemption. And oh how freeing that is.
True to myself, I must be, so I’ll close each month with a recommendation and review of a book that I have read, and loved. No critic am I, but if you want to be moved, let me lead you to water, as they say.