Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentines? Romance vs. Real

Judy Jordan wins the free copy of Season 1 of PBS's Victoria! 

Anne here. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. 
It evokes a response, whether wanted or not. 
Expectation. Flowers. Cards. Dates. 
It evokes a reaction, whether wanted or not. 
Loneliness. A silent space. 
Broken dreams of could be, would be, might have been. 

Let's face it. We are made to love. We were made in the image of God. And we were made to love. I don't care how cheesy that sounds. There's evidence for the fact. The whole world watches with an appetite for believing as the Royals marry. Romance fiction is written and devoured. Chic flicks aren't just for chics. Everyone celebrates a good wedding--even Jesus did. 

But we all live in reality. Where heroes and heroines are anything but perfect. Life is messy, and all of us have to decide if we will become the heroes and heroines in our own stories. Just look at our culture's obsession with reality t.v.--we are holding our collective breath, waiting to be told we too can live real lives full of honor, truth, and victory in our messes. We love the stories that dare us to keep believing there's still hope. 

But being the leading lady in your own story, becoming the hero in your own battle--doesn't happen in a sterile, boring, ethical, perfect life. It happens in the real. The messy. The pain. It happens in cancer. It happens in failure. The empty. When death stings. It happens in the annoying. Like when you have to turn someone's dirty socks right side out for the nine hundredth time. Or when you aren't sure you feel special, chosen, pursued. Or when you let your loved one down. 

(Trust me, this was the brightest spot of our mundane, grumpy day!)

In those moments we must all ask the question if we still believe? 
Do you? I do. 

Ridiculous? Perhaps. Illogical? Yep. Against all odds? Probably. 

Because love isn't common sense. But it's real. 
We were made for love.

So, the challenge? Tomorrow, which ever side of real or romance you find yourself. Dare to look into the face of real, and find a space for love to grow. If you're reading a romance, watching a chic flick, planning a perfect date, waiting to meet that someone, or watching a heroic drama...or trudging through grief and loneliness--be daring enough to invite love into the real and scandalize it like Jesus did when he dared to bring love and life into this old dark world. 

Scandalize it? Wait. Isn't that, like--bad? Perhaps yes, if you think of the word in a pop culture sense. But I was reminded this week in an article about Flannery O'Conner, that to scandalize can be positively interpreted. It can be the skandelon, or "stumbling block" that trips up and makes one fall. How will you stand again? The New Testament suggests that Jesus came to trip up the unbelieving. So, shake up any unbelieving ideas that have seeped into your "real"...dare to get up. Dare to believe.

Dare to love. Dare to let Christ be incarnated into your real mess.
Be a story, read a story, write a story that dares...
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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  1. Replies
    1. Of course! It was a really fun one! :)

  2. I can certainly relate to the dirty socks you mentioned! True loves takes the good and the bad, as in for better or for worse. And my husband truly proved his love during my year of leg fracture then knee replacement.
    Happy Valentines Day to all you wonderful Coffee Cups and Camisole Ladies!


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