“Love is the way back into Eden. It is the way back to life.”
― Francine Rivers, Redeeming Love

So I’ve just finished this book, “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers, for the second time. It took me 4 days to read. 10 years ago when I read it the first time I had consumed it within only two.

It’s a novel that is based on the book of Hosea from the bible. Hosea was a prophet that God called to marry a prostitute named Gomer. Despite pulling her out of that life to give her a new one, she kept leaving him to return to it. Through the prophet Hosea, God was showing his people, Israel, they had strayed from him despite his love and provision. It even mirrors the way we are with God today. Despite his love and provision for us we wander. Even with promises of forgiveness and new life, we often go back to our old ways.

The book takes place in the California gold rush era. The story becomes that of a farmer named Michael Hosea and a prostitute named Angel, and how he carries her out of a brothel as his wife, and what becomes of them.

It is absolutely one of my favorite books of all time. ( You MUST read this book!) Obviously because I’m a girl and a sucker for a good ol fashioned romance but also because I can so relate to the concept of not accepting, trusting and surrendering
to love. Angel won’t allow herself to rest in the love being offered to her for many reasons, all of which tempt her to constantly run back to what she knows. What she thinks she can control.
That is me…(us).
Despite the love of God and his promises of new life and restoration…I have continually rejected it and returned back to my old, familiar ways.

Spiritual adultery.

Instead of trying to be in control of my life and heart via sex or men, I have used food. Vastly different…but not by much.
Each act denying trust in my creator.
Each act compromising health, worth and dignity.
Each act enslaving.
Every time we choose to stay and live in brokenness it can do nothing but leave us feeling empty and cheap.
Believing all those old familiar lies prowling around our hearts ready to pounce and destroy as soon as we are weary enough to give up.
I almost gave up.
In one way or another we have all felt this way and can relate.

But there is good news…

“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there, as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt.” (Hosea 2:14, 15 NLT)

No matter where I run or how deeply I bury myself in loathing I have a hero. He meets me in the dry, deserted places. He wins me back again and again. My freedom has been purchased by the blood shed for me on the cross. He restores my hope and reminds me of the many times when he has freed me from captivity before…when I was younger and had first believed. He has good plans for me, for a hopeful future.

He calls me beloved.
He calls you beloved too.