Happy Tuesday, Reader Friends!
Today Sydney Tooman Betts is taking over this Tuesday with a true story of happily ever after. Grap a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her a bit.
And they all lived happily ever after…
Most of us love romance. An upright and courageous man, handsome and strong, meets and falls in love with a woman who is the epitome of beauty. She is pure, she has not only well-formed features but is truly lovely inside and out.
If your eyes are rolling at this point, you may have felt criticized for this longing, for the inward desire for this dream come true, for a yearning for this uninterrupted state of loving bliss. Perhaps you even fear the desire for romance is idolatry (the worship of something other than God, something you inwardly grant power to sustain you or make you happy). Perhaps you are convinced it is simply not attainable, not an adult view of life, of real love and enduring commitment. Perhaps you understand that no spouse, however wonderful, can honestly fulfill your inner longings.
While I agree, I also question the need to reject the romantic ideal portrayed in the first paragraph. Much like our response to beauty—a tune that touches something within us, a breathtaking view of the mountains or beach, the pure and perfect skin of an infant, a garden full of flowers—the heart of every woman longs for a hero who regards her to be of such worth that he would face any challenge just to be with her. In turn, we yearn for the unassailable happiness, peace and wholeness found in his presence. We long to be loved so vastly that a man would willingly lay down his life to save ours.
God, Himself, has placed this desire within us, just as He placed the desire within us for perfection—not a perfection of performance or skill but of beauty, of an ideal state. That ideal within us is a longing for heaven, a longing for what we, as mankind, once had in The Garden and have lost. Likewise, our desire for romance is an inner, pre-conscious recognition of the oneness we lost with our Creator. Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the One True Romantic Hero for which we long so deeply. He is The Hero who willingly offered Himself up to be tortured and crucified so that we, His bride—rendered the epitome of pure loveliness through His sacrifice—may live in complete oneness with Him in the glorious place He has gone to prepare.
…And we all will live happily ever after. The end (only the beginning!)
About the Author
Sydney Tooman Betts and her protagonist-husband currently reside near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several early chapters of this book.
While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) was involved in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level and serving as the Sunday School Superintendent, Children’s Church Director, or Women’s Ministries facilitator in several evangelical denominations.
Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.
About the Book
In the spring of 1817, Alcy Callen and her father visit a step-uncle they have long presumed dead; but instead of enjoying a loving reunion, they are plunged into treachery and deceit. Nothing is as they expected and little is what it seems. Even the man who helps her escape is not the reliable suitor he appears.
Alcy is caught between gratitude and fear, unable to avoid her rescuer’s attentions or understand the responses they stir. Neither can she tell what sort of man he is or what he intends to do with her in the strange place they are going. Will he keep her for himself or will he sell her to the highest bidder?
Of one person only is she certain, but will he come for her before it is too late?