Two weeks ago I mentioned that my first bit of published work came out in the book The Practice of Love (affiliate link). The idea of the book was simply to gather stories from various authors sharing how they live out love in practical ways. The book is divided into four sections, Loving God, Loving the Self, Loving Our Neighbor and Loving Our Enemy. The book has a total of 45 entries by talented authors from all over and the experiences shared within are humorous and heart-wrenching.
My piece is in the Loving God section. After Jason told me that he was an atheist, I went through a number of emotions, not the least of which was anger at God for allowing this to happen. Here's an excerpt from my story:
In those early days, I said some things that I wish I could take back. Words that were born out of an emotional response to something that I didn’t fully understand, that I didn’t want and that I didn’t like. And don’t even get me started about the things I didn’t say. Yikes. My brain was a pretty scary place in those first days.
At some point, I had mini break-down. My emotions swept over me and I just let loose. And in that moment, my husband took me in his arms and whispered assurances that he loved me.
For all of the things that changed, that had not. We still shared a wacky sense of humor. We still shared parenting our four beautiful children. We still shared the same sense of right and wrong. When I stepped back and remembered these things, I was able to move beyond things that I felt into the realm of things that I knew.
But off in the wings was Someone who didn’t seem as accessible as my husband. Someone who I felt had really let me down. Someone who I believed had promised certain things and had simply not delivered. Or worse, was just a figment of my imagination.
His arms didn’t encompass me. He didn’t whisper in my ear. I felt alone and abandoned.
I hope that you will consider purchasing a copy of this book for yourself or loved one. It contains many lovely stories in it and I believe it can open up conversation about what it is to practice love.
Also, Civitas Press is currently accepting submissions for The Practice of Love Volume 2. If you have a story about how love has changed your life, I would encourage you to submit your story.