What is the state of your heart right now?
I don’t want you to think about the casual answer you’d give a friend you met in the store–be honest. What word comes to mind right now about how your heart really feels? Heavy? Panicked? Discouraged? Hopeful?
Here’s a cool thought. What if some fiction author described her heart using the same word–while writing a book? She’s likely done some untangling, some talking with God as she wrote. She’s prayed and wrestled with the very thing weighing on your mind, maybe. Stories have a way of making clear that which is murky up close, both in the writing of them and the reading.
We’re living in a fallen world, and there’s no way to protect our heart from cracks and fissures–but we can always choose how to fill them. Stories have a sneaky way of reaching those cracks, even when we wouldn’t let a living soul near them, and they can make us feel less alone even when we technically are. They are pleasantly invasive and can be surprisingly healing.
Below is a list of books very loosely categorized, and a heart-level description of the contents. Read through, see what resonates with you. Share the list with someone you love.
I challenge you–and heartily encourage you–to escape into the world of fiction and come out with your heart a little stronger, a little more full.
Blessings to you, readers <3
(know another one? Feel free to add it in the comments!)
Loneliness and Disconnect
For anyone dealing with abandonment…discovering the freedom in forgiveness and friendships: Deadly Deceit, Natalie Walters
For the one secretly longing to be known and loved… one who, married or not, has been crushed by real-life romance: The Love Note, Joanna Davidson Politano (pre-order now, available fall 2020)
For those struggling with the need to fix an unfixable situation or for those who just feel out of place: You Belong with Me, Tari Faris
Understanding Purpose and Identity
For the woman whose identity just got turned upside down: The Key To Love, coming October 2020 (available now for pre-order), Betsy St. Amant
For the times when we forget what true beauty is: The Hope of Azure Springs, Rachel Fordham
For someone struggling with mental health and need to believe they are beautifully made with purpose: Living Lies, Natalie Walters
For those longing to let go of past mistakes and embrace something greater than shame: A Glitter of Gold, Liz Johnson
For those who feel like they don’t measure up and are trying to find their place in this world—Don’t Keep Silent, Elizabeth Goddard
For those striving to follow their calling under challenging conditions: A Distance Too Grand, Regina Scott
Living Through Difficult Circumstances
Adversity can break our spirits or lift us to see the strengths we never knew we had: One More River to Cross, Jane Kirkpatrick
For the one caught in unforeseen circumstances and desperate for hope, God delivers unexpected goodness: Silent Shadows, Natalie Walters
For the seasons of pruning that seem to be sucking you dry of life: A Rumored Fortune, Joanna Davidson Politano
For someone caring for a loved one with memory loss and struggling to find hope in the storm: A Sparkle of Silver, Liz Johnson
Dealing with Pain and Loss
For anyone wondering where God is in the midst of heartbreak: The Red Door Inn, Liz Johnson
For those struggling with loss and looking for reassurance . . . that God is our rock and he’ll—Never Let Go, Elizabeth Goddard
For those who feel broken . . . we can hold on to God and he’ll never leave us—Always Look Twice, Elizabeth Goddard
With God even pain can be used for our good: Yours Truly, Thomas, Rachel Fordham
If you’re in need of a happy ending, of believing that all things truly can weave together for good: On a Summer Tide, Suzanne Woods Fisher