Redeeming Love has touched the hearts of millions around the world, with Francine Rivers capturing the biblical story of Hosea through beloved characters Michael Hosea and Angel and set during the 1850s in Northern California. It beautifully reminds us of His never-ending love and the life changing possibility of redemption. Her new devotional welcomes readers to revisit the life-changing story of God’s love in an inspiring new way: a personal, 6-week journey through Angel and Michael’s iconic love story. Fiction has a way of drawing out truth to reach our hearts and when paired with biblical truth, our hearts can change forever. It’s a grace to welcome Francine to the farm’s front porch today….
We all experience rejection. Sometimes it strikes in subtle ways, and other times in a blatant way.
I look back over my life and remember the pain of it.
When I was a small child, I stood in the doorway of my mother’s room as she told me, from her bed, to stay out of the room and away from her.
I retreated, crushed and convinced that my mother didn’t love me. Other mothers hugged and kissed their children. Mine didn’t. The only person I saw my mother kiss was my father.
That early rejection was the first and most severe, but others followed:
- I felt like an outcast because all the popular students lived in town and I lived a couple miles away.
- I was bullied and called names.
- I heard people refer to the rural road on which I lived as “chicken alley.”
- Girls sneered at my homemade dresses and hand-me- downs from cousins.
- I strove to win an end-of-summer swim contest, only to have the blue ribbon go to my visiting cousin.
- I had a giant crush on a boy who liked girls who were prettier and smarter girls than me.
- I didn’t have the necessary test score or grades to make it into the college that was my first choice.
When I was a little girl, I cried over being rejected. By fourth grade, I learned to pretend it didn’t hurt. I became better at swallowing rejection as I grew up.
Don’t most of us try to walk through the pain until it dissipates?
Rejection is a wound. Sometimes it heals quickly. Sometimes it takes years. In either case, it doesn’t take much to re-open the wound, to feel afresh the lacerating pain and trickling blood. Sometimes rejection becomes an infection that sickens and weakens a life.
Yet sometimes there is another side to the rejection we experience, a side we would never guess until light shines on it and we seek the love and acceptance we have longed for since the womb.
We long for approval from those we admire. But what happens when we don’t get it?
Rejection is a heavy burden for any person—child or adult—to bear. Yet we all carry it. Whether this burden came from a parent or a friend, a teacher or a peer, we have all experienced moments when others have weighed us in the balance and let us know, by their demeaning words, scornful looks, or excluding actions, that they have found us insufficient.
What words of rejection have sunk deep into your heart?
- “I don’t love you anymore.”
- “You’re not pretty enough or smart enough.”
- “You’re boring.”
- “No one likes you.”
When we don’t care about the speaker, these words can roll off our backs. We shrug or roll our eyes, and the cruel words are gone. Forgotten. But more often these words linger in our minds and become part of us. We pull them back out and examine them again and again, and each time we do, we believe them a little more.
Over time, our brains can turn “I don’t love you” into “No one will ever love you.”
“You’re not good at this” can become “You’re just not good enough” and then “You’re worthless.”
The messages become broader, encompassing more of us and eroding our sense of worth. We wonder if our lives are mistakes.
How do we move forward if we let others’ rejection of us define us?
David’s psalm speaks truth over these lies:
You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. (Psalm 139:13–16)
These words speak powerfully of how God created us, fashioning us deliberately. Do you wonder if it’s a mistake that you’re alive?
God formed your inmost being and has ordained your days.
Do you question your own worth? You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Do you feel you are hopelessly flawed? God wove you together.
Do you feel unknown and alone? God sees you.
The deepest truth about us is that we are created by God. We are loved. We are known and seen. Even beyond that, God delights in us!
The way Zephaniah 3:17 portrays God is almost startling:
The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (NLT)
If the One who created us delights and rejoices in us, we can know that we’re never unwanted or worthless, no matter what anyone else says.
If you’re struggling with feeling rejected, let others’ harsh words turn you toward the only One whose acceptance matters.
Let the truth of His words sink deep into your heart and permeate all aspects of who you are.
You are valuable. You are wanted. You are loved.
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include A Voice in the Wind, The Masterpiece, and Redeeming Love. Redeeming Love, a timeless classic novel, is a powerful retelling of the story of Gomer and Hosea, and a life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love. The movie Redeeming Love will be coming to theaters in Spring 2021.
Francine’s latest is a one-of-a-kind devotional based on Redeeming Love provides forty days of inspiration–featuring essays from the author on her beloved novel.
A Path to Redeeming Love: A 40-Day Devotional welcomes readers to revisit Francine Rivers’s life-changing story of God’s all-consuming love in an inspiring new way: a personal, 6-week journey through Angel and Michael’s iconic love story.
Following the novel’s key themes–Rejected, Resigned, Rescued, Redeemed, Reconciled, Restored–each daily devotion includes a Redeeming Love story tie-in with an excerpt from the novel; selected quotes from Scripture embodying both the message of the devotion and its theme; and prompts for reflection and activities including Bible study, prayer, journaling, and outreach. Each theme begins with a personal essay from Francine in which she shares stories from her life and her thoughts on Angel, Michael, and God’s unconditional and unending love.
[Our humble thanks to Waterbrook for their partnership in today’s devotion ]