I’m trilled to have my friend and fellow inspirational, historical author Kelly Goshorn sharing about a spiritual element within her novel, A Love Restored. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. She’s also offering a SIGNED PRINT COPY of her novel, so stick around until the end!
TAKING OUR THOUGHTS CAPTIVE by Kelly Goshorn
My personal struggle with weight issues and my journey to self-acceptance is shown through my heroine, Ruth Ann, in my debut novel, A Love Restored. At its core, A Love Restored is a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us.
Words have the power to lift us up or tear us down, and the most dangerous ones are the ones we repeat in our own mind every day. I spent way too many years repeating words of death to myself—that I was fat, ugly, unlovable and unworthy of the very God I believed sacrificed His son on my behalf.
In a world that often equates or worth to the size of our paycheck, our appearance or the diploma hanging from our wall, it can be very tough to see our own value. We are ignorant if we don’t agree with the current PC opinion. We are ugly if we don’t look like the air-brushed images on the covers of fashion magazines in the check-out lines. We are a failure if we don’t earn a six-figure income and have the latest devices at our fingertips.
The Bible tells us in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Here are just a few things the Bible has to say about you:
1 Thes.1: 4 You are chosen and dearly loved of God.
Ps. 139:14 You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Zech. 2:8 You are the apple of God’s eyes. (I just love that one!)
2 Cor. 5:17 You are a new creation in Christ.
John 1:12 You are a child of God.
Col. 1:14 You have been forgiven.
Rom. 8:1 You are free forever from condemnation.
Eph. 2:6 You are his masterpiece. (Can you just imagine?)
I hope readers will be able to relate to Ruth Ann’s struggle. Whether their issue is body image, finances, appearance, lifestyle, occupation or something entirely different. 1 Samuel 16:7b says,
“For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
My prayer for you is that you will not allow the enemy to steal the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God. Speak the truth of the gospel over yourself every day and ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself as He does.
Excerpt: A Love Restored
Loudoun County, Virginia
Ruth Ann reached over the dry sink and closed the window. Facing her mother once more, she leaned against the wooden cabinet, arms folded, studying her. How could she understand? With brilliant blue eyes and delicate features, Hannah Sutton was stunning. Her complexion rivaled the creamy white magnolia flowers that bloomed in April. She had been the belle of Caroline County until the summer of her eighteenth year. The summer disease struck, rendering her left leg nearly useless.
“You must make a better effort to control your unruly curls, and tightening your corset strings will make your waist look thinner.” Mama made a slight tsking sound before continuing. “It is a shame you are not slender and petite like Sarah and myself. Oh, and what I would not give for you to have just an ounce of your sister’s acquiescent nature. However, your pretty face and lovely smile are no doubt assets. At least we have that to work with.”
Ruth Ann tugged her lip between her teeth. She wouldn’t cry.
Mama drew near and took hold of Ruth Ann’s folded arms. “Because I love you, I will tell you what you refuse to admit to yourself. Gentlemen do not court and marry women who are plump and opinionated. They desire a woman who is a reflection of themselves and the image they wish to convey to their contemporaries.”
Ruth Ann pursed her lips as her mother’s words reverberated in her mind. The hurtful phrases seeped into her wounded heart festering into a marinade of insecurity and self-doubt. Why was it so hard to believe a man might love someone like her? No matter the exact phrasing, it all boiled down to the same thing in her mind—she was undesirable and unlovable.
Forcing down the swell of emotion, she retrieved the whistling teakettle from the stove, and poured hot water into the porcelain teapot. A whoosh of air and the thud of the swinging door against the icebox announced her niece’s arrival.
Chloe flung her small arms around Ruth Ann’s skirts. “Aunt Roofie, you’re home!”
The child lifted her head before addressing her grandmother. “Yes, Mimi.”
“You are not a baby any longer. You must act like a little lady and call your Aunt Ruth by her proper name.”
Ruth Ann stroked Chloe’s soft, dark curls as a gentle smile graced her niece’s face. She was in no hurry to hear the end of the child’s precious endearment for her. Chloe stretched her hands and Ruth Ann hoisted her niece onto her hip. “You promised we would use your pastels to color my paper dolls. Remember?”
“I remember.” She drew Chloe snug against her and squeezed. A slight sigh passed her lips. She did want children of her own someday—but with James? If her mother was right, he might be her only choice.
Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith, and family set in nineteenth century America. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, won the Director’s Choice Award for Adult/YA fiction at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in 2019, and earned recognition as both a Selah Award finalist in the Historical Romance category and as a Maggie Award Finalist for Inspirational Fiction. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, binge-watching BBC period dramas, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.
You can connect with Kelly on:
Her website: http://kellygoshorn.com/
Cynthia Roemer’s PRAIRIE SKY SERIES: Stories of faith and resilience on the Midwest prairie Inspirational Historical Romance
UNDER THIS SAME SKY ~ BOOK ONE
UNDER PRAIRIE SKIES ~ BOOK TWO
UNDER MOONLIT SKIES ~ BOOK THREE
**NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! Kelly has graciously offered to give away a signed print copy of A Love Restored to one Entry (US addresses only)! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!