Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All That Messy Love

(Me): Today, I'm thrilled to have Naomi Musch guest blogging. Read on for a great article on romance.

If you've found the love of your life, chances are pretty good it didn't happen easily. Even if you're still waiting to see whether God will bring that right one along, the path to romantic love can be -- and most often is -- messy. Jilted, infatuated, broken, unrequited feelings litter the way.

And that's why stories call to us. Usually a protagonist in any piece of romantic fiction is suffering from one of these forms of messy love. We relate to him or her in some way. We understand the character's hopeless feelings, even as we stress about the decisions their heavy heartache may lead them to make.

In my new book The Red Fury (Empire in Pine, Book 2) Lainey Kade has been jilted and broken. Leaving her shattered heart strewn in pieces with the past, Lainey is convinced she'll never love again. Grieving the sting of tragic loss and 2 searing rejections, her faith falters. She finds solace instead in seeking adventure and breaking the rules. When she crosses paths with brothers Zane and Kelly Beaumont, she pretends to be married. But she soon finds camaraderie with these two drifters whose nightmares since the civil war have never let them return home. Defying propriety, her friendship with Zane and Kelly spirals into dangerous territory and unsettling attraction. Emotions culminate in the days leading to the inferno known as the Great Peshtigo Fire, where nearly 3,000,000 acres are destroyed and thousands of lives lost. And if Lainey will allow the spark of love inside her to flame again, it may tear them each apart.

The wonderful thing about Christian fiction and the reason I write it is not to preach and especially not to resolve issues easily. But it's a vehicle which recognizes that the only love which is always steady and always true is God's love for us. He teaches us -- and our characters -- how true love works. Even if the spiritual aspect is not blatant in the story but presented more through the writers' world view, it undergirds this truth.

Through stories streaked with messy love, we are shown how God often fulfills our hearts' desires in real life, even in bringing to us the kind of deep, romantic love our hearts may crave. Though we've been jilted, someone may long for us. Though we've been infatuated, we can discover that which is true. Though we've been broken, our hearts can be mended. And though we've known unrequited love, there is that which is returned. It's the waiting - or wading perhaps - through the messy love that sometimes makes the real thing, and God's love, that much fuller and more satisfying.

My pastor's recent definition of love resonates with me. He said, "Love is a steady devotion of the will." It's not the gamut of emotions, the highs and lows and resounding passions, however intense those may be. It rises above the messy love we've known. It's the real thing worth waiting for and dwelling in. It's the love the best stories are made of.


Desert Breeze Publishing: (You can also read an excerpt here.)


Barnes & Noble:

Fellow writers, I'm going to continue this discussion on writing about messy love in the coming weeks over at my blog. Join me in the conversation, won't you?


Naomi and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows on a ramshackle farm in Wisconsin's north woods. With five young adults living nearby or at home, life is filled with courtships, loud music, muddy trucks, and general mayhem.

Amidst it, she writes stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles. The Red Fury is Book 2 in her Empire in Pine series.

She invites new friends and old to say hello and find out more about her books, passions, and other writing venues at or look her up on Facebook (Naomi Musch - Author) and Twitter (NMusch)

Thanks, Naomi, for blogging today for me! Readers, check out her book.
Blessings, all!


Lisa Lickel said...

Love it, Naomi! Well said. And I hear you about the mud. It's constant. :) Even after they leave. And I hear it from my daughter in law.

jude said...

Naomi and Carole, thanks for a blog that causes me to think of the definition of real love.

Yes, God's redemption shines brighter on a darker canvas. Someone, maybe Ted Dekker, said this, but isn't it so like God?

Loved Empire in the Pines-know I'll like this one!


B. J. Robinson said...

Naomi, I loved The Green Veil, and I'm reading The Red Fury now and know I'll love it, too. I love your reasons for writing this messing stuff, especially since they sound like the same reason I love writing it, too :) Blessings, BJ Robinson

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