The Courage to Believe

This past week I was blessed to be able to attend the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference in North Carolina where I enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I’m also thrilled to be able to announce that I won third place in the devotion category of their unpublished writers contest! God is so good to give me the encouragement I need as I pursue this unfamiliar territory of the writers world. So, this week I would like to share my winning entry. I hope you are as blessed by it as I am to share it.

 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. ~ 1 Peter 1:8

     She anxiously peered out the window, dark eyes dancing with anticipation. As the postman made his way up the sidewalk, he quickly lowered his gaze, pretending to be preoccupied with the letters in his bag. He hated to disappoint her again, not wanting her to give up hope; but to be honest, he was losing hope himself.

     It had been six weeks since Violet’s husband, Joe, was shipped back home to the United States, promising he’d write soon and send for her and their baby daughter, Christine. They’d met while he was stationed in Blackpool, England. She was a carefree, beautiful young woman whose long, wavy hair danced wildly in the wind when she met him on the beach. He was a flaming red-headed American in uniform who swept her off her feet and put a ring on her finger.

Joe and Christine
     It was heart-wrenching for him to leave without her, but the war was over and he had to go. He assured her she’d be stateside soon and they could build a beautiful life together. Then he left. And she didn’t hear back. She knew he loved her and would never desert her. Friends and neighbors whispered secretly in thick British accents. “Bet he won’t be calling for her. He’s left never to be heard from again, poor soul, leaving her alone with that little baby.”

     After weeks of waiting, the rumblings of gossip eventually reached her ears. She ignored their insensitive remarks, waiting every day for the postman to deliver letters from her love. But she hadn’t yet received even one. Not. One. Single. Letter. Her faith never wavered because she believed in him and that’s what she hung on to.

     She knew the day had finally arrived when the postman didn’t glance away as she ran to meet him. Noticing the wide grin plastered across his face while he quickened his step, her heart skipped a beat. “Here you go, lassie,” he said as he hoisted the letters from his bag, “just what you’ve been waiting for.”

     Her eyes widened with awe as he proceeded to hand her a stack of over 30 letters from her love. As she eagerly devoured them, she learned he’d been on a ship for over a month with no way of getting the letters out to her. He wrote a letter every day. Every. Single. Day.

     Her faith in her man had paid off. There would be no more whispers of abandonment now. He loved her and she had the words to prove it. Soon, she and her baby daughter would be joining her husband in his homeland.

Grandma and Grandpa as newlyweds
     That young English woman was my grandmother and the baby, my mother. Her husband was, of course, my grandfather; a loyal man who dearly loved my grandmother until the day he died. Grandma never gave up on Grandpa. She knew his character and believed him to be faithful and true; he proved her right by bringing her to live with him in a new land.

     Isn’t that a beautiful picture of what God does for us? We may be in a place of waiting, responding in faith while enduring His silence; telling others He hasn’t forgotten about us, while deep inside wondering if it’s true. Keep the faith. Others are watching to see how we respond. Unlike Grandma, we don’t have to go to the mailbox every day looking for our love letter from God. He’s already delivered it in His Word which reveals His promises to us. Once we understand the depth of God’s love through our study of the scriptures, it’s easier to hang on to hope. If we’re obedient to His leading, His delay doesn’t necessarily mean denial; but it does mean He’s working to perfect us. As hard as it is sometimes, our assignment is to glorify God in the waiting. It will all be worth it when He calls us home.

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