The Love Story ~ A Priceless Gift

By Camille Eide

Do you love a good love story? A pulse-quickening, breath-stealing, all-the-feels love story?

According to the Beatles, all you need is love! (Yes, I’m a Boomer, if it wasn’t obvious.) That’s a great line, but outside of relationships, love means very little. The term is easily applied to things like Nacho Cheese Doritos, sunsets, and chocolate. Not that you can’t have a relationship with chocolate…

I adore love! Especially in a believable love story, whether it be a tender but powerful romance, a family relationship restored, or the undying love of a friend. The first real book I read was Charlotte’s Web, which left a deep impression on my little seven-year-old heart about the importance of loyalty and the selfless love of a true friend.

I am equally drawn to relational dramas and romance, which is why I write stories that are often equal parts romantic and relationship love. I love stories about two people who fall for each other’s character, not just their appearance. This is why I’m such a fan of Jane Austen. I love that her heroes develop a desperate need for WHO the heroine is, not just what she looks like, because, let’s face it, there will always be a prettier face and better bod. Always. We want that handsome, big-hearted hero confessing that he cannot live without her.

What is it about love stories that we can’t get enough of? Why do we watch and read about falling in love and sacrificial friendships and restored relationships? Think of your favorite love story, whether it be a romance or a relationship of the heart. Have you read or watched it a million times? Why? What draws you back to it?

Good love stories engage our emotions. They provide cathartic release. Some give us hope. They remind us that goodness, honor, and courage exist. They can provide momentary escape and happily ever afters. (Who isn’t ready for a little HEA right about now??)

A love story can remind or introduce us to the hope of forgiveness, redemption, and restoration. It can encourage us to believe that love conquers all, and challenge us to stay in the battle because love is worth fighting for.

The things we derive from love stories are rewarding and uplifting and meaningful and important. But in our broken world, these things, while wonderful, are temporary, and at best, merely shadows of something far better, and far more lasting.

Whether it’s a tender romance, estranged sisters reunited, or the loyalty of brothers in arms; the fierce love of a parent for a child, a friend who would lay down his life, a faithful furbaby, or the love of country or Shire or fellow man, love stories remind us that we were made to love and be loved. I believe we are made to crave love.

Love stories not only remind us of this craving, but they keep our hearts yearning for satisfaction. And I believe that this yearning is a good thing. Critical, in fact.

I believe love stories are a priceless gift to the human spirit because they encourage and remind us to hope, and to keep seeking the One in whose image we were made, the ultimate Lover of our soul. The One who created relationship. The One who, in his very triune nature, embodies relationship.

I’m still mulling over the characters from my newest novel (in progress). , mothers, and daughters. Some of the characters question the stability of love, others, the cost of love. Some struggle with not being enough, and some with the pain of love lost. Josie, the main character, longs to be truly seen and loved, flaws and all. In fact, the idea of being seen both thrills and terrifies her. At a point of heartbreak, she finds herself pondering the truth of these lines from Shakespeare:

Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken…

A beautiful thing about love stories is that they remind us (lest we forget) that we want to be loved completely, unconditionally and without end. We’re wired to love and be loved, but not carelessly or capriciously. We long to be fully seen and fully loved in spite of our imperfections. We are bewitched (that’s Austenese) by the idea that someone could love us no matter what.

Unfortunately, even the best love story ever imagined or lived will always fall short of perfection.

And I believe that’s a good thing.

Because no matter how fulfilling human relationships are—real or imaginary—they are still no match for the beauty and immensity of God’s love. The joy of being loved by the most amazing person on earth is still no match for the miracle of God’s unfathomable, unshakable love for each one of us. He knows us intimately. He knows our every wayward thought and self-indulgent attitude, our every act of disobedience, and yet he loves us so passionately that he gave what was most priceless in order to rescue us in our distress and call us his precious beloved, forever.

That’s a powerful story. In fact, the story of the cross is the winningest love story of all time.

I love to read and write stories that remind us that love truly does conquer all, and that it IS worth fighting for. And that even when we struggle with brokenness and loss and dissatisfaction in this life, there is hope that one day, all the brokenness will be no more.

Love stories reminds us that there is a Hero who loves without end. So let me encourage you to embrace the gift of love story, and embrace both the reminder and the promise that there truly is a love beyond measure and without end!

Listen to Camille’s Podcast on unExpressed!

Where she and publisher David White talk about how self reflection helps bring life to characters and situations, how filling her time and thinking with good things help make her a better writer and her most recent novel Wings Like a Dove that released in December 2019

Books by Camille Eide

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