Though Letters from the Enemy was released in 2004, it’s new to me. My sister shared it with me, and, since I was iced inside by a rare-in-Texas sleet storm, I decided to squeeze this Heartsong Presents book in before reading one I received for the Blogging for Books program I participate in. I’m so glad I bumped this little book up on my reading list. It held a western sweetness I hadn’t read in a while.
Letters from the Enemy takes place in 1918. While the war rages in Europe, Lilly Clark eagerly waits for the mail train each week, hoping to receive a letter from her fiancé, Reggie Larsen, even as she sends him yet another missive. When her world is knocked upside down by a tall foreigner, Heinrick Zook, will Lilly stick to her resolve to send messages of hope to her beloved? Or will the lone enemy in town, who happens to keep crossing her path, challenge her to rethink everything she has come to believe, disrupting her carefully laid plans?
This is the second Susan MayWarren novel I’ve read, though I’ve collected several more. I’ve got to tell you, both the books of hers I’ve read have connected with me on a spiritual level. The messages and themes in her tales dig deep into my soul and don’t let me up for air until I’ve puzzled them out and seen how I could apply the things I’ve learned to my life in some substantial way. It’s books that do this that stay with me long after I’ve placed them back on one of my bookcases.
The thing that really struck me in Letters from the Enemy was Lilly’s spiritual journey. In a few different ways, it mirrored my own. The most significant is living in fear. Maybe that’s why the following line, spoken to Lilly from Heinrick, stood out to me. “Lilly, perhaps you’re afraid. Do you think that if you knew God and heard His voice, He might tell you something you don’t want to hear?”
From almost drowning twice to hearing of multiple school shootings to watching the terrorist attack on New York City and the United States in 2001, many fears have plagued my mind, stealing my joy and robbing me of peace. Too many times, as humans, we feel we must control every little thing in our lives or else we’ll fall apart. That’s just not true. The less control we have, by turning things over to God and trusting His plan for our lives, the more peace we’ll gain. The fewer fears we’ll retain. That’s what I want, to live fear free. So I’ll lay my fears at the feet of my Savior and ask Him to help me learn to trust Him. To show me how to rely on His plans, His guidance in every aspect of my life. From now on, I plan to make a more conscious effort to lay aside my human desires and ask God what plans He has for me. They’ll be far greater than anything I could have imagined in the first place anyway.
Other than the Bible, what books have spoken to your spiritual life in recent history? How can you apply the spiritual lessons you’ve learned from books to your daily life? Any advice for listening with your spiritual ears verses only using your physical ones?