Shannon here: Historical fiction author, Anne Mateer shares the inspiration behind her latest release, A Home for My Heart. Comment on this post to get your name in the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Oct 12th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Anne:
The Most Romantic Gesture: Sacrifice
I think my favorite love stories are those where the hero and the heroine start out as friends. Their road to “romance” might be a rocky one, but below the surface lives a solid love that stands the tests of time and circumstance.
When writing A Home for My Heart, I knew I wanted to explore the romance in a longstanding relationship tested by extraordinary circumstances. And I knew I wanted it to end with what I consider the ultimate romantic gesture–personal sacrifice.
I guess I’m drawn to those types of stories because of Jesus’ sacrifice for me, the greatest show of love on my behalf. When the relationship between a man and a woman reaches a point where one must make a great personal sacrifice for the other, my heart melts. But what about when each makes a costly sacrifice for the other?
“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry has long been one of my favorite short stories. The mutual sacrifice–of her hair and his pocket watch–show us what love looks like. It reveals the depth of their devotion for one another, their desire to put the happiness of the other before their own desires. Don’t we all want to be loved like that? And yet, do we want to give such a deep and costly love?
I thought about this as I wrote A Home for My Heart. How many times do we desire the other person to make great sacrifice on our behalf but we are not willing to do the same? I confess that in the early years of our marriage, both my husband and I fell into this way of thinking, both expecting sacrifice of time and energy from the other but not willing to give it ourselves.
As we grew older, as we each pressed in closer to Jesus, we came to understand that His desire is for us to love others, not seek the love of others. That subtle shift allows us to give of ourselves in new and deeper ways. It allows us to set aside our dearest treasures and dreams to accommodate another person. It lets us love like Jesus.
Sadie and Blaine learn this through the pages of A Home for My Heart. Both of them desire good things come for the Home for Orphan and Friendless Children. Both of them desire to spend their lives with one another. But when those two desires come into conflict with one another, their relationship is shaken to the core and even seems to die.
But the power of God lives in love. And relationships built on love for God and for each other can often survive what seems to be unsurvivable. And that survival generally involves sacrifice.
Like in O.Henry’s famous story, Sadie and Blaine each make the ultimate romantic gesture. And in doing so, they prove that the love they have for one another is more than friendship. More than physical attraction. More than human love. They prove that the love that endures is the one fashioned after Love Himself.
About Anne: Anne Mateer has a passion for history and historical fiction, and her vacations often revolve around research trips in different parts of the country. She and her equally history obsessed husband live near Dallas, Texas, and are the parents of three young adults. Learn more at www.annemateer.com.
About the book – A Home for My Heart:
Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children, pouring all her energy into caring for the boys and girls who live there and dreaming of the day she’ll marry her beau, Blaine, and have children of her own. But when the matron surprises everyone by announcing her own engagement, Sadie is suddenly next in line for the esteemed job of running the orphanage.
There’s one glitch. The matron cannot be married. She must focus her attention on the financial, legal, and logistical matters of the Home. Sadie’s heart is torn. Should she give up her plans for a life with Blaine in order to continue serving these children who have no one else? Does she, a young woman who was once an orphan herself, have what it takes to succeed in such a challenging career? And when the future of the Home begins to look bleak, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever?
Come back Oct 4th for Diane Dean White!