“I think we should break up,” he softly said. Those were the words I’d been dreading for months. “I’m ready to start seeing other people.”
My trembling fingers tightened around the phone cord, and I choked back the sob that threatened to explode from my tightening lungs. There was a long, awkward pause as he waited for me to speak. My only consolation was that he could not see my pale face. I would never have been able to hide my devastated expression had he been in the room at that heart-wrenching moment.
The nightmare had come true…again. What had started out as a harmless, fun, innocent relationship had slowly become a complicated entanglement of emotion and passion, only to end abruptly now that the fire had faded. The cutting pain that ruthlessly squeezed my heart was so intense I could scarcely breathe. Somehow, I managed to end the phone call with at least a small amount of dignity. As I placed the receiver into its cradle, a dark cloud of despair overcame me, mercilessly pouring a violent torrent of rejection and hopelessness into my reeling mind.
It was over. Once again, I was in for a sleepless night of agony, hours of weeping until no more tears would come. Once again, I would have to face the aching, desperate loneliness of walking into a crowded room full of strangers—with no hand to hold, no strong arm to gently rest on my back and give me security. Once again, I was alone.
How many years had I longed and urgently searched for true love? How many nights had I laid awake, dreaming of a beautiful romance—a lasting relationship that wouldn’t end in heartache?
I had made incredible sacrifices in an attempt to somehow cling to every short-lived dating relationship that came my way. I had given pieces of myself away to each man that came into my life—pieces of my heart, my emotions, and even my body. Yet, once he had tired of me, my fragile heart would be played with and then carelessly tossed aside. Even if I was the one who ended a relationship, the heartbreaking pain was inevitable. Every time it felt like something precious was being violently ripped from inside of me.
I yearned to be loved and cherished. I had dreamed of a perfect love story for my entire life. But somewhere in the midst of the endless cycle of one temporary romance after the next, my dreams had shattered right along with the broken and fragmented pieces of my heart.
I had asked others for advice. Those from the older generation had simply given guidelines to follow, which were so completely out of touch with the reality of my world that they were worthless to me. As a Christian, I had listened carefully to the instructions given by the church leaders, and tried to follow the Christian rules of dating to the letter. But their rules never protected me from a broken heart and shattered life.
When I turned to those in the younger generation, I found they were all in the same boat I was in: an endless cycle of shallow and cheap romances that never lasted and left us emotionally bleeding and insecure. In fact, the pain I experienced was small compared to what many of my friends had gone through.
As I lay on my bed pondering these thoughts, I found myself inwardly forming a desperate prayer.
“God, where are You in this?” my heart cried silently. “I am Your child. All my life, You know I have longed for something beautiful. I have searched for true love. Does a pure and perfect romance even exist in this dark world of lust and perversion and sin? Should I even dare to dream of something beyond the shallow, meaningless, cheap version of love I’ve known so far?”
Then came a soft, gentle tugging upon my heart. Suddenly I somehow knew that my life did not need to be this way and that God had something better for me. It was almost as if God himself was reminding me, I Am the Author of True Love; I Am the Creator of Romance.
A quiet challenge deeply touched my spirit in that moment, as if God were tenderly standing before me, with tears of boundless love in His eyes, whispering to my heart, You have searched for true love in your own way. But My ways are not your ways. I want to script a beautiful tale just for you, but first you must trust Me with the pen of this precious area of your life. Will you let Me write your love story?
It wasn’t too long after that tear-filled, hopeless night that my unforgettable journey began. It was a journey to discover something I never before knew existed—the matchless beauty of a God-written love story. More out of desperation than confidence, I invited the Creator of the Universe to be the center of my love life. Did He disappoint me? Quite the opposite. I was soon to discover that my most Faithful Friend in the entire world, who loved me more than I could comprehend, had a plan for my love life that would take my breath away with its beauty.
I don’t know if I could ever fully convey the awesome wonder of what it was like to have a God-written love story. During my entire romance with Eric, I was so aware of the fact that it was God who was leading each step, guiding each conversation, painting each sunset, and standing over us with a smile. The cheap, imitation romance I’d known before simply could not be compared to this new kind of love I had discovered. I was daily amazed that I had come from a place of heartbreak, confusion, and compromise in relationships, to a dream come true. I had discovered a kind of divine love that can’t even be found in the fairy tales, simply by giving God the pen of my life’s story and allowing Him to write each chapter. He was interested in this part of my life. He did have a plan! And He has one for you, too.
As for God, His way is perfect.
Psalm 18:30, niv
This book contains a message that could forever alter your life. Please join Eric and me as we share this unforgettable journey which God took us on to discover what a God-written love story is all about. We have attempted to share these excerpts from our lives as candidly as possible. And by the way, when it matters, some places and people’s names have been changed and physical descriptions altered to protect certain individuals’ privacy.
As you read this book, you may cry with us, laugh with us, laugh at us, even get mad at us along the way—but we hope you will hang in there till the final chapter and discover something beyond what you’ve ever dreamed of. Through the pages of this book, it is our hope and prayer that you will discover the secret to finding true love. A God-written love story.
This book is not about rules or relationship how-to’s. It’s not a comprehensive guide to experiencing the singles scene.
Rather, this book is all about an invitation to you. The One who knows you better than you know yourself, and who loves you more than you can comprehend, wants to take you on a journey.
This journey is for anyone who is searching for the beauty of true and lasting love, for romance in its purest form, and is willing to do whatever it takes in order to find it. This journey is for anyone who has made mistakes, whether small or big, and said, “It’s too late for me to discover that kind of love.” It’s a journey for anyone who is tired of the same old scene of physically intense relationships, devoid of meaning and purpose.
This journey is for anyone who will dare to dream beyond the cheap and diluted romance our culture offers and hold out for an infinitely better way. This journey is even for the skeptic, who doubts that such a way exists.
No matter where you are or where you have been, this invitation is for you. The very One who is the Author of all true love and romance is standing before you, asking you gently, Will you let Me write your love story?
If you will trust Him enough to give Him the pen of your life, you are in for a journey that will forever spoil you for the ordinary. It’s a journey on which you will discover perfect love and pure romance as it was truly intended to be.
All the Kens and Barbies sat around the table. Amid glistening smiles, moussed hairdos, and Coppertone tans, the fragrance of Polo, with a hint of Skin-So-Soft, wafted through the café booth. I nibbled at my burrito as the conversation around me finally arrived at its ultimate destination.
“So, Kevin,” Barbie #1 flirted across the table, “tell us who you’re seeing now.”
Kevin was used to having eyes upon him. Being a Tom Cruise look-a-like in the early nineties has a way of boosting the ol’ ego. Having a senator for a dad didn’t hurt either. While crunching a chip between perfect teeth, an “I thought you’d never ask” smirk found its way across his face.
As all of us camp counselors leaned in, eyes bulging with expectancy, Kevin finally revealed the secret in a low monotone: “Her name is…Sandra!”
This only added to the excitement and wonder, because no one had any idea who Sandra was.
“Is she a babe?” begged the resident Brad Pitt, alias Mike from
Say no more! Swift as the bionic man, Kevin whipped out his wallet. Moments later we all observed a photograph of the “Babe of the Century,” as the Tom Cruise wanna-be so proudly referred to her.
“Ooooh!” was heard from the corner of the table where Brad Pitt
and Leo DiCaprio (
“I think she has a huge nose!” grumbled two of the supermodels under their breath.
I continued to pick at my burrito.
Barbie # 2, sitting beside Top Gun, was next in the heartthrob inquisition. The photo was removed to shouts of “You go girl!” from the Barbies, and low disapproving rumbles about his skinny neck from the Kens, Brads, Leos, and Toms.
After a week of having to exhibit saint-like behavior to all the little campers, and being super-spiritual while around the camp leaders, it was time to let our hair down—time to let the real passions of life come out. I mean, in your late teens and early twenties, you can sing only so many spiritual camp songs before you need an infusion of good old-fashioned romance!
One year prior, it was talks like this that really lit my fire. I used to love to brag about my love life at camp and exaggerate about my “Babe of the Century” in a way that would make all the guys jealous and all the girls insecure. You could say just about anything and get away with it; no one was going home with you to check out your story.
I used to crave these love chats, but something about Eric Ludy (alias Pee-Wee Herman in this group) had changed—something big. Something that made me want to slide under the table when all those inquisitive eyes turned my way.
I’ll never forget that moment! There I was, my fork picking at the jalapeno stranded on the corner of my plate and my mind screaming over and over, Please don’t ask me…please don’t ask me. Well, they asked.
“So, Eric, tell us about your exciting love life!”
All the periwinkle, emerald, and dark brown eyeballs were twinkling at me with expectation. I gulped.
“Uhhhh,” I mumbled. My palms were sweaty. My tongue was dry and thick, like I had a felt eraser in my mouth. Finally, Pee-Wee Herman spoke up. “Uhh, I uhh, actually, uh, I am waiting on God.”
But, to be honest, it didn’t really come out as clearly as I just wrote it. The last part of my sentence was mumbled under my breath, sounding something like, “Ima waying on Gaw.”
I hoped I could answer quickly and have them move on to Elle McPherson, seated next to me, poised and ready with a photo of her hunk. The plan backfired! They became even more interested!
“Uh, I think we missed that, Ludy!” Tom Cruise sarcastically challenged. “Was that a girl’s name or your favorite Chinese food?”
After the laughs subsided, I began again, this time a little more clearly.
“I know this may sound strange, you guys, but I’ve decided that I won’t give my heart to another girl until God shows me it’s my wife!”
I have often wished I could have been more eloquent, that I could have made my resolve sound a little more appealing to my audience, now staring with mouths ajar. But I guess God wanted me to know that I was following a different path, not for the approval of the Kens and Barbies of this world, but simply to honor and love Him.
It was a lonely moment. Silence filled our corner of the restaurant, and all eyes focused on the jalapeno I was ruthlessly stabbing to death.
“That’s…interesting!” supermodel Kayla awkwardly noted, as her eyes grew large with disbelief.
“Oh, give me a break! How in the world do you expect to find someone, Ludy, if you’re not out there looking?” Leonardo chimed in, accompanied by “yeahs” and “exactlys” from around the booth.
After a moment of reflective silence, I took a deep breath and stated, “I believe that if God wants me to be married”—another deep breath—“He will pick her out for me.”
A dark cloud settled over the entire group and rained down bewilderment and shock in the form of ghostlike faces and rolled eyes. I glanced up from my tortured jalapeno to discover a long bony index finger pointing at me, about twelve inches from my nose. Kevin used that finger like Clint Eastwood used a gun. He didn’t shoot to maim—he shot to kill! Kevin’s bronzed features had taken on a deep shade of red, and his lips were bubbling like a lava pool ready to explode. After three long seconds, he finally erupted.
“I totally disagree with you!” he fumed, with his index finger still targeting my right nostril. “God doesn’t want us hanging around nagging Him about something like that!”
A few “amens” from the crowd textured his passionate sermon. He continued. “I believe God wants us to pick,” he preached, “and then He blesses our choice!” He paused and then came to a climactic finish: “It’s sappy Christianity like yours that gives us Christians the image of helpless orphans! It is absolutely ridiculous to think that God would care that much about your love life!”
The finger held fast for another few long seconds, then slowly dropped as if to say, You show any sign of life, and I’ll shoot again!
I was the ultimate bummer to their titillating conversation. If ever you want to drain the juice right out of romance, just bring God into the picture. I had committed the unpardonable camp counselor sin, and all the eyes around the table were letting me know it.
Growing up, I had always gotten along with everybody. I knew how to hang with the crowd and not offend anyone. I was careful to say the right thing in order to avoid disagreements. Eric Ludy had never been known for his backbone…well, except maybe when it came to the Denver Broncos. But when it came to things that really mattered, I was a serious wimp! This was one of the first times in my life I can remember actually standing up for something I believed in (that wasn’t orange and blue).
Ironically, I didn’t even know exactly what I was talking about. Just twelve months before, I, too, would have “totally disagreed” with what I had just said. But over the past year, God was challenging me to apply my Christianity to every area of my life. Was it ridiculous to think God would be interested in my love life enough to lead me and provide a wife for me?
I shifted in my seat, stabbed my jalapeno one last time and spoke. “All I know,” I said, “is that every time I have tried to pick a girl out for my life, I realize in the long run that I have horrible taste.”
Everyone wanted to chuckle, but everything was still a little too serious for that.
All eyes were wide and all ears were open in wonder and bewilderment as I concluded, “Kevin, if God had ten women line up in front of me and said, ‘Eric, you pick,’ I would fall flat on my face before Him and say, ‘God, you know me better than I know myself…You pick!’”
I bet no one present other than myself remembers that moment. To them it was probably just the ramblings of a lunatic named Ludy. But for me it was a defining moment. It was almost as if God was saying, “How seriously are you going to trust Me, son?”
So there it was, in front of the babes and the big egos, that God challenged me to officially trust Him with the “pen” of my life. I had held onto that pen for twenty years, and now, over a chicken burrito and a mangled jalapeno, I handed it over to the great Author to allow Him to work His wonder.