In the wake of the book title announcement and just a few days before the book cover reveal, I thought I’d share a little piece of the book with you (which has since been edited out). Here’s a little treat for you from Loved, due out this summer:
Regardless of why he contacted me, or what he expected to get out of it, I could officially walk away from that wreckage. My heart might be scarred, but the wound had healed and I didn’t notice the scars so much any more. Still, I was afraid that if I tried to use my heart again for romance I would feel phantom pains.
I felt ready to write another goodbye letter, one of those you never send but simply use to get out some emotions. In a way it had taken me years to write.
if i could show you a map of my heart it would look a lot different than you might think. if i remember correctly, you’re a pretty scientific guy. you probably think my heart has 4 chambers. it doesn’t. well, ok, my doctor might agree with you on that. but really it doesn’t. my heart has five layers. on the outside are fun things i love – sprite, rock climbing, rock music, oatmeal soap, cooking (half of those you don’t even know i love because they didn’t exist to me yet when i knew you). that layer is important to my personality, but doesn’t speak as much to my character. that’s the second layer. there you’ll find my passion for music and fashion and my eye for putting the right colors and textures together. here you’ll find my tendencies to love the planning of things more than the things themselves. you’ll find my loyalty, my excitement for steelers football, my calmness on rainy days, my talent with words. it didn’t take you long to get through all that the first time around, so let’s keep going. the third layer is where you’ll find my family and my dearest friends – people who are so important to me that i literally need them for my heart to continue pumping. i’ve lost people from here before, and though a devastating blow, i was able to survive it. when one of them goes away the others are able to step in and fill the space until the heart is strong enough again. the innermost layer, the absolute core of my heart, is where God is. No one will ever come near to Him, as He is my creator and my savior, my beginning and my end. but layer four, right between the people most important to me on earth and God himself, was you.
you might look at me as a girl you dated once. someone you cared about, maybe loved. you said you did, but i don’t know if that’s true based on the way it was so easy for you to walk away. but to me, you were the guy i was going to marry. you were my life here on earth. you were the closest relationship i had on earth to what our relationship to God resembles. that’s his call for husbands and wives, and for me you were that person. are you starting to get it?
yes, i am fine now. i am more than fine. i have added and added to my outer layer all kinds of things i never would have experienced with you. i added to the second layer all kinds of characteristics that i gained from surviving, and i am thankful for them. i added to the third layer of my heart so many amazing, loving, inspiring people i never would have met if you were here and i wasn’t the me i am now. there’s no one in the fourth layer, but there will be, and he won’t leave it. in the meantime, i recognize the miracle that i survived the collapse of that space. a miracle! God and the people dearest to me rushed to fill that void and kept me breathing. i do believe that is a loss no one should ever have to feel.
i tell you this only because i think it’s important for you to know that, while you can probably shrug off what you did, you changed me that much. although i’m thankful that i have become the person i am (and so thankful i’m not, in fact, married to you) i never should have had to become me this way. it doesn’t hurt anymore, but i’m scarred. and that’s what my heart looks like now.