by Sarah Earlene Shere, Hosanna Heralds, ©2023
(Feb. 24, 2023) — [See the previous installments of this story here.]
February 26, 1864
Dear Little Heart,
When uncertainty arises, nestle against the heart of Who you know God is, and pray. The same can be true of your beloved. When outside forces and changeable feelings are all that are visible on the surface, remember the man who has gazed into your eyes with such tenderness. Remember the words he spoke to you so gently. Curl up and rest in his favor. Nestle against the heart of whom you’ve known him to be in Christ, and pray for him!
Yes, pray for him. For the man you see before you is full of pain and suffering. Oh, He might not always feel it, but the ramifications of past battles have left his heart scarred. And some wounds still reopen, causing fresh pain. Love him! Love him with all your heart, mind, and soul, even as you love your Lord. But be careful to not make him your god.
Cling to faith and hope within your darkest hour! “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV) I can not guarantee you that faith will give you a trouble-free life, but it will navigate you safely through the trouble. Faith regards as real fact that which is not revealed to the senses.
So when your senses overwhelm you, close your eyes, and rest. Know that you are loved and held, both by God and him who is the beat of your heart.
With Warmest Regards, as Always,
I replaced the last letter in its yellowed envelope and turned back to the mirror. Again, the gentle lady (not myself) was there, bent over a large cedar chest. She closed it, then lifted her eyes to me. I felt almost sadness from her. Searching the room around me, my eyes landed on the cedar chest. Looking back to the mirror, I only saw my own reflection. I opened the chest and carefully took out its contents: a wedding dress, over one hundred and fifty years old. I lifted the dress and held it over the front of my form. Gazing at my reflection, I ran my fingers over the white silk and wondered if I was strong enough to love a man as deeply as those letters had described. I felt afraid to make myself vulnerable.
Suddenly, I saw Liam’s reflection come walking up behind me. I felt his strong arms wrap around my waist and felt him draw me close to himself. I closed my eyes as I felt his face nestle against my neck. He noticed a tear escaping down my cheek and kissed it away. Then, in the stillness of his embrace, I knew that love was worth the risk of pain.