Our beloved Belle Thursday, Rachel Hauck, has a new novel out! It’s titled Once Upon A Prince, and it will sweep you off of your feet. It’s been described as a “Princess Diaries for grown ups” and a “modern day fairy tale”, and with Rachel’s beautiful writing and her joy filled faith, I’m sure there is much to discover in this sudden love story between St. Simon’s belle, Susanna Truitt, and a genuine European prince, Nathaniel (who can’t dare entertain the idea of marrying an American.)
Hooked already? I am!
We’ve decided to take a look at one of the reading group guide questions from Rachel’s novel this week, and here is the one I chose for today:
6. Clues. Often there are clues directing us into the Lord’s will, but we can’t see them or grasp them. The gold shoes are that for Susanna. She misses the clue but doesn’t give up on seeking understanding. What clues have you received that were indicators of God’s direction for your life?
God’s clues most often come to me through nature and literature. As Thoreau and Annie Dillard remind us in their works, there is nothing like examining the wonders of creation. Every time we are blown away by what we notice in the natural world, we should take it personally. We should realize in that moment of awe or discovery that God is saying, “I love you. I love you. I love you.” through the world He made.
Just last night I went paddleboarding for the first time with two girlfriends. Between us all there are nine kids, so it wasn’t easy to get away for a Sunday evening ride down Shem Creek, but oh, I’m so glad I did.
I had just taught a lesson to a group of children at church from The Jesus Story Book Bible, and part of the lesson was how God talks to us through nature. Well, after a few hours of paddling (quite ungracefully at times) down the salt marsh creek last night, a dolphin surfaced out of the blue less than three feet from my board. He was heading straight toward me, and I froze. As he brok the surface, he seemed to look right at me before he glided gently under my boat without causing so much as a bump or a wave. It literally took my breath away.
Now I can’t say exactly what kind of clue it was, but I do feel it was something. Some dispatch from God that I’m taking personally. Maybe it was simply, “I love you,” words I always need to hear, but especially this year as it has been a tumultuous one in many ways.
I am reminded of a time several years ago when I had written a novel I was hoping to get published. It was my first book, Grace at Low Tide, and I’d filled a file with rejection letters after trying to shop it around for a year.
Just when I was about to throw it away, I had a writer who told an editor about it, and this editor asked to see it. It took her months to get back to me, and in the interim, just when I’d completely given up on hearing from her, I prayed for the Lord to show me a sign and as I was driving over a bridge, I saw a rainbow in the sky. The next week, she called and offered to publish the novel.
I’m sure I miss many clues, just as Susanna in Rachel’s new novel does. However, God doesn’t give up on us. He’s awfully patient that way. Lately, I sense Him prodding me to fight for something I want, though I’m feeling rather weary and just want to let it go.
The night before the dolphin sighting, I was flipping through an old book of poetry my grandfather had given me years ago and I came across this poem:
By Carl Sandburg
The swath of light climbs up the skyscraper
Around the corners of white prisms and spikes.
The inside torso stands up in a plug of gun-metal.
The shadow struggles to get loose from the light.
Shall I say I’m through and it’s no use?
Or have I got another good fight in me?
What clues has God given you lately?
To learn more about Rachel Hauck’s fantastic new novel, Once Upon a Prince, go to www.rachelhauck.com
To learn about Beth Webb Hart’s books go to www.bethwebbhart.com