Several years ago, I was introduced to Marianne Evans through a book I had the
opportunity to proofread. Then I learned she was a neighbor, living in a nearby town. I’ve
grown to know her through her writing and conversation and I am continuously drawn to
her passion for sharing God’s love through tales of romance. Recently, she invited me to
take part in the launch of her newest series: a quartet of stories with one theme—purity.
This quartet, Sisters in Spirit highlights four women, friends from childhood, compelled
to take a vow with each other, before God, to wait for the one man who would spend his
life as her husband. Then, after sharing a little about each of the girls’ past, Marianne
brings us to the present where we see them struggle with keeping their vow, and learning
to trust God in the fulfillment of their dream.
The first up is Aileen’s Song.
Not every girl is a size 0, with flawless skin and the flexibility of a bendie straw.
And Aileen feels the weight of this knowledge as she looks in the mirror every day and
sees her curvy and (according to some) less-than-perfect body. What she sees, however,
and what her best friends see are opposed to each other, but she allows them the freedom
to disagree with her. Her other flaw is the schoolgirl crush she has on her best friend’s
brother, Liam, but again, she believes she’s not pretty enough to catch his eye. He’s a
good friend and becomes a business associate, but to wish for his affection ... was she
hoping for too much?
Given the opportunity to gain the affection of another man, she turns her face
from Liam, willing to settle for less than her heart’s desire because of her faulty belief
that she’ll never be good enough for the best. What she doesn’t realize is that God has
other plans. Plans that will bless and lift her gaze to see what He sees in her.
I can see from the glimpse into Aileen’s home life why she’d think she isn’t
beautiful. I also empathize, having been there. It is a travesty to see girls settle, or give
their hearts away to the first man who will pay attention to her rather than wait; but
perhaps, like Aileen, these girls need to be spoken over with words that build them and
love that perfectly sees rather than demands perfection.
For me, this story was freeing. Then, I look to my daughter, and think how
important it is for her to realize her own beauty before God, and one day the man who
will love her with such a depth that she’ll know she’s precious. This is my hope and my
prayer for her and if a book like Aileen’s Song would help her realize this truth, then it
will be on her bookshelf before long.
Karlene A. Jacobsen