Neither my ex-girlfriend or Edward were good with the written words to express the world or love. Its a skill I hope I have for my husband. That words could make love a tangible thing that you can hold in your hand. One doesn’t need to be a silvertongue to make the words real then.
Jim’s letters have that locked magic that Cornelia Funke highlighted in Inkheart. I just have to say that.
Now to make my writing feel like nothing next to his. People don’t use these reviews as an excuse for not reading the book for yourself.
God doesn’t put his children though the type of love sickness that these two have endured without reward. The reward is a victorious Christian life though not the normal material rewards promised by those preaching prosperity gospel. I mean you can get those but a victorious Christian life is something we should want more than a big house for a new car.
… Glad I’m not jaded by night in bed with you, as married couples are. They can bear to sit at opposite side of the car. I’m glad I still can’t quite keep my hands off you, still must be warned not to “muss you up.” I have you now unravished, and that is just how I need you now. The schoolboy in me still wonders and is awkward-we’ve not had “experience”-which takes the edge off. We will, I suppose, get used to each other, the feel and smell and look of one another, but I am glad it is not so now. As I never felt before, I feel now that I must keep myself for you. God knows it is a stay to purity, and He knows how many shaking to purity are ahead.
So in case you couldn’t tell by that they got the green light from God. Jim writes something here that sums up this chapter nicely.
I remember Edward’s wonderment because this was the first time he was snuggling. He had simple questions like, “what does a kiss feel like?”
He knows they answer to that question and a few others and wishes he didn’t know the answer too. Discovering the answers is part of the fun of the honeymoon.
My wonderment I knew was lessened because of my experience. I knew the basics of kissing and nuzzling. Stubble was amazing because it was first time with that.
I’m sorry I robbed Edward’s wife of watching him have full wonderment. I’ve done a disservice to my husband as well.
When you find me reading a novel you fine someone deeply connecting to the characters. Like I was reading Animorphs 45 The Revelation on the train when I got to the part where Marco is watching is father’s head get shoved into a Yeerk pool. Marco could do nothing but observe his father become a slave to an alien slug with no will of his own.
A random passenger broke the drama of the moment by asking if I was ok. A tear had escaped my eye. “I’m fine,” I said then switched to another book in my kindle.
Passion and Purity is written to doing that with Elisabeth so easily. So when I realized that this chapter was about seeing Jim, then not seeing him for a year, then seeing him, all without getting a plain go ahead from God, I was driven a little crazy.
I know they are learning and growing but if just reading it drives me crazy then imagine if I had to live it. I have rushed romance before…
Dear Lord, I’m going to do something that I’m already facepalming myself for but I know I need it. Give me patience. I need it to learn to endure.
I answered the question before reading the content of the chapter and came up with the same answer.
You say no, and you move away.
Another thing I knew before reading the chapter was that it’s simple yet not easy. Hey, she used those words too.
Humans were meant to rely on God when faced with temptation. Our strength as humans will fail us.
Jim writes Elisabeth after they are apart for a week again.
Every time we have parted it has been harder. I do not want to part with you on this basis again. So I have prayed, quaveringly, that the Lord would not let us see one another again without giving us some assurance of His ultimate goal in relation to us. This parting into “undefined silence” is is terrible.
Don’t I know it.
The thing is I won’t pray for assurance. I thought a had it before. I thought I had a sign from God Himself saying, “this one”. I think that partly contributed to our carelessness. Edward can have assurance if he wants it. I’m praying for by the moment guidance.
Dear Lord, I’m sorry for carelessness I have shown. I knew what was right an didn’t do it. And I hurt Edward in the same time. Dear Lord I ask that you give me what I need to withstand the “undefined silence”. Guide me in how you would want me to go and part Edward and I if that be Your will.
Elisabeth and Jim have been sending letters to each other about a year before she see him in person again. This chapter is where they meet, holding out hope if friendship in the future for people like Edward and I.
I didn’t really want to hear it. Edward left the forum where we met so we could better avoid each other better. He didn’t have to because I was planning to do the same thing so he could have the site to himself. So for stupid emotional reasons I don’t want to hear about being friends with him. Though likely they that means I need it.
What struck me about the time they spent together was that Elisabeth still had feelings for Jim.
Sitting close together, watching the sun sink into the gleaming sea, the temptation to express ourselves, to do what we felt like doing, was nearly overwhelming. Because the final choice had been made long before, by the grace of God we were not overwhelmed.
I remember when Edward and I had our first in person meeting. There was one moment where he confessed later that he wanted to kiss me. But because he remembered that I had said I was waiting for the altar so that I could redeem kissing with my husband. I know the moment that he spoke of because I felt the same thing. What happened between our first meeting and the second?
But of course these two have feelings for each other. God means for them to marry. So if He doesn’t mean that for Edward and I, why can’t I just get over him?
I write this for one reason. To show that it is that it is possible for two young people, full of all the juices that youth is endowed with by the Creator, to resist temptation.
They can’t do it unless they have a motive that makes it worthwhile.
They can’t do it alone.
Yes, the main point isn’t why we have the temptation. The main point is being strong enough to withstand temptation.
Dear Lord, I long to have my best friend back. I long to speak of aliens but mostly work as a team to minister for you. I ask that you once again take my emotions and drive them. I thank you for Your promise that no temptation will ever be too much for me. Lord, I do not know your plan for my life. Marriage and Edward are on altars in my heart. Do with these things as you will.
This chapter was hard to read. Elisabeth was learning that Jim wasn’t perfect and had done so much as kiss other girls since he had stopped talking to her. I felt like I was peering into the mind of Edward’s future wive when she hears about his relationship with me. I’m hoping I thought of that only because the feminine tone Elisabeth gives each chapter don’t remind me of how my future husband should sound.
Jim is sorry for his actions and is thankful to God for forgiveness. I know this feeling well. It doesn’t mean we can indulge yourselves in sin, but if we slip up forgiveness is offered.
Dear Lord, I know my actions have hurt my future husband as well as Edward. I have asked you to forgive me and I know that I’m forgiven and I can’t stop thanking you for that. I ask that my future husband is prepared to news of my past.
One of the things Jim apologized for in his letter in the last chapter was going to far physically. What had they done?
The physical contact Jim referred to was my taking him arm when we walked, our sitting with shoulders tightly pressed together, and on one occasion as sat on a park bench his suddenly stretching out on his back with his head in my lap. My fingers entwined his hair.
If you had spoken to me a year ago I wouldn’t have had no problem with those actions until the “one occasion”. But now remembering how shortly after Edward and I met we had our shoulders pressed and the way it made me feel I understand what he means now. (For the record I was squished between two people with massive shoulders in the back seat of that car. My friend needs to stop calling her car the TARDIS. It’s small and blue but it’s even smaller on the inside.)
The point isn’t to look for how far is too far but to look for how do we stay holy. Sexual pleasure isn’t for when dating but for marriage only. So stop trying to figure where the too-far line is and try to avoid it all together. Because we are human and every touch whettens the apatite for. I think Steven Currington said it well, we cannot fight a fleshly appetite by indulging in it.
Jim tells Elisabeth that he feels that God is giving the freedom for them to send letters to each other.
As General Beckman said to Sarah and Chuck, “It’s about time.”
It’s been good to have a few chapters away from this but I’m also reading this as a love story between Elisabeth, Jim and God not just Elisabeth. I’m glad Jim is back.
Elisabeth admits that they talk of marriage again at this time. I’m sort of taking comfort in that the mistake seems common. Though as I said before, “natural” is no excuse for sin.
Then Jim sends a letter with mingled guilt and caution asking for forgiveness for awakening feelings of longing in her. If they were a stumbling block in her walk with God, he felt as if he would be partly guilty with her. If they ever were to meet again they would have to be extra careful.
Talk about something Edward and I should have done. I’ve awakening feelings he’s never had for another woman, if I am to believe him, by…
I’m starting to wonder now.
His affection toward me was strong before I ever told him I loved him or returned his love for me. I made things worse by returning that love for sure but what about before that?
I hear his canned answer of “your Christian spirit” in my head but I don’t can’t trust that answer.
Dear Lord, what do I do to try to heal the damage done and how did I cause the damage? Please help me avoid causing others to stumble in the future. I once again ask that any desires I have please allow them to come from You and only You.
This chapter is about one of my lest favourit subjects; peace.
I don’t like peace. Call me a freak but I would rather have a battle on my hands then the a spa day. I’m sure this means there is something wrong with me.
The only times I seem to be at peace about being at peace is when I’m at or around water. The bigger the waves the better too. I just feel at peace there and that its just me and God there some times. I know its dangerous sometimes but love the peace I get from it. It the greatest part of God’s creation.
I never want to live too far away from the sea.
God spoke peaces into my emotional turmoil because I was asking for it and looking for it and being silent enough to hear it.
I’ve been asking for my love of Edward to be taken away. Instead should I just be asking for peace and God’s way with my emotions? Why does God still want me to love him?
My job is to do His will, not ask for His plan.
Dear Lord, I ask that you control my emotions. Give me peace if that is Your will. Dear Lord, help me be at peace with peace.
I was disturbed to find that I could not think, read, or pray except about Jim Elliot. He loomed in ever thought, every line I read in the Bible or anywhere else. He got mixed up in morphology, syntax, and phonetics I was stuffing in my head.
Please tell me I wasn’t that bad.
I spoke of Spider-Man leaving Mary Jane before and while I was always proud of him for doing it, I thought it was cruel to make sure that she didn’t love him anymore. Ya know brake her heart in such a way as to make sure she didn’t want to love him anymore. What is the poor girl to do?
This chapter has the answer that Mary Jane and I need to detach our hearts from whatever is outside God will (not that Mary Jane was thinking about that but work with me here).
Death of self.
I need to kill off the selfish wants of my heart and replace them with ones God has for me. This allows me to live in His will, live the fulfilled live He has for me. Basically saying not my will but Thine.
Death isn’t painless but the life offered afterward is worth it.
Most people don’t find the sadistic romantic side of heart brake as a good thing like I do (not when it happens to me of coarse). So why did Jim and Elisabeth allow themselves to go through that?
It would not have to honoring to the other person to tempt them away from God’s will for their lives. God would have also been dishonored if they stayed from His will as well and that was the important thing.
The poem at the end of the chapter reminded me if something Edward said to me. “You don’t want to be the one I love most. You want me to love God more and you are going to hold me to that.”
"That’s because you can’t love me right if you don’t," I said.
Almost a month after that, we were being very dishonorable to each other and God. As some point he snapped out of it. “Cheyene, we have to stop.”
"But you don’t want to," I said just before taking action to ensure my seduction.
"But we must."
The poor man then had the job of turning me off.
He stopped because he remembered his love for God. If he was only loving me at the time we would have gone though it. I failed to hold him to it but he was holding me to it.
Dear Lord, I’m sorry for how I treated you and Edward that day. Thank you for making Edward honorable. Forgive us for what we have done. Show us what is next for us and if it be Your will that we not entangle our emotions with each other again I ask that you sever us.
This was by far the most romantic chapter yet. This chapter Jim and Elisabeth part ways after graduation.
I’m a sucker for romances where one of the lovers leaves the one they know is right for them. Spider-man is the first to come to my mind. Mary Jane kisses Peter. He has wanted this for so long. She hasn’t just noticed him, she is loving him. Then he remembers that he isn’t just Peter Parker any more. He has to leave her to protect her from whatever evil might threaten her because of him. He leaves her there at the grave side with both hearts broken.
I’ve wanted a man to do that to me. Leave me, brake my heart for my well being.
Maybe this is why I seem to love Edward more every time we part ways.
But the point of the chapter was that her love for Jim was material that God had given her to sacrifice. Offer the love on the alter. I don’t think I’ll go back to Edward till I’ve seen him do this. If he does this.
O Lord, against this bosom blast of coiled and seething feelings,
Batt’ring passions, ebbing yearnings, oozing ache of the inner man,
Raise Thou the flinty walls of stuff of which Thy Son was made.
Yea, build in me the buttressed bastions of faith
That shall resist the undersucking flow of soulish tide,
And made me to endure this late attack,
I pray, in Jesus’ name.
Jim had strong feelings for Elisabeth. But he knew that God hadn’t given the go ahead to explore the option of a wife one day. So all either of them could do was give it over to God knowing that he would make the way plain for them. They had very similar thoughts on the matter. Just like Edward and I.
We cautioned each other about the dangers of being taken by such coincidence. More sins are defended by the claim of coincidence (“it was meant to be”) than the world dreams of - or at least than it admits.
Edward and I have been accused of sharing a brain. I always reasoned it away but I have to admit that it likely to our premature closeness. I kept telling myself that it was even bad for a relationship because with the same weaknesses Satan could attack one place and pull us both down. Lo and Behold look what happened.
In this chapter, Jim says that he has found the girl he wants to marry in Elisabeth. But because he knows God wants him single he gives his feelings for her to God.
"… I can’t ask you to commit yourself to anything whatsoever. I can’t even ask you to wait. I’ve given you and all my feelings for you to God. He’ll have to work out whatever He wants."
I do remember a similar conversation between me and Edward. He told me not to wait for him to be clean and that God will bring us together again if that is God’s will.
I said that I was going to be clean 16 months before I see any boyfriends and that he shouldn’t wait for me either. I do however wait here with my friendship with after a shorter time of us both being clean.
But does God notice if those two college kids if those kids entangled themselves with a relationship then? yes. Does God notice if Edward and I weren’t separated? yes.
We all play a part in God’s plan. Breaking for it hinders Him work here on earth. Are we selfish enough to do that?