Collin Edwards, a former parishioner at Woodland Church of Christ, has renounced God without apology, his faith drained away in the face of a tragic loss.
Daveny Montgomery cares deeply about her relationship with God and the community of Woodland. But lately she's been in a rut, longing for something to reignite her spiritual enthusiasm.
A beautification project at Woodland seems the answer for them both. Daveny spearheads the effort and Collin assists—but only with the renovations, and only because he wants to know Daveny better.
Despite his deepening feelings for her, even stepping into the common areas of the church stirs tension and anger.
Can Daveny trust in Collin’s fledgling return to faith? And can Collin ever accept the fact that while he turned his back on God, God never turned his back on him?
“How do you feel about God?” she asked gently.
“I don't,” he replied. But then he softened, and gave her an apologetic look. “For now, if you don’t mind, can we leave it at that?”
The answer, coupled with accompanying pain she sensed, left her wanting to press. She wanted to comfort and assure, but she didn't. She didn't want to intrude where she didn't belong. After all, they were just getting to know one another.
“OK, I will. For now. Just one question though. Is that why you don't attend church with the rest of your family?”
Again, like something divinely inspired, the words escaped before she could even consider them or hold them in check. All Collin did was nod.
The reactions, his character, intrigued her tremendously because he seemed a genuinely wonderful person. Daveny sensed as much in the way he behaved and the vibration of goodness he gave off.
Yet he seemed lost, too.
Perhaps God had more in store for her than renovating Woodland.
5 hearts, 5 stars, 5 golden rings....and a partridge in a pear tree, too!
A wonderful story, start to finish!
The introduction of this story alone is heart-wrenching. The pain, the loss, the searching for God through suffering, the seeking to understand – the groaning we all feel in our hearts at one time or another – it all comes through the words Ms. Evans has written here.
As attraction zings between Daveny and Collin you can feel the energy. The emotions are pure. The wide eyed wonder of love as it blooms is just a pleasure to behold.
And not only are the characters wonderful, and the emotions raw and tangible, but her words are a feast for all the senses. The sights, the smells, the flavors of all they share become a part of you.
And lastly, but most importantly, the message is truly solid gold. From the weight of guilt creating a wedge with God, to His wonderful mercy, grace, and forgiveness – I dare you to read this story and not have God touch your heart.
Wonderful job, Ms. Evans, I know I'm a little behind, but I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!