Stories of faith, life, and love

Tag: Pamela S Meyers

Main Character Monday – Anna Hartwell

safeWelcome to Main Character Monday. It’s a little different than my regular blog posts, a little more lighthearted. But stick with it, and you just might find some characters you’d like to read more about. And even though it isn’t my usual devotional style, you may still come away with an encouraging word from the Word. I hope you enjoy Main Character Monday!

 

Today’s Guest is Anna Hartwell from Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyers. Thank you for joining me Anna.

Is there a person from the Bible that you most relate to?

Ruth. My parents had set up my arranged marriage just days after my birth with a boy who grew to be an abusive and hateful man. I had to lean heavily on God and seek his will during that time leading up to our ceremony, all the while praying for an escape before I found myself exchanging vows with a man I detested. I can identify with Ruth because she left all she was familiar with and followed her widowed mother-in-law to another land and adopted their ways and found her kinsman redeemer. Readers will better understand this after they read my story in Safe Refuge.

What has been the most difficult lesson God has taught you? 

What Proverbs 5: 3-7 says is true. I’m to trust in God with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. In His due time (not my timetable) he will make my paths straight.

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Is there one of these characteristics you find easier to show than the others?   

I seem to come to kindness naturally and I’ve learned that is likely one of my God-given gifts.

Which one is the most challenging for you?

Self-control and patience have taken some work. When it seems the odds are against me, I tend to lose patience and that’s when I’m not so kind after all.

If you could give one message to those reading this interview, what would you tell them?

Trust in Jeremiah 29: 11-13.  One of your more modern Bible translations than the one I use says it this way: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

If you keep those words from the Lord close to you heart, especially when things get tough you can make it through just about anything. God has been my safe refuge all my life and He’s never let me down.

Just for Fun:

Dark or Milk Chocolate? I prefer dark, but will never turn down chocolate of any kind.

Beach or Mountains?  Mountains definitely. I like the beach, but you can only spend a little while there before you have to get out of the sun. Mountains, no matter the weather draw me in.

Sweet Tea or Lemonade?  Sweet tea for sure. Being a northerner, I didn’t taste it ever until I traveled to Alabama where my mom’s ancestral family is rooted. I thought I’d find it too cloying but I loved it. Nowadays, we have sweet tea in the north. Not as much as the South, but it is around.

If you could describe Pamela Meyers in three words, what would those words be?

Loyal, Creative, Trusted

I want to thank Pamela Meyers for letting us have this time with Anna. If you’d like to get to know Anna better, you can get your copy of Safe Refuge from Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats.

Love is a Verb

DC Talk rapped some very wise words when they told us “Luv is a verb.” So, their spelling may have intentionally left a little to be desired, but the message is clear. Love isn’t a feeling. Love isn’t something that just happens. Love is a choice, and love is an action. Love is something we are all called to exhibit in our daily lives. Active love changes lives.

No one knows this better than Anna Hartwell in Safe Refuge by Pamela S. Meyer. Growing up in a wealthy Chicago family in 1871, Anna has had opportunities others haven’t. She’s seen a lack of love in action in her family and the man she’s been promised to marry since birth. Her mother reaches out to those she considers less than herself only when it will promote her standing in society. Her sister is young, but often distracted by the trappings that come with a life of wealth and social standing. But Anna is different. Through her church and personal relationship with God, Anna has seen real love. Anna has had the opportunity to realize those her parents consider lower class and less worthy have simply not been as fortunate financially. Anna’s heart is soft to the needs of others, and she reaches across the lines to befriend and help those in need.

When tragedy strikes her family and all of Chicago in the form of the Chicago fire, the differences between her family’s version of love and real love becomes even more apparent. Anna experiences the results of love in action as her family flees their hometown for Lake Geneva and finds people willing to give of themselves to those affected by the fires, whether rich or poor. These examples strengthen Anna to keep giving of herself without reserve to the neediest of the refugees despite her own loss. And when her family’s whole world is turned upside down with devastating news, Anna learns what unconditional love really is. For Anna, love is what changes everything.

It’s a lesson we can all stand to take to heart. God is love, and His love is unconditional. His love prompted the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross for people who had and would continue to reject Him and His ways. His love reached out to the unlovable. His love moved to change the lives of those the rest of the world would have considered unworthy. His love didn’t condone sin, but it also didn’t alienate the sinner in the desire to purge him of his sin. He loved the people to the truth, and that love changed hearts and lives.

The call to live lives of radical, active love is found in Jesus’ words from Matthew 25:40 which encourage us that whatever we do “To one of these brothers of Mine, even to the least of them” we did it to Jesus. There are countless verses about bearing with each other in love, carrying one another’s burdens, sharing each other’s joys, taking care of the widows and fatherless, and caring for all those in need. But Jesus gave us more than His words. He gave us His example. To the ten lepers, He gave healing even though only one would ever thank Him for the gift. To the woman caught in adultery, Jesus gave mercy and encouragement to go and sin no more. To the woman at the well, He gave her the truth of her sin wrapped in the softening blanket of hope. To Peter, Jesus gave forgiveness and restoration. The 5,000 received enough food to fill their bellies so they could focus on the teachings that would fill their souls.

And for us? Jesus gave His live in exchange for ours to pay sin’s debt. He gave it before we ever loved Him, before we ever knew Him. He gave it without reservation. He gave it to us, the creation that is so much lower in standing than the Creator. He gave it without regret to people like us who, even after being forgiven, would continue to fail Him and forget Him more times than we will even admit to ourselves. He gave to show us that love is a verb.

By the Book: Study the life of Jesus. How does it teach us love? How are you showing others love in your daily life? How good are you at putting love into action unconditionally?

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