Continuing on the theme of my previous post, writers as friends, I finished Wishing on Dandelions by Mary DeMuth last night. Unlike the others mentioned in my last post—authors who are friends in my mind, not in the sense of a mutually giving friendship—Mary is a true friend. A what’s-going-on-in-your-life friend. An I’ll-pray-for-you friend. A let’s-room-together-at-the-conference friend.
What a privilege to cheer a friend from obscurity to acclaimed publication, to know and understand her progress from conception of the story (non-fiction or fiction) to finished product—5 times! I find such joy in my friend Mary as a person. And that joy overflows into my friend Mary as a writer.
I read Wishing on Dandelions for the first time as it spilled from Mary’s head onto the page. The second time, I read the entire book in almost one sitting—just before she turned it in to the publisher.
This time, I held an actual book in my hands and savored the experience. The language still enthralled me. And the story moved me yet again.
Maranatha’s story continues from Watching the Tree Limbs, but now Maranatha is 17, on the cusp of womanhood, and still dealing with the pain of the past. But in spite of hard times, and fear of good times, she ultimately comes to realize that Jesus does love her, even though His love is sometimes of the “I want you to grow” kind.
To watch Maranatha struggle and change from the first page to the last reminds me that we all have “green ‘mater years,” as Mama Frankie says—years when we are not quite ripe yet, years when someone or some circumstance wants to pluck us before we are ready. But like Maranatha, we must come to an unshakeable faith in Jesus’s love. We must come to understand that our difficulties don’t prove God is against us, they re-emphasize His love for us. At a pivotal time in my own life, I felt the Lord say “I love you so much that I can’t let you remain where you are.” That same theme comes through loud and clear in Maranatha’s story.
Read it. You will laugh. You will cry. But most of all, you will come away encouraged that God is there, He is working, and His love for you overarches it all.