by Emily Conrad

A novel, a journal, a load of Bible verses, and emails from writer friends. Through all of this and more, God has been nudging me.

Emily, there’s more to this.
Emily, you’re glossing over something.
Emily, pay attention to this.
Emily, you don’t really know what you think you know, and you haven’t yet fully experienced this.

Again and again until I finally surrendered my attention to this thing He’s been nudging me toward: His love.

I can no longer simply skim over passages like Ephesians 3:18-19, in which Paul prays that we would understand the dimensions of God’s love—how high and wide and deep it is.

I must now ask, What are the dimensions of the love of God? How can we know something that surpasses knowledge? How does God’s love really make a difference in my life?

I can no longer stop puzzling over references to Jesus as a bridegroom and the Bible as a love letter after just a few moments of furrowing my brow.

I must ask, Why do those make me uncomfortable, and is it fair to talk about God’s love that way?

I can no longer imagine I have an adequate understanding of what Paul means in Romans 3:38-39 when he writes that we can’t be separated from the love of God.

I must now ask, What does God’s unconditional love really look like? What did it mean for Him to accept me as His child, and how should that impact my other relationships?

As my curiosity grew, I reached out to others. They added more questions to the pile: Who is this God who loves us so? How can God love and forgive me when I can’t love and forgive myself? Is God’s love similar to the human love I experience, or is it something completely other?

These are ambitious questions, the answers to which I am sure I will not fully understand until Heaven. But nonetheless, God invites us to explore His love, and so, with each post from now through February 28th, explore we will.

After all, February is when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. What greater love can we celebrate and enjoy than the love of God?

I am so excited to invite you along for the journey, and I hope you’ll follow along!

Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store:

  • 40 Days of Love Letters journals giveaways – I teamed up with Charissa Steyn and we’re giving away a total of 4 of these lovely journals this month. 
    • 2 will be given away on the blog–watch the posts this month for your chance to win them by commenting. (When these giveaways happen, they’ll be open to US residents only. Winners will be picked randomly one week later. I’ll make the announcement on the blog, and the winner will need to contact me with their mailing address within a week.)
    • 2 will be given to email subscribers. Subscribe to my newsletter or blog to be entered for these. (US residents only. Winners will be randomly picked on 3/1 from all current subscribers at that time and notified via email.)
  • Q and A with Charissa Steyn of Art of Adventure 
  • Guest posts from 5 talented writers I’m oh-so excited about: Robyn Hook, Rachel Scott McDaniel, Christina Hubbard, Jerusha Agen, and Allie Crume.  
  • Reflections on some of what I’ve been learning about God’s love
The best way to be sure you don’t miss anything is to subscribe to the blog via email–as a bonus, subscribers get a free short story about beauty, scars, and love titled “A Thing of Beauty.” There’s a sign up box in the upper right of this blog, or you can go here.

To kick things off, I’ve written a new short story, “Thirty-One and Falling.” You don’t have to be a subscriber to get this one, so if you like it, feel free to share the link!

More than ten years ago, a disastrous relationship froze Sarah Jordan into a life of shame and consequences. With no interest in another romantic foray, she’s looking forward to Valentine’s Day as a special date night with her son, Peter. Peter’s plans for the night, however, inadvertently force Sarah to question the beliefs she’s lived by face the past, romance, and everything she believes about God’s love and willingness to forgive.

Refusing to let heartbreak define him, Luke Carter takes a chance on pursuing Sarah Jordan, but to thaw her opinion of romance, he must first find a way to She makes it very clear, however, that a man’s attention isn’t going to thaw her opinion of romance. God’s love just might, if only Luke could figure out how to show it to her.

Download your free copy here.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve been looking forward to this series! As I worked on it a little bit at a time over the last month or so, more and more has fallen into place, and I truly believe God has great things in store for us this month.

At the start of this post, I mentioned I felt God nudging me toward this theme through a variety of channels–a novel, a journal, Bible verses, discussions with friends. What in your life has given you just a glimpse of God’s love for you?

Seen, known, and forever loved by a wholehearted God + free Valentine’s story via @emilyrconrad