Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hope Chronicles: Georgianna Wentworth

The Hope Chronicles is a blog hop and journal between 5 historical romance authors. Our desire is to bring you lasting hope through these letters, grounded in the hope of our Lord that does not disappoint, and written from the fictional viewpoints of each book’s heroine. We’re so glad to have you join the event. Each day this week, a new Hope Chronicles post will go live, complete with a journal entry and a new giveaway for that blog post.

To read more about the project and enter to win the one-of-a-kind, hand-inscribed Hope Chronicles journal, which bounced from state to state until all five of us had spent some time with it, click here.

To find your way to the other four blog posts and enter each of the five Hope Chronicles prize bundle giveaways, read on! We have a list for you at the bottom of this post.

Inspiration picture for character of Georgianna Wentworth. Image via IMDB

Georgianna Wentworth
Summer of 1903
Stonehaven Estate
Lake Tahoe, California

Letter Inspired by Upon the Waters
Book 1 in the Stonehaven Series
by Amanda Dykes

{Authentic Lake Tahoe/Mt. Tallac postcard from the early 1900's, included in the Hope Chronicles Journal.}

A trail winds from my cottage door through the aspens and pines, letting out here. I walk it sometimes to cast my eyes on the cross in the mountainside as seen here... to remember "from whence comes my help".  ~G.W.

Dear Papa,

Tonight the aching for you is strong, so strong. I wish I could talk to you. You’ll never read this, I know, but I must write this down because I will not forget. I mustn’t. I know you would understand, if you were here.

It was dusk. As the candles shone upon the waters of the lake, and those strains of music sounded from the boathouse, my heart wrung silent anguish from its depths.

I sat on the beach with the others, among them yet alone, casting my face into to the darkness so they wouldn’t see. How could I withstand this? I was an eye of havoc in the storm of sweeping peace. The beautiful simplicity of the moment wove through them all… enveloping them and cinching me out and away from its embrace.

When the moon was high and everyone began to wander back to the estate, I stood looking at the sterling light dancing a path across the expanse.

“Coming?” Mr. McDonnell said, hand stretched to show the way.

“Soon,” I replied.

He studied me for a moment, nodded, said  “I won’t be far,” and disappeared into the boathouse.
I retreated to the shore then. Lapping waves curled over my bare feet with frigid sand, sinking me further into the gritty earth with each pass.

All was still outside, but a battle raged within.  I grappled with my thoughts in the dark, wrangling pain into prayer. Finally, words threaded around the cry of my soul:

I want peace.

I’m going to break under this tempest.

Please, Lord…

No answer. Only the washing, again and again, over my ice-cold toes. Then finally… your voice.

Yours, Papa. Almost audible in my memory, from the days when I’d fall asleep tucked in the nook of your arm, ear pressed against you to hear that steady, safe rumbling of truth as you read to me each night from the Bible:

Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…”

Oh, Papa. Those words… they should have comforted me. 

But they paralyzed me.  

It isn’t an anchor I want. Anchors mean storms, and I’m ready to drown in this one.

It is ravenous: tossing and bruising until I’m sure I’ll go under. Or strangle in the midnight tears when I awake to thoughts of Charlie, or hear his desperate cries. Or cave under the fear that hits me anew, all day, each day, pressing its weight at every turn: 

What if we are found out?
What if we are discovered here? 

No. If an anchor means a storm, then I’d rather not have one. I crave peace. I long for rest. I yearn to belong somewhere… and now, that will never be.

I stood there, gulping shards of forest air, desperate for hope, when the words overtook me again. “Hope… anchor for the soul…sure, steadfast.”

They swept my heart until I began to see-- I’m already in the storm. There’s no escape now.

But I could have an anchor. Sure and steadfast.

The stillness then was so sudden, so complete, that I actually spun from the lake to face the forest, see what creature had sent my attacking thoughts scattering to the winds.

No creature. Only the Savior, stepping out upon the breakers of my heart to bid them be still.

Four words imprinted on me in that moment:

He is our peace.

I wish peace meant things could go back to the way they were, meant that all of this—almost all of this--  would just vanish. 

But somewhere deep down, I am beginning to understand: Peace…it is Him. God’s presence. Not the absence of turmoil, but His presence and refuge even in the darkest of hours. Even in this storm.

So this is my hope, and I will dare to cling to it, to press on:

He is my anchor. He will be my peace.

I am daring to hope.

I am,
With love,
Your Georgie girl

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” Hebrews 6:19

Georgianna's Prize Bundle:

 Letter stamp and sealing wax

 Handmade "Hope as an Anchor for the Soul" rope-and-anchor bracelet

Floating candle and antique H and Anchor jar= 
"Hope as an Anchor for the Soul" lantern

Tahoe cookies, of course! 

 Handmade mini-journal, pages made from leftover Hope Chronicles journal blank pages

Tree branch pencils

Tahoe sand in a tiny jar, to remind you that our Lord's thoughts for you outnumber the grains of sand (Psalm 139)

 Georgianna's Prize Bundle

Scroll down and join the conversation in the comments? I'd love to chat with you there, or on Facebook or Twitter (#HopeChronicles).  
I have two questions to kick us off: one serious, and one just-for-fun. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Hope is an amazing thing, so seemingly fragile yet so very, very strong. Can you share a story where God provided a lifeline of hope in the midst of a storm for you? Or perhaps you have a scripture or song you cling to to remind you of our Anchor.

Would you consider sharing these things in the comments below, and perhaps even spreading that hope further by sharing it somewhere else today, too (in person, on Twitter, on Facebook, in your own blog post... however the Lord leads)?

Just for fun:
If we were to come up with a storyline for just how in the world the Hope Chronicles journal made it through almost a century of travel, passing from one heroine to the next, what would it be? We got a glimpse of the journal's beginning in Rosa's entry on Monday, but the rest of the story is a giant question mark, just begging to be brainstormed over. So.... ideas?

Comment away, and thank you so very much for stopping by today!

Read about the heart behind the Hope Chronicles here.

To enter to win Georgianna's prize bundle, simply fill out the form below

To join in the Hope Chronicles conversation, scroll down and leave a commentCan't wait to connect with you there!                                                                                                                                                                  ~Amanda


We invite you to join us each weekday this week as we hop through cyberspace and history, gleaning hope from each heroine’s journey. Each post will go live on the date indicated below. To visit each post on or after its date, click on the author name in blue.

Monday, November 5th: Regina Jennings  (Heroine: Rosa Garner, Sixty Acres and a Bride)
Tuesday, November 6thJoanne Bischof  (Heroine: Lonnie Sawyer, Be Still My Soul)
Wednesday, November 7thAmanda Dykes (Heroine: Georgianna Wentworth, Upon the Waters)
Thursday, November 8thKaren Barnett (Heroine: Abby Fischer, Shaken)
Friday, November 9thSarah Sundin (Heroine: Mellie Blake, With Every Letter)


*If the comment system isn't working for you, try opening this web page in a different browser. Internet Explorer sometimes has difficulty with the comment system. 


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