I met Ford on a chilly, sunny Sunday morning at a local Bryn Mawr coffee shop to hear more about Love Letters to Him and the journey that inspired the book. After ordering my decaf, I greeted her with a hug, sat down and turned on my voice recorder to begin the interview. I got just a couple words out, before Ford abruptly said, “Pause.” “Why?” I asked. She responded, “(let’s) pray.” Ford asked God to be with us during our conversation, and to be with those who would ultimately be empowered by having read this inspired work. To that I said “Amen!” and our dialogue began.
I wasn’t surprised that Ford insisted on a “pause” to pray, because in the title of her book, Love Letters To Him, God is the one to whom the letters are being written. And these letters, meant to inspire intimacy with Him, take shape in the form of very candid, sometimes intense, poems and essays that explore our faith in God, as it relates to our physical and spiritual longing for true love and oneness with another. Accompanying each “love letter” are reflection questions, designed to help the reader dig deeper to uncover relevant spiritual and practical applications.
Although written from a Christian perspective, like me, you may be surprised at how vividly and unapologetically Ford puts it all out there-even the topics that we “Christians” sometimes prefer not to broach: incest, rape, homosexuality, and mental health, to name a few; the things that supposedly make us unworthy of receiving or giving love. Yet the book’s message is clear: despite our brokenness, repeated failings, insecurities, and sin, God still loves us more than we can ever imagine and His love continues to draw us toward Him. He wants us to present ourselves the way a bride presents herself to her groom, naked and without reservation, so that we can be truly free to experience the depth of love, unity, and deep satisfaction found only in a secure relationship with Him.
When I asked Sheila Ford if she set out to write this book to help other women, she explained that these poems actually started out as entries in her bedside journal. “Within this past year, (during times of meditation and prayer) poems would start coming to me…sometimes three or four right behind one another.” Ford revealed that for many years she had lived with a deep and unresolved longing to be held and loved, that she believes stemmed from her first year of life as an orphan. In writing these poems and essays, Ford says that she began to experience emotional and spiritual healing. In addition, she felt a newfound freedom and sensed God’s love in an entirely new way, far beyond anything that could be satisfied by a mere physical touch.
Ford says, “I thought, wow, maybe someone else could be helped, by being free…I read some of the poems to friends of mine…and they believed it would impact other women.” After prayerful contemplation Ford set out to make her self-published book a reality.
Love Letters To Him is already positively influencing our community; it is being used in an after-school program as an empowerment tool for 600 high school girls. In addition, a local organization which helps rescue women from prostitution has started incorporating the book into their program. This type of healthy, honest dialogue; with God, yourself, and others helps toward the journey of wholeness.
Accepting the challenge of being transparent can bring about the kind of transformation that gives you the confidence to feel that you are worthy of love right now and the courage to fulfill your destiny.
Love Letters To Him is currently available for $15 at two locations; www.amazon.com and www.missiontomobilization.com This impactful book would be ideal for a book club, women’s group, or a casual gathering of friends desiring meaningful discussion. For individual study, this 52-week guide of poems, essays and reflection questions are arranged in a way that allows for a year-long study of God’s passionate love for all of His children.