We can build relationships to last or we can tear them down. We can be a bridge to healing or a bridge to hurt and destruction. Listen to Susie’s conversation with New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers. We unpack the themes of her new novel, Bridge to Haven, and look at what it means for Jesus to be the ultimate Bridge in our lives.

In Francine’s newest novel, based on Ezekiel 16 and the parable of the prodigal son, the main character is a young woman named Abra who was abandoned as a baby under a bridge. As a result, she wrestles deeply with knowing who she is and experiencing love from others and from God. Her journey takes her from a small town to the bright lights of Hollywood, where she finds abuse and exploitation instead of acceptance and love. Francine says, “Sometimes God’s plan looks really messy to us, but it’s perfect.” Over the mud and the mire of our mistakes, rebellion, doubt and anger, God casts the bridge of His Son. Regardless of what we’ve done or where we’ve been, Jesus is our way home. Jesus is our safe place.

Francine also shares why she included a romantic theme in Bridge. “I wanted to get into what a real blessed godly sexual relationship looks like. In the beginning you see the abuse from Dylan, the abuser, and you see Franklin Moss, who’s loving this creation [instead of Abra], and Joshua, who loves [Abra] in a holy way but also in a healthy way. I thought, I can just ignore all that or I can just address it. There is a reason God calls us to purity and it’s to bless our lives.”

Francine’s other books include Redeeming Love, The Atonement Child, and the Mark of the Lion series.

Key Scriptures: Proverbs 3:5-6; Ezekiel 16

Theme Song: Unredeemed by Selah

Highlight : Wrestling with inadequacy

Novel talk: Bridge to haven

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