SACRED LOVE: A JOURNEY OF SINGLENESS, BELONGING, AND FINDING TRUE LOVE
By Claudia Cantrell with Kim P. Davis
“I had tried to put God in a self-created box concerning my own happily-ever-after, which limited the bigness of God…It took a long time to get to the point of Jesus being the One to lean on.”
Single at age 50, alone, and no place to turn but Jesus, Claudia has a crisis of belief. She either has to totally trust God with the pain of her past or forever live defeated. In Sacred Love, Claudia finds the One who will never abandon or reject her. Then, while on a mission trip and when least expected, Claudia meets a doctor who challenges her with his love for people who need Jesus and compassion.
In this heartfelt and sweet love story of a broken, single woman surrendering all to the Prince of Peace, God reaches out to a woman in the ashes to bring her into a life of redeeming grace. Sacred Love is a beautiful testimony for those struggling to find contentment, joy, and fulfillment in Christ alone.
Throughout my life, I struggled with insecurity and poor self-esteem. Heartbroken, lonely, and depressed were the words that best described me. Rejection and bullying started in grammar school and continued throughout middle school. I was an overweight and ugly little girl and not only did my peers make sure I knew that, but my mother did as well. She was gorgeous and had a perfect figure. She often modeled for the nicest and most affluent women's store in my hometown. In addition, how could I forget that she had been told that she was the prettiest girl in her hometown too? The beauty queen had an ugly duckling child. She did tell me she was proud of me on occasion. It was after I had lost weight or brought home excellent grades.
Let's fast forward to my adulthood. To know me outwardly, I appeared to be a successful, independent, and confident career woman. Others thought "I had the world by the tail!" Not at all. Because I wanted to hide my hurt and pain, I became an incredible actress and probably could have won an academy award.
Since I saw everything through the lens of rejection, I decided early that I would build a wall of protection around myself. No one was going to hurt me any longer. Of course, that wall caused me to become more lonely and isolated. I was unknowingly sabotaging myself since my deepest desire was to be accepted, loved unconditionally, and to belong.
I had accepted Christ as my Savior at the age of 9, but my deeply personal relationship with Him was lacking. I did not believe God loved me and accepted me unconditionally. After all, how could he love me and accept me like that when it appeared no one else did? I questioned why he had created me. So let's be clear. The lie I believed for decades was that I was not enough. This belief propagated my striving to "be enough" by whatever the world deemed important. Then, I would be valued by others and God. Maybe then God would love and accept me unconditionally. This relentless striving and doing led me to exhaustion, anger, bitterness, depression, and severe anxiety. At one point, I recall driving down the interstate and wondering if I had the nerve to hit a pole at a high speed to end my life. I was the victim of emotional wounding like many of you.
My book, Sacred Love; A Journey of Singleness, Belonging, and Finding True Love, details my journey of moving from the wounded victim to the victor. In 2007, God brought me to my knees and took me through the most excruciating experience in my life, brokenness. During the years that followed, I began to see through the lens of truth, not rejection. I was forced to see not only the truth about myself but also the truth about God. I had to decide who was going to be in control, me or God. Was life going to continue to be "all about me" or was life going to be "all about God and his plan for me?" You might be working through this decision yourself. My story includes some tough times, but it ends up great and when you finish it, you will have hope.
During those years of living in the desert called brokenness, I came face-to-face with the question of whether or not I would abandon my faith in God and my belief in his goodness and love. It was my personal crisis of faith that you can read more about by clicking on the link.
‘Sacred Love captures your attention from the very beginning, so much so that you won’t be able to put it down! Through Claudia’s personal story of singleness, she exposes a subject we all deal with—God’s unconditional love regardless of your circumstances. What matters most? Loving God with all our hearts and accepting His eternal love.”
Author of Halftime and Drucker & Me Founder, the Halftime Institute
“A story of hope and redemption, Sacred Love is a real-life account of God’s pursuit of love for us, even when we prefer to be self-sufficient. Claudia’s love stories with the Prince of Peace and eventually with a godly husband are woven together with a fresh look at Scripture. Readers will enjoy the humor, honesty, and life application while being reminded that God truly loves us.”
Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia; Author of Building Your Spiritual Resume, Shoe Leather Christianity, Building Your Leadership Resume, and Wisdom om the Scriptures Vol.1
“Reading Sacred Love will make you happy inside! Whether you are single, married, widowed, or divorced, Claudia’s five-star story will speak to that part of you that longs to know God really loves you and will meet you in a very personal way, right where you are.”
Author of Fool-Proofing Your Life, Big Girls Don’t Whine, and Same Life, New Story
Dive into this transparent story from Claudia’s heart about finding true peace in the love of God. This story of forgiveness, struggle, faith, and contentment needs to be heard by millions of single men and women who seek to be loved and accepted. Sacred Love is inspiring, challenging, and full of hope.
iWork4Him, radio talk show host
"I am certainly loving my quiet time."
20 year old college student
“Do you ever long for a deeply soul-satisfying love and a fulfilling sense of belonging to the only One who can give you the blissful joys of a happily-ever-after life? Sacred Love is the truthful, heartfelt and poignant love story of how a precious child of God can find triumphant victory over utter brokenness. Overwhelmed by the most distressing, traumatic and turbulent circumstances, you come face to face with an ultimate crisis of belief and a numb distrust of everything in life. Unable to carry the heavy burdens anymore, you surrender the bitter, painful past to God. By surrendering to the One who loves you the most, you learn how to live life more abundantly through Christ. Sacred Love compels you to run to Jesus Christ, your heavenly Bridegroom, your happily ever after. He is your own true love, the only One who can transform a sad life into a most joyful one. Jesus is our only reason for living. In Him, we live and move and have our being. When Claudia rekindled her first love for Jesus Christ and made a firm decision to love, cherish and obey His will in her life, God healed Dr. David Cantrell’s grieving heart and gave Claudia to him as his bride. Today, Claudia and David serve Christ together in the Cantrell Ministries.”
Reviewer at the Journal of Theological Studies, Oxford Academic, Oxford University Press