Beth Pensinger is infatuated with love stories. She’s watched all the movies and read all the books.
“I’ve always been obsessed with romance,” she said.
That obsession kicked into high gear with the Twilight books and films.
“It’s really a great love story when you take out the vampires,” Pensinger noted.
In printed form, Twilight is a series of four vampire-themed romantic novels. Those books were turned into romance fantasy films, with both formats being wildly popular, not just among the aimed-at young adult audience, but also with women of all ages. And Pensinger was no exception. She loved the romance and love and adventure. Except...except that her real life didn’t match up with the thrills in those stories.
“Even though my life was good, it just didn’t compare,” said the 32-year-old.
This led to feelings of despair and being let down by the truth of the real world.
“I just felt sort of empty,” she said.
So Pensinger took her anguish to God in prayer.
“I cried out to God and wondered what was wrong with me,” she prayed.
The answer she got was a little surprising.
“It’s because you’re not in love with Me,” Pensinger remembers God saying to her spirit. “You know Me, but you’re not in love with Me.”
That’s not all she heard that April day in 2009.
“...and you’re going to write about it,” Pensinger said God added.
That was somewhat puzzling news to a real estate agent who had no desire to write and was never even much for keeping a journal.
“I passed high school English,” Pensinger jokingly cites as her writing experience.
Still, she knew this was not something she could dismiss easily.
“I felt it more strongly than anything I’ve ever heard God speak,” she said.
With such a powerful message being given her, Pensinger felt the urge to write down what God had placed on her heart. Upon finding her journal, which hadn’t been opened in months, she located the last entry. It was written after Pensinger finished the fourth and final novel of the Twilight series.
It reads, “I feel like maybe one day, I'll be able to write a book about how God has filled the deep and secret desires of my heart. I want to be able to help other women out of what I'm feeling now."
That confirmed for Pensinger that she would indeed write the book. You can get a copy of Let Me Fall: The Love Story Between God and His Dimwitted Daughter online from Amazon.com or www.bethpensinger.com.
“When I look at the final product in my hand, it blows my mind,” she said. “It’s because of God because I’m not capable of it. If the book does anything for anyone, it’s an opportunity for Him to show off.”
A different kind of love story
Good friend Kristi Johnson got a chance to read the first edits of the book.
“When I picked it up, it was hard to put it down,” Johnson remembered of the loose-leaf three-ring binder. “The way she presents the book is very neat.”
Let Me Fall is not handled in the traditional book format.
“Instead, it morphed into part memoir, part allegory,” Pensinger explained.
The author cautiously calls her novel a blending of the styles of The Shack and Blue Like Jazz, but not really. It’s unique and unlike any other book. Because of that, Pensinger got turned down by a literary agent. Not because of the quality of her writing, but because the agent predicted traditional publishers wouldn’t know what category to put the book in. Pensinger gets that. Johnson thinks that gives Let Me Fall much of its appeal. She said the book flows back and forth from Pensinger telling stories to her having conversations with the Holy Spirit.
“It comes to life through that,” Johnson said. “It’s really interesting.”
Johnson also praises the book’s humor and lightheartedness.
“I’ve been so excited to get it in my hands,” she said. “It’s so good. Just get it.”
Letting go and going with God
Along with the content of Let Me Fall itself, Johnson is also impressed with the story behind the book, admiring Pensinger for being obedient to what God called her to do.
“She pretty much dropped everything,” Johnson said of her friend.
Pensinger literally did drop everything, if you’re counting her job and her income. While the call to write Let Me Fall came clearly, how that would all happen was more of a blur.
“Honestly, that was a much rougher process,” Pensinger remembers. “I was packing up my real estate office and I still wasn’t sure God wanted me to quit my job.”
Pensinger wrestled with leaving her five-year position at Century 21/McAlpine for about seven or eight months.
Her husband, Jerimiah, helped her make the decision. Once God confirmed the idea to him, Pensinger took the plunge and left her employment to write full-time, despite the stark realities of losing her paycheck.
“We needed my income to survive,” she admitted. “It has been tough. It has been a challenge. It has been an extreme growing of our faith.”
But God has taken care of the Pensingers.
“He’s always provided for us,” she said.
Pensinger’s husband also helped in other areas like taking on extra work and helping to figure out the complicated publishing aspects of getting a book to print.
“He has done as much work as me and then some,” she said. “This book would not be here without Jerimiah.”
Pensinger is unsure of her future, at least as far as writing goes.
“I have no clue,” she said. “I honestly don’t know what my life will look like in three months, in six months or in a year. I will do whatever God tells me to do. I’m open.”
She is working on marketing the book, with a goal of getting it into the hands of at least one person in each state.
“That’s the plan for now,” she said. “God’s got me this far and I’ll take it as far as He wants me to.”