A Bridge To Cling To
*This post is part of my Beautiful Bridges and Special Kisses Giveaway! Want to link up, or looking for more info on the chance to win a collection of TEN Amish novels? Click here.
I remember the moment as if it were yesterday. I was on a research trip with two of my author friends. They were researching for their novels, and I was along for the ride. It was the first time I’d been to Europe, and the beauty and culture overwhelmed me. We visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, went to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and sampled delicious meals in Belgium and Germany. Our next stop was Prague in the Czech Republic.
We arrived at our hotel near midnight. The hotel was painted pink and in the center of Prague. I didn’t know much about the city except that it was old. Unlike Paris and London, Prague had never been bombed during World War II, and the architecture in the Old Town was the same as it had been for 500 years—even longer.
We stepped out of our car and onto cobblestone and made our way to the front desk in the tiny lobby. The plaster walls spoke of age and history. The windows in our room opened up to narrow passageways that looked like something from a Charles Dickens novel.
“Let’s go to the bridge,” my friend Anne whispered after we set down our suitcases. We left the hotel and walked a short distance. There it was. A cobblestone bridge lined with statues of Catholic saints. The opera must have just gotten out because couples strolled along in gowns and tuxedos. The softest rain began to fall, and that’s when I turned around to see the castle on the hill.
Prague glowed in twinkle lights reminiscent of Disneyworld. But this castle was grander, more beautiful, and . . . real. I’d later learn that the castle was once the centerpiece of the Austrian-Hungry empire, but at that moment I didn’t need to understand history to know how magical this place was.
Emotion swelled within me as I stood on that bridge in the rain, and I felt God’s love as I never did before.
God loved me. He’d given me this gift.
God loved me. I’d traveled halfway around the world and this moment was a special treasure from Him.
God loved me. I felt it deep down in my soul.
I’ve been back to that bridge four other times. Sometimes in the middle of a crazy, busy, kid-filled day, I pause and remember it’s there. The Charles Bridge, with its street vendors, tourists, cobblestone, and saints, spans the Vltava River, and that gives me peace. Peace knowing I’ve been there. Peace hoping I’ll return again.
My love of that bridge and The Czech Republic is something I’ve passed on—an inheritance of sorts. John and I took our family to The Czech Republic on mission trips, and now my daughter lives there full-time as a missionary. Looking back I thought that moment was for me, but now I understand that it was for her, too. And it was for all those who she shares the good news of Jesus with.
There is a cobblestone bridge that caused me to fall in love with a country. And now my daughter lives in that country, sharing how Jesus is the bridge that makes it possible for sinful man to reach eternity.
I can’t think of a more beautiful love story than that.
Want to link up to my Beautiful Bridges and Special Kisses Giveaway or looking for more info on the chance to win a collection of TEN Amish novels? Click here.
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Jennifer Smith says
So awesome! What a neat experience…I’ve never heard of Prague, but I’d love to visit.
Tricia Goyer says
It’s an amazing place. I can’t wait to go back!
Andrea Cox says
Tricia, what a beautiful article with gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing this country you love (and how you came to love it) with us. It’s neat to see how that love God grew in you He also carried over into your daughter. What a blessing!
Tricia Goyer says
Thank you, Andrea!! I love what God does!
The Charles Bridge is one of my favorite places in the world too! I visited it in college while I was a summer missionary in Germany and fell in love with the beauty of Prague. Thank you for bringing back those wonderful memories this morning.
Tricia Goyer says
Stacy, I’m glad I could take you on a trip down memory lane!
Sharon Miller says
My favorite kisses these days are from our sons, Jeremiah a& Aaron, who never fail to give me a kiss and hug whenever we meet or part. They always say, “I love you, Mom!” My heart melts.
Excited about the 10 book Amish contest!
Claudia Davis says
Love your bridge, Trisha. I love how God uses those moments to touch others as well as ourselves too! My favorite bridge is the longest remaining wooden covered bridge in Michigan, the Langley Covered Bridge, near Centreville. I grew up not far from there. When my parents would take us north to visit family we would take the bridge road either on the way there or back. It was just a special memory of travels with my family. When my husband and I would take our kids to visit my parents we would take the bridge road at least once. It is a beautiful covered bridge in the country. It is not unusual to see an Amish buggy traveling the bridge either! Thank you !
Craig Hardee says
Wow, Tricia, you brought back some memories. I’ve been to Prague 8 times, and wish I could go back again. My first time in Prague and on the Charles Bridge I was so excited that I forgot to eat and almost passed out from low blood sugar! Fortunately my group realized what was going on and pumped some food into me. 🙂
Suzanne Dawson says
I would love to go there. Guess it will only be possible in a book. Love all your books, Tricia Goyer.
Linda LANDRETH says
My sister and brother in law love Prague and if they are anywhere in the world near it, they will spend time there.
Amy Bateman says
What a beautiful bit of family heritage to pass on. Maybe someday I’ll be able to visit it in person, but until then I’ll enjoy through your pictures and words.
carol spurr says
Tricia you are a very busy lady for the Lord!!!! God Bless you! I spent some time in Europe when we were stationed in Germany in the eighties with the Canadian Armed Forces! My husband was posted to Germany and it was a wonderful tour!!MY fauvorite bridge[ I donnot have a picture] o itf but it was a great part of my childhood! I grew up in a log cabin and the bridge was just aways from my home!!As A child of the fifties we were a poor family in material ways but rich in love!!I used to play by the bridge and fish from the bridge and as a young teenager tell the Bridge all my inner secrets and longings!The bridge was my solace when my boyfriend first kissed me and when he broke up with me twice!!!There was always an inner longing which as a child and teenager I could not identify!I now believe these emotions were from the Lord! My family went to church whenever we could but it would be many years later and during a mental breakdown that I first found Jesus as my Saviour!!!I believe the “bridge,although not grand in stature, helped the Lord preare me for the child of God I am now!!