Shannon here: Happy Thanksgiving! Bonnie Leon shares something she’s thankful for–how God restored her marriage. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Nov 24 – 28 to enter the drawing for her latest historical romance, In the Land of White Nights. Deadline: Dec 3rd, 11:59 p.m. central time. Here’s Bonnie:
Keep On Believing
It was November 1969 and I was on my way to a party the night I met my husband. My brother was in the Navy and he brought home a shipmate, Gregory Leon. Oh my gosh—he was handsome! And the most beautiful green eyes I’d ever seen. I was only seventeen, but I fell for this handsome sailor and two months later we were engaged.
The Viet Nam War was on and Greg was a damage-controlman on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. We only knew each other six months before he was shipped overseas to Viet Nam for 10 ½ months. Letters were our only way of communicating. There was no internet or Skype in those days. We were married immediately after he returned. I was nineteen and he was twenty-one—just kids.
After a beautiful wedding and short but fabulous honeymoon we started our life together as husband and wife. It didn’t take long for us to realize we didn’t know how to be a couple and were both too self-absorbed to be a good partner to our other half. The four years that followed were turbulent and hurtful. They ended in a seven month separation.
Greg and I were not Christians when we went our separate ways. But broken-hearted I found God in my need and emptiness. I started to pray for Greg and our marriage. Greg had made it clear that we were finished and filed for divorce.
However, after a few months he started showing up at my apartment. After we reconciled he explained that he’d leave his house intending to spend time with friends and end up at my place, not knowing how he’d gotten there.
God was at work.
After many months of a bitter divorce process everything was done and filed. All Greg and I had to do was show up before a judge. A date had even been scheduled. At that point I was convinced there was nothing that could save our marriage. I had no hopes of reconciliation.
The only hiccup in the whole thing was that Greg and I had become friends.
One day, seven months after we separated, Greg joined me to help me pick out a new used car. He chose one I couldn’t afford, but we climbed in anyway. After driving around town for a while I told him I loved the car but couldn’t afford it. His response would shake up my life.
He said, “No you can’t. But we can.”
What did he say? And what did he mean?
Greg told me he wanted to try again—that he loved me.
It was the last thing I expected to hear, but I still loved him even though loving him had dragged me down a rugged heartbreaking road. We both had done and said many things that were unforgivable. How was it possible to reunite?
I told Greg I needed to pray about what I should do. He wasn’t a believer, but seemed to understand what I was asking for. I spent a few days thinking and praying over this huge decision.
I was afraid to try, but felt that God was asking me to. And so I told Greg, yes, I would come home. This time we decided to take our marriage vows seriously. And I knew that with God anything was possible.
I stepped back into life with my husband, trusting God would make our marriage into something beautiful. We did well, but I was a believer and Greg was not, which meant there was a chasm between us that only God could fill. And He had a plan to do just that.
One night Greg and I joined friends and went to listen to a Christian speaker. At the end of the evening when the pastor asked, “If there are any here who want to place your trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation, please stand up.” My husband stood. And that night he gave his life the Lord.
It was a new beginning.
We’ve now been married forty-five years. It hasn’t all been ease and romance, but I would never change it. And I’m thankful to have walked through my life with my wonderful husband. We have and will continue to serve God together.
I thank the Lord for miracles like ours. We need to keep believing and never give up.
About Bonnie: Bonnie Leon is the author of twenty-one novels, including the recently released In the Land of White Nights, the popular Alaskan Skies and bestselling The Journey of Eleven Moons.
Bonnie’s books are being read internationally and she hears from readers in Australia, Europe, and even Africa.
She enjoys speaking for women’s groups and teaching at writing seminars and conventions and especially delights in mentoring young authors. These days, her time is filled with writing, being a grandmother and relishing precious time with her aged mother.
Bonnie and her husband, Greg, live in Southern Oregon. They have three grown children and seven grandchildren. Learn more & connect:
About the book – In the Land of White Nights:
Anna or rivers of gold–which will captivate his heart?
The lure of the nineteenth-century gold rush calls to Erik, a civil-war veteran. He and Anna, his Aleutian bride, set sail for a new life together in Sitka.
Anna stands strong against the adversities of the new land with its unfamiliar culture and fearsome challenges. She fights her fears and the prejudice of others, while growing her newfound faith in the white man’s God.
When forced to move farther north and begin again, Anna refuses to give up, allowing nothing to stand in the way of her family’s happiness. They discover joy as well as heartache in the Alaskan wilderness. But will Erik’s love of gold put all they’ve worked so hard for in jeopardy?
Question for Readers: What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to entrust to God?
Happy Thanksgiving! Come back Nov 28th for Bonnie’s romantic interview!