Shannon here: Nonfiction author, Edie Melson shares her real life romance and a bonus giveaway copy of her devotional book, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. Every time you comment on any post dated Nov 7 – 11, your name goes in the drawing. Two winners this week, since I promise a weekly fiction giveaway, I’m throwing in a copy of Rodeo Dust. Deadline: Nov 18, 11:59 pm, central time. Here’s Edie:
Part One—An Answered Prayer
I lay in bed that Saturday night on a pillow wet with tears. It had been a wretched day—I’d just broken up with my current boyfriend for what felt like the umpteenth time. I knew it wasn’t a healthy relationship, but his compelling arguments and seemingly sincere desire to change always enticed me to return. Tonight I’d ordered him out of my parents’ home before I caved. But I knew tomorrow the pleading would begin again.
I was finally at the end of myself and I began to pray, asking God to give me a reason to stay strong—to give me a reason to continue to say no.
Sunday morning dawned bright and for some reason I woke refreshed and renewed. As I got ready for church, I continued to pray, once again asking God to give me a concrete reason to hand on to what I knew was right.
At church, I was soon caught up in seeing friends and getting into my choir robe. Our small church only had one service and one choir, made up of youth and adults. I enjoyed it immensely, in no small part because it was something my dad and I did together. I sang soprano and sat in the front row and my dad sang baritone and sat right behind me.
We processed in and I took the opportunity of a familiar hymn to scan the small congregation in front of me. I was surprised to see a good looking young man in one of the front pews. We’d moved to Northwest Arkansas seven months earlier and quickly joined this church. This was the first time I’d ever seen him.
He looked up and I quickly looked down, pleased to have caught his eye. I’d caught a slight twitch to his lips and a twinkle in his eyes—perhaps a hint of a fun sense of humor? His dark wavy hair curled slightly over his collar and I couldn’t seem to keep from sneaking quick, and I hoped, subtle glances his way. About half-way through the service our eyes met . . . and he winked. Immediately I felt my face flush. I looked away and fought to keep a grin off my face. I tried to look at him without showing I was looking. He was waiting for me, a sweet grin on his face and when our eyes met, he winked again.
The electricity was immediate and I didn’t try to hide my answering grin. Even though I’d never met him, this brazen young man was a hero. I saw a lifetime of possibilities in those few looks and knew I didn’t want that chance to pass me by. I had my reason to stay strong. God had used him to answer my prayer.
About Edie: Edie Melson, author of Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, has experienced the fear of sending a loved one off to war more than once. Her oldest son went straight from high school, to Marine Corps boot camp, to Iraq, serving two tours there as an infantry Marine. Through her local Blue Star Mothers chapter, a non-profit 501(c)3, she works closely with others who struggle at home while their loved ones are deployed. She also has a website devoted to families living in the midst of deployment. (www.winningthewarathome.com).
In addition, Edie is a freelance writer and editor with over 16 years experience in the publishing industry. She’s a prolific writer, publishing over 700 articles in 2010. She also has a popular writing blog and is a frequent contributor to many others.
She’s also a social media expert. In keeping up with the leading edge of all things digital Edie has become known as one of the go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers wanting to learn how to plug in. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, Social Media Marketing for Writers, is available on Kindle and Nook.
As a sought after writing instructor, her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers all over the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Southwest Christian Writers Studio, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. Edie is also the Assistant Acquisitions Editor for www.ChristianDevotions.us.
She’s been married to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, for thirty years. Together they’ve raised three sons and live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
About the book: Saying goodbye to a loved one leaving for war is a gut-wrenching proposition. But for those left behind, their deployment marks the beginning of our battle. And yet, it is possible to find God’s peace in the midst of fear and conquer the terror that lurks in the darkness of doubt. In Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home, parents, spouses and siblings recount their personal journey as God goes before His people during times of spiritual, physical and military warfare. Learn the secret to living a peace-filled life when a loved one leaves for battle. Fight fear; win the war at home.
Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home brings hope and comfort to the families left behind when a loved one is deployed. — Gina Holmes, bestselling author of Crossing Oceans and Dry as Rain
“Edie Melson, author/editor, presents an honest, helpful book for those with family members serving in the military. She writes from experience and with heart, having faced the fear and anxiety that comes with having a family member overseas.” — Alton Gansky, author
“Edie gives readers a rare glimpse into the raw, intense emotions that military families go through when warriors are away serving our nation. This book will help you remember that, through the strength of Jesus Christ, you too can fight fear and win the war at home.” —Major Jeff Struecker, Retired, Black Hawk Down veteran
“Touches the heart. Nurtures the soul.”— Jack Cavanaugh, novelist
Come back Nov 9th for part 2 of Edie’s real life romance.