Romantic women’s fiction author, Joi Copeland shares a glimpse into her real life romance plus a chance to win a copy of her latest release, Hope for the Journey. Comment on any post dated Nov 19 – 23 to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: Dec 1st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Joi:
A Special Gift
Christmas. I love this season more than any other. I love the opportunity to celebrate the birth of my Savior. I enjoy gathering together with family. For my little family of four (at the time) this year would be different, though.
Rain pummeled the ground this Christmas day. That was my first indication that God was giving me comfort. Rain in California on Christmas Day hadn’t happened in years. So for God to have that happen, I felt my heart start to heal from the sadness of missing my very best friend and her family.
You see, my sister and I are eleven months apart. We’ve been best friends since the day I was born. Her husband became the brother I never had, someone I looked up to and valued. Her two boys held a special place in my heart. In November of 2003, Steffanne and her family moved to Kenya to be missionaries. This was the first Christmas without them, and I was deeply saddened.
Russell, Steffanne’s husband, and I used to sit and read The Far Side comics together. We’d normally be camped out on the floor, leaning against a wall, and cracking up over the comics. It was our thing to do. We’d read page after page of the book and just giggle. It was a bonding time for me and my brother-in-law. One that will always be etched in the recesses of my mind.
Well, that Christmas, my husband and I both mourned the loss of this family being near us. But I took it especially hard. I didn’t want to put a damper on the day, however, so I pushed aside my sadness and went about the fun task of opening gifts with my sons, who were a year and ten months and three months old.
The rain continued to fall to the ground. Wrapping paper was strewn across the floor. My oldest son sat giggling with his new gifts. My husband had two more gifts he wanted to give to me. One was large and heavy, the other light.
I remember thinking, “What in the world can this be?” In slow motion, I peeled back the Christmas wrapping paper. Hand covering my trembling lips, tears spilling from my eyes, I saw one of the most thoughtful gifts Chris has ever given me. A two volume book of The Far Side comics.
My heart burst with love for the man sitting across from me. Knowing the pain I’d be experiencing this holiday season, he sought to bring me comfort in a way I wouldn’t have expected.
This was the year of thoughtfulness for my wonderful man. Not only did he give me this incredible gift, but he remembered what I’d told him about a favorite picture of Jesus. It’s one where Jesus is laughing. Head thrown back, mouth wide open, a dark skinned (middle eastern) Jesus is letting loose with a huge guffaw. That was the second gift of that year that brought me to tears.
Chris is one of the most thoughtful men I know. He listens to what I say, is in tune with how I feel, and showers me with unconditional love every day. I’m so grateful to Jesus for allowing me to call this romantic man my husband!
About Joi: Joi Copeland is married to a wonderful man, Chris, and has three amazing boys, She is living the dream in beautiful Denver, Colorado. Joi loves being a wife and mom and also enjoys spending time with friends over a good cup of coffee or tea. She’s been a Christian for over twenty years. She’s the author of two books, Hope for Tomorrow and Hope for the Journey, and one novella, Christmas Rayne.
About the book – Hope for the Journey: Kayla Musso has been married to her husband, Brad, for several years. Having just had a baby, Kayla feels her life couldn’t be more perfect. Then one day, Brad drops a bomb shell on her that threatens to destroy everything they have worked so hard for in their marriage. Suddenly she is faced with a choice to forgive or let go of the life she loves so much.
Emily Sorenson had always been the picture of health, but when a trip to the doctor becomes the shock of her life, she is faced with a decision, like Kayla, to either fight the battle before her or give up the life she loves. In addition, her husband Jake has to come to grips with the struggle before them as well. As he does, he begins to question God. How could He let Emily go through such pain? As he wrestles with his questions, he faces his own dilemma. Would he be willing to seek God in his time of despair or will he walk away from everything so dear to him?
Every marriage has it struggles. Into every life, rain must fall. At some point, we all question God and his motives. Although the characters in this much-anticipated follow up to Hope for Tomorrow are fictitious, the turmoils they face are very real for many people all over the world every day, and you may find the solutions are something you can apply to give you Hope for the Journey we call “life”.