Shannon here: Contemporary romance author, Sherrie Hansen Decker shares her second chance at love. Comment on any post June 4th – 6th to get your name in the drawing for a copy of Sherrie’s latest release, Love Notes. Winners’ choice of format – paper or e-book. Deadline: June 9th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Sherrie:
First Loves or Second Chances? by Sherrie Hansen Decker
I don’t like thinking of myself or the romances I write as “middle-aged”. In many ways, I still think of myself as being young. Besides, age is relative. My mom had my baby brother when she was 37. To a 16 year old, she seemed ancient. At 55, my perspective is a little different.
When I was a young girl, the church I grew up in talked about something called God’s Perfect Will for Your Life. When I married the wrong man at age 20 and got divorced at age 27, I figured I’d missed the boat for good, and that whatever awful fate befell me from that point on was no one’s fault but my own.
But our God is a God who forgives, who gives second chances, in His time… a Savior who promises, “All things work together for good to them that love God.” Even when things go awry along the way. Even when the unthinkable has happened.
There’s something sweet and magical about the naivety of our first love. But there’s also something rich and particularly satisfying about a second chance at love.
I waited a long time for a second chance at real-life romance. It was hard to be patient. It was tempting to grab on to the first man who came along. Anything had to be better than being single, didn’t it? But eventually, with the council of many wise friends, I saw that it was far better to be alone than to be married to the wrong man.
When I was in my early thirties, I went to a Sunday School class for single adults called The Growing Edge, at First Pres in Colorado Springs. We often sang a song called “In His Time”, which is based on a Bible verse, Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.”
There were times that I was so tired of waiting, so frustrated with my circumstances, that I could barely make it through the song without crying – or feeling downright mad at God. I wanted to be in love, I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be married, to have a family before it was too late.
Almost 20 long years after my divorce, I was still waiting. I’d had a handful of relationships that weren’t meant to be for one reason or another, a couple of broken hearts, and a couple of terrifying near misses that – thank the Lord – never came to fruition. I thought I’d missed my chance. The odds against a woman in her late forties finding love and remarrying were staggering, and I knew it.
And then one day, a nice (and very handsome) man asked me out on a date. He was a pastor. After our second or third date, he asked me to come to the church where he is a pastor, to hear him preach. If our relationship was to progress, I had to be comfortable with his calling.
I drove an hour that Sunday to attend his church. When I entered the sanctuary the organist was playing the song… IN HIS TIME.
Yes, there is something very satisfying about a second chance at love. When you find love in the “middle ages”, there’s a greater appreciation, a deeper joy, a more-wonderful-than-ever love that envelops you – heart, soul, mind and body. When a man can love you with all the “imperfections” and attitudes that come along with living several decades, when you’re not nearly as cute and perky as you were at 20, it’s a joyous surprise, maybe even a miracle.
And that’s why I write books about second chances. That’s why Hope Anderson in “Love Notes” is approaching 40 and widowed. That’s why Tommy Lubinski (of Tommy Love and the Love Notes fame) is an unlikely hero – a disillusioned, divorced and broken man who has lived, loved, lost, and been left heartbroken. That’s why my characters often have baggage, complexes, and chips on their shoulders. That’s why they’re tarnished and tattered. And because they’ve been forgiven, and learned from their mistakes, because they’ve lived through the pain of life, they’re richer, more sensitive, and infinitely more loveable in the end.
Here’s to second chances…
About Sherrie: Sherrie Hansen Decker lives in a 116 year old Victorian house in northern Iowa who, just like her, got a second chance when she rescued it from the bulldozers grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. “Love Notes” is Sherrie’s fifth book to be published by Second Wind Publishing, and her debut Christian Inspirational novel. She attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and University of Maryland, European Division, in Augsburg, Germany. Her husband, Rev. Mark Decker, is a pastor and Sherrie’s real life hero. She enjoys playing the piano with their worship team, needlepointing, decorating, and going on adventures with her nieces and nephews. Learn more at: http://www.facebook.com/SherrieHansenDecker, http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/, www.BlueBelleInn.com , www.BlueBelleBooks.com, https://twitter.com/#!/SherrieHansen, http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2870454.Sherrie_Hansen
About the book: Hope Anderson’s heart is finally starting to thaw. Even Tommy Love’s is melting around the edges.
But they both want Rainbow Lake Lodge. Only one of them can have it.
For Hope, recreating the past – reopening the lodge and seeing it bubbling with families, children, and laughter again – means new life. It’s the only way she can honor her late husband’s legacy.
For Tommy Lubinski of Tommy Love and the Love Notes fame, Rainbow Lake means coming home – peace, quiet, seclusion – and a second chance at stardom. Once he’s bulldozed the lodge and built his dream house overlooking the lake, everything will be perfect.
Hope is sinking fast, but she’ll be fine if she can just keep her head above water until spring. Tommy’s troubles run a little deeper, but there’s no need to worry for now… Rainbow Lake is frozen solid. Or is it?
Endorsement by Author Lyn Cote: “I would subtitle Sherrie Hansen Decker’s inspirational romance, *Love Notes*, ‘When Dreams Collide.’ The hero, a famous pop singer-songwriter, and the heroine, an owner of a failing MN resort are both burdened with the “dead” past. But neither see it that way–until forced to. A cast of interesting and very alive characters and plenty of intriguing plot twists make for a satisfying read.” Lyn Cote, author of the Women of Ivy Manor series.