It's no surprise Romance is the #1 selling genre.
We all crave love.
It's deeply rooted in who we are as human beings. Especially women.
Even as little girls, we dreamt of Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After.
I know I did.
As a sweet romance author, most people assume I found my Happily Ever After at a young age. They imagine I married my childhood sweetheart and rode blissfully off into the sunset. I don't blame them. In some ways, it makes for a much better story. It's more "on brand."
But that sweet ideal couldn't be further from the truth.
I did marry at a young age. And at the time, I thought I'd found the kind of love I'd read about in romance novels ~ passionate, deep, everlasting love.
Then comes the part no one wants to read about.
Four years into our marriage, my husband told me he no longer loved me. In fact, he hadn't for a long time. I'll spare you the tears, the gut-wrenching pain, and the even less glamorous discovery that he'd written a new love story for himself with someone else. A heroine who, no doubt, had better hair, kept a cleaner kitchen, and who's bubbly, vivacious personality never faltered.
At twenty-five-years-old, I stopped believing in love. I scoffed at romantic comedies, rolled my eyes at sappy songs, and thought romance novels were a waste of paper. Something I should never, ever admit as a romance author!
For years afterward, I lived a life of shame and regret, trying to make relationships work, while harboring no hope they would.
One night after a recent breakup (and a tear-filled bath accompanied by every angst-ridden song on my iPhone), I made a decision. I couldn't live my life like this anymore.
The following Sunday, I went back to church. And on that sunny morning in early November, I met my husband, Philip, and my Second Chance Romance began.
Now, before you say "aww," I have to tell you something:
My Second Chance Romance wasn't with my husband. It was with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you're still reading (and I hope you are), I want to share this truth with you:
You are loved. With a passionate, deep, and everlasting love.
Reconnecting with Jesus Christ healed my broken heart. He reminded me that my worth isn't based on one man's approval. I am not less than anyone else. I am not unlovable, undesirable, used-up, tossed aside, or unredeemable. I am saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8). A child of God (1 John 3:1). I am His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
And so are you!
A few weeks after I met my husband, he asked me to dinner. To this day, he still teases me for turning him down.
But he graciously accepted that I wasn't ready. It took time for God to heal my wounds. And in some ways, He still is.
We remained friends, and six months later he took me on our first date ~ go-cart racing, frozen yogurt, and a stroll by the river where we talked well past midnight.
Next month will mark two and a half years of marriage, and words can't describe how much I cherish and adore this man. Which is funny to admit as an author who's supposed to have all the words!
When I think about how far I've come ~ from denouncing love to penning romance novels ~ my heart fills with so much joy and gratitude I can hardly breathe.
I write because I enjoy it more than anything else I know. But I also feel compelled to write. Compelled to tell stories about women like me. Women who've felt broken, unworthy, and lost. And give them the gift of hope, redemption, and the love of an honorable man, which is only a tiny fragment ~a mere glimpse~ of the love God has for us.
While I might be the unlikeliest of romance authors, I hope my characters and stories resonate with you. And if anything I shared speaks to you in any way, if you have deeper questions, or if you'd like to share your own thoughts and experiences on this topic, I'd love to hear them!
Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him."