I sold my first novel in 2008, and I ironically told my husband, “Life is going so well, I feel like this must be the calm before the storm.”
The storm hit a few months later when I attended a writer’s conference. I thought everything was still sunny when a big publisher requested my manuscript. I went back to my bunk to smile at the ceiling, but my Bible was on my bunk, and I hadn’t read it yet that day.
I opened to Psalms where David said, “God, you are my all.” I wrote in my prayer journal, “God, you are my all.” But then I thought, “Is that really true?” And I remembered how David also prayed for God to test him. I cried and wrote, “Test me.”
I came home to find my husband didn’t want to be with me anymore. “What’s going on?” I asked. He answered, “I feel like you didn’t miss me while you were gone.”
I determined to show him how much I loved him. I read all the books. Love Dare. Power of a Praying Wife. Love Must be Tough. I was going to save my marriage. I even offered to stop writing because when he finally did confess to the affair that started while I was gone, he said I’d had an affair first—with my writing.
No matter what I did, I wasn’t enough for him. In his own words, he hated me.
He took my name off the bank account so I had no income. I had no home and moved into a friend’s basement. I had no desire to write romance anymore, so I parted ways with my agent. I even lost my kids a percentage of the time.
God was my all. I knew this because I had nothing else. And because He met me everywhere.
An evangelist’s wife prayed with me during my divorce. She said, “God has a new husband for you. I don’t know if it will be your current husband or not.”
It was not. It was a man I was afraid to love because I didn’t know if God would take him away from me too. I thought maybe my test wasn’t over. Or I’d failed it.
Jim would say, “You are a gift from God,” and I couldn’t say it in return.
Then in prayer one day I started thinking about how the Bible says all good gifts are from God. I flipped to my concordance and looked up every verse with the word “good” in it.
1st verse: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”
Last verse: “Now you have seen that the Lord is good.”
God was giving me a gift. Jim was going to be my new husband. Not because I’d earned a second chance. Not because I’d passed any test. “He rescued me because he delighted in me.” –Psalm 18:19
He hadn’t given me a test because I asked for it. He prepared me for it with the reminder that He was my all.
Life is good again. Because God is good.
I’m also writing romance again. Sharing how love changed my life. My novel Finding Love in Park City, Utah is very similar to my own experience, and I pray readers find hope in my story for their own lives.
This is what Tricia encourages us to do in her book Walk It Out. In the chapter titled A Story Worth Telling, she says, “Through the years as I studied God’s word and grew as a Christian, I knew that transformation in my heart wasn’t something to keep to myself.” Even though I’ve already read much of Tricia’s non-fiction, her stories of transformation continue to inspire. No matter where you are in your walk, this book offers something for everyone. We can all live hopefully ever after.
More about Angela’s book Finding Love in Park City, Utah:
C.J. Lancaster’s job as a tabloid journalist takes her to the Sundance Film Festival with the goal of interviewing a particular actress. She tries to charm her way past the movie star’s youngest brother-in-law, Sam, and somehow ends up on an “undate” with him. If C.J. were ready to date, the fun-loving veteran would be her first choice, but as she’s still healing from her ex’s affair, she knows they’ll both be better off once she scares her new “friendboy” away.
Sam Lake is more intrigued than scared. He’s never had to pursue a woman before, and he can’t get this one out of his mind. Whether it’s how she also likes to eat ice cream in winter or the way she gets his nieces and nephews to gang up on him in a snowball fight, he feels more at home with her than his oversized family. But when his own issues arise, he realizes C.J. might be right about avoiding a relationship with him.
Can the two of them overcome emotional mountains in their lives to be together, or will they remain a “noncouple” forever?
Angela Ruth Strong studied journalism at the University of Oregon and published her debut novel, Love Finds You in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2010. She has since rereleased it as the first in the Resort to Love series. She also released her first Love Inspired Suspense in February. The Idaho Top Author and Cascade Award winner started IDAhope Writers to encourage other aspiring authors. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and three teenagers where she teaches yoga and works as a ticket agent for an airline when not writing.
More about Walk it Out
What Happens When We Read God’s Word and Actually Do What it Says?
Bestselling Author Tricia Goyer demonstrates the powerful work God accomplishes if we are willing to step out in obedience to Biblical commands and His quiet urgings, no matter our fears or feelings of inadequacy.
Walk It Out illustrates the real-life results of listening to the Scriptural mandates such as care for the orphan, serve the poor, go into the world to spread the gospel, and love others of all races. The author’s journey, from accepting Christ’s forgiveness and telling her story of redemption to answering the call to adopt seven children when she least expected, is filled with the exhilarating, radical, unexpected life that we experience when we walk into God’s plans for us.
“I neither planned or expected any of this—from the ten kids to the stamped-up passport. I didn’t accomplish these things by making a list and checking it off. They happened as I took steps of faith to follow God’s directives.” ~Tricia Goyer