Please welcome Lisa Belcastro back to Threefold Strand!! Welcome, Lisa!!!!
Betrayal and loss. Pain and grief. Is there anyone alive who hasn’t experienced loss? Or Betrayal? And the pain and grief that follows? How do we go on after a husband’s affair, the death of a spouse, a friend’s backstabbing, a child’s rebellion, a pink slip at work, or a failed relationship?
If we are blessed to have faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, then we know that God can and does heal our hurts and sorrows if we surrender our sufferings to Him. Healing may not be instantaneous, and more often than not takes longer than we’d like, but God’s grace and compassion are available to all who call on the Lord.
Melissa Smith, the heroine in my latest novel, Shenandoah Dreams, felt the sting of betrayal when her husband cheated on her and left her for the other woman. Melissa surrendered her anguish to God, and in Him she found peace. In time, she forgave her ex-husband and released the bitterness in her heart. Through her family, friends and teaching job, Melissa experienced happiness and a good life.
Isaiah Reed lost his wife to scarlet fever. He mourned her death, and as Melissa had, Isaiah also released his pain to the Lord. He, too, treasured his family, friends and his profession that allowed him to sail at sea. If anyone had asked Isaiah, he would have said he was pleased with his life.
When a twist of fate brings Melissa and Isaiah together, they each come face to face with the pieces of hurt they have held onto. Though each would have told you that they were happy with the lives they were leading, Melissa and Isaiah both have built walls around their hearts. Melissa loves many people, but she has closed her heart to romance. Isaiah is no different, having sworn off women and marriage for twenty years.
As Melissa and Isaiah are forced to spend time together, they discover an undeniable attraction for one another. But the walls around their hearts are high and thick, and each is afraid to topple their defenses. They want more, holding their desires close as they cling to their fears.
From the earliest pages of Genesis (2:18), we see that God destined our hearts to be part of a three-part cord – man, woman, and God tied together in holy matrimony. God created Adam in His likeness and desired fellowship with him. But God saw that Adam needed a spouse, a partner, a helpmate, and so He created Eve. The best life for Adam revolved around relationship with God and relationship with Eve.
To receive God’s best for their lives, Melissa and Isaiah will have choices to make and fears to face. Will they trust that God has brought them to this place in time for a purpose and that the purpose is for their good? Will they seek God’s will for their lives? Will they surrender the remainder of their hurt, deconstruct the walls they have so carefully built, and allow God to give them a new heart?
Writing the conflict scenes in the later part of Shenandoah Dreams, allowed me to reflect on my life, and examine places in my heart where I had unresolved hurt and anger. I identified with some of Melissa’s anguish as well as Isaiah’s. As my characters prayed for healing, I asked God to cleanse and restore my heart, to make me new as only He can.
Have you felt the sting of betrayal? Has death shaken your world and left you on rocky ground? Has the end of relationship torn your heart in two? God is there, in the midst of your pain. He wants to dry your tears, heal your heart, and give you a new life. No matter how great or small your heartache, will you join me and Melissa in surrendering the past to the One who wipes away all our tears and brings joy to our futures?
“It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream,” Melissa Smith whispers as her eyes focus on the two men standing before her. She lives in the twenty-first century. She is chaperoning her sixth-grade students on an educational sailing trip. They are not visiting Plimoth Plantation, or the Boston Tea Party Museum, or the Concord Bridge reenactment. They are sailing over the waters of the Vineyard Sound around the island of Martha’s Vineyard. So the men before her, dressed as though they’ve stepped off the set of a movie about the American Revolutionary War, cannot possibly be real. She’s dreaming. She will wake up.
But can a dream man touch her and send bolts of electricity through her veins and ignite a fire in her heart the likes of which she’s never felt before? Can a dream man serve her food that tastes divine? Can a dream lasts for weeks on end?
And if she’s not dreaming, then she’s traveled back in time, which is impossible. But here she is, in 1770, uncertain how she arrived, how she’ll get home, and if her heart could bare to be parted from Captain Isaiah Reed. Only time will tell if Melissa is given a chance at love with Isaiah or swept forward once again to her previous life.