Shannon here: Inspirational author, Jenny Carlisle shares how God worked in her real life romance, plus a chance to win a surprise book. Comment or answer the question to enter the drawing and Jenny will handpick a book for you. Deadline: July 20th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Jenny:
God’s Unbelievable Surprises
“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you..” Habakkuk 1:5 KJV
As a little girl growing up with a long-distance Daddy, I was determined to find the perfect husband and father of the children I wanted to raise. When my Mama remarried and moved us from Kansas to Arkansas, I was in unfamiliar territory. Luckily, we settled in a very welcoming community, and my sister and I found some good friends at our new high school.
With the encouragement of one of these new friends, my senior prom date was a funny, polite, tall and handsome young man who complimented me at every turn. We had formed a friendship in between classes at school, and by the end of the year, all of my new-girl-in-town insecurities were forgotten.
That summer after graduation was spent getting to know each other with dates to the movies or a favorite restaurant, and notably, spending all day every Sunday together. Starting with the morning worship service, we could go to his grandparent’s house for dinner, ride around in the afternoon and end up at church again in the evening. His parents modeled the solid marriage I wanted for myself. My family quickly understood how happy I was when we were together.
The night that God’s plan came together for me, though, we were not riding in his favorite muscle car. A few weeks before that day, I had gotten a phone call while waiting for my new beau to pick me up for a date. The voice on the other end said something strange. “James said to tell you he is okay, but he has been in an accident.” His beloved Challenger was gone, and he was very fortunate to have survived. Facing our first test together, we grew stronger.
Then came that night that Habakkuk referred to, when I was utterly astounded by God’s plan for me. James had borrowed his dad’s pickup truck for our date, and I remember how tenderly he spoke to me, when he confessed that he couldn’t picture spending the rest of his life with anyone else. Amazing. The answer to my childhood dreams was right there, in my new home in Arkansas. Many would say we were too young to make such a momentous decision, but we both knew. This was it. Our future was planned out, and we were going to spend it together.
Would that lonely little girl in Kansas have believed any of this? No, but she always did love surprises.
About Jenny: Jenny McLeod Carlisle has been writing stories since she learned to hold a pencil. Growing up in a single parent home with her little sister, she filled the empty spot in her heart by writing letters to her Daddy. Her writing voice developed naturally, and if you had asked that little girl about her future plans, she would have said she wanted to write books. She studied English and journalism, but married before finishing college and helped her husband raise their three kids by working as a career State of Arkansas employee. Now that they are grown, she continues to learn the craft, and exercises her storytelling skills by writing a monthly column for Ouachita Life magazine, a free publication that reaches thousands in the southwest quadrant of Arkansas.
Recently, her website has allowed more opportunities to reach out to her community of readers. She has served in several different offices of her favorite support group, American Christian Fiction Writers – Arkansas Chapter. She also hosts meetings for Heartfelt Friends, a ministry based on the Second Chapter of Titus that allows older Christian women to become mentors to young wives and mothers. Eight grand-children in three states prompt frequent trips with her favorite travel buddy, her husband of 43 years. Learn more & connect: Jenny’s Website
About the book – Turn, Turn, Turn: Turn, Turn, Turn is Jenny’s first book. A compilation of many of her past general interest columns, it contains short articles drawn from her joyful life. Part social commentary, part nostalgic look back, it offers quick moments of smiles, with a few tears mixed in to make them real. Her fans say it reminds them of sitting in their grandmother’s lap listening to her stories. She hopes it provides comfort and encouragement while inspiring readers to tell their own stories.
Questions for Reader: Think about a time when God provided a pleasant surprise in your life. How did things turn out so much better than you had dreamed? Or who is a favorite storyteller in your life? Why do you look forward to having a conversation with this person?
Come back July 19th for part two with Jenny!