Shannon here: My friend and aspiring inspirational author, Lisa Collins shares her real life romance today. Lisa and I met at a workshop I taught and she happens to be from Rose Bud, AR, which is featured in my White series of books. Recently, I judged a writing contest blindly and was thrilled to realize Lisa wrote the third place winning entry. All comments will go into the drawing for Lyn Cote’s book: Shelter of Hope. Leave your e-address on any post dated Sept 27 – Oct 2 by Oct 2, 8:00 PM Central for a chance to win. Here’s Lisa:
When I was ten years old I met the man of my dreams; however, it was much later I discovered that fact. His name was Christopher Collins, and he had just moved from Orange County California to rural Clinton, Arkansas. To say Chris was knee deep in culture shock was a definite understatement. He really didn’t think much of me at the time, but later I changed his mind.
Fast forward—I was sixteen years old and attending an “old-time” tent revival at Romance Full Gospel Church in Romance, Arkansas. Chris arrived and we noticed each other immediately. I, of course, pretended to not notice his attention, and he found that to be particularly interesting. Why that works I have no idea, but it did.
Over the course of the next few months Chris became a regular at our church. Eventually my mom warmed up to him and she allowed him to drive me home one Wednesday night. When we pulled up to the house all the lights were off. I did think that was odd at the time but I dismissed it out of hand. Chris walked me to the door and chastely gave me a quick kiss.
My dad saw that. That’s right. I said, “My Dad saw that!”
I slipped into the house and found my dad standing in the dark kitchen. He had never really paid much attention to my coming and going before, but this night was different. He told me I would not be allowed to date “that boy” until I was eighteen years old. Then he stomped off to his room.
I was devastated, as only a teen girl can be. But I honored my dad’s decision. That was difficult for Chris to take. The funny thing is I look back at my teen years and my dad never reacted to any other boy so strongly, just Chris. Now, I think he sensed Chris was the boy who would steal my heart from him. Dad’s reaction was different because Chris was not just any other boy.
I would love to say at eighteen all went according to plan and we lived happily ever after, but that isn’t real life.
Instead, I went to college. Chris and I drifted apart. Eventually we both married other people. Those same people let us both down and broke the covenant we had with them. It was a sad, bitter, heart-hardening season; But God is ever-faithful! When we were finally able to dust off the ashes of our hearts God brought us back together again.
A chance meeting at my nephew’s birthday party led to dinner to talk about the old days. Then just like spring dissolves into summer we were inseparable. Chris asked for my hand. Dad finally had the “talk”, and he gave us his blessing.
This January we will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. I cherish each moment with my friend, my love, Christopher.
1. What’s the most romantic thing your spouse has ever done for you?
Picking me up from work and whisking me away for a night or fun that I did not have to plan.
2. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
From his point of view—I bought him a brand new motorcycle, exactly the one he wanted. My point of view, I bought him a motorcycle!
3. Where is the most romantic place you and your spouse have ever been?
Our own backyard.
4. Do you and your spouse have a favorite song?
No, unless silence counts! LOL.
5. What’s the most romantic present your spouse ever bought for you?
A pair of diamond earrings, totally unexpected.
6. What’s the most romantic present you ever bought your spouse?
See question #2….motorcycle.
7. What simple gesture does your spouse do that melts you every time?
He kisses my hand almost every morning while on our drive into work.
8. How soon after meeting your spouse did you know he/she was the one?
It took me a bit. See our romance story.
9. How soon after meeting you did your spouse know you were the one?
1o. What is the most caring thing your spouse has ever done for you?
He lets me be myself. Never tries to make me be something I am not.
11. What is the most caring thing you’ve ever done for your spouse?
I don’t expect him to make me happy. Joy is God’s business; my spouse is not responsible for how much joy I have in my life.
12. Who said, “I love you” first, you or your spouse?
Spouse. I have only ever said I love you to two men. Each one I married.
About Lisa: Lisa Collins is a native Southerner; educated at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. In 1999 she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history, and is currently a graduate student of International relations. Lisa’s writing roots are based in historical research and theology. She began writing as an adult, and Lightbearer is Lisa’s first novel of fantasy. Lisa is also working on a series of romance novels and short stories. The title of the first in the series of three novels is Sterling. Sterling won third prize in the Romance category at the White County Creative Writers conference, 2010.
Come back Oct 1 for aspiring author, Casey Herringshaw’s romantic interview.