Shannon here: Shellie Arnold shares how she met her husband plus how her characters meet in her latest Women’s Contemporary title, Abide With Me. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for an e-book copy. Deadline: Oct 21st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Shellie:
Hey Shannon! It’s great to be here. I love to tell the story of how I met my husband.
Stephen and I met at a small, private school, when we were in the eighth grade. At first we couldn’t stand each other. I thought he was mean and he thought I was stuck up. 🙂
Over time, we became friends, but we weren’t romantically interested in each other. He dated many girls, and I didn’t care because I didn’t like him that way. I dated no one, because I wasn’t interested in any relationship, let alone one that might lead to marriage. My parents’ divorce had convinced me I never wanted to marry.
When we were fifteen, Stephen’s attention turned to me (We look back now and know God turned in his head in my direction). He took me for a walk around our church and told me he thought he loved me. My reaction wasn’t gratitude or excitement. Instead, I was convinced I was just another girl on a long list of girls who’d temporarily caught his eye, and I was petrified. All I could think was when fifteen-year-olds break up, they don’t remain friends. I didn’t have many friends; I certainly didn’t want to lose Stephen’s friendship over a fleeting attraction.
But I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. So I made him promise me, when in the near future he met the petite blonde of his dreams—and inevitably broke up with me—he’d stay my friend.
That night, I went home and cried. I was so scared of being known. So scared I might grow to love him, and he’d walk away. I didn’t know Stephen had already made up his mind that I was “the one.”
A couple months later right before Christmas, he told me he was going to marry me. And I laughed in his face. What was wrong with him? He knew I wasn’t getting married, and he knew why. After experiencing the pain of divorce from the child’s side, I didn’t want to ever be at risk to experience divorce from the adult side.
But he didn’t go away. And he didn’t go away. And slowly I fell in love with him. We’ll be married thirty-two years in May.
Stephen and God spent three years convincing me to marry. That’s how scared I was of marriage. Now I write about the perfect storms in marriage: what happens when my weaknesses hit yours head-on, and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged. I write about our flaws and imperfections, the history and habits we bring to marriage that can wreak havoc on a relationship. I want to offer hope to those like me who came to marriage with baggage and wounds and ignorance and all sorts of handicaps.
When I was writing Abide With Me, I wanted to give Nick the same kind of focus for Angelina that Stephen had for me. A sense that he simply kept showing up until she got so used to having him around, she couldn’t help but want him around. Here’s an excerpt from Abide With Me, where Nick (hero) tells Daniel (a friend) how he met Angelina (heroine):
Nick smiled. “My junior year at college was her first. I saw her in the cafe, almost dropped my tray. Couldn’t think two words, you know? But I knew I had to meet her.”
She’d been sitting alone at a two-seater booth. The whole time he’d stood in line he watched her, curious to see what guy would join her. No one did.
“I’ll never forget it. I walked over, kind of sat at her table without asking. Our eyes met, and I knew everything had just changed. I said, ‘My mother says I’d be a great catch.’ Then I just looked at her until she laughed. I kept talking. Every time I saw her, every time we went out, I just kept talking, figuring I’d grow on her. If I didn’t know what to say, I’d laugh and smile and say, ‘Hey.’ We’d sit there staring at each other because neither of us could fight what was going on inside us. I fell quick; I fell hard. She did, too, but I didn’t know that at first.”
About Shellie: Shellie Arnold is a writer and speaker on marriage and family. She truly believes—despite baggage, neglect, or mistakes—if a husband and wife listen to God, they can live happily even after. Her passion is sharing how God is helping her do exactly that. She maintains a blog at www.shelliearnold.com and is the founder of YOUR MARRIAGE resources. Shellie is a mother of three and has home schooled for over twenty years. She lives in Ohio with her husband of thirty-one years. Learn more and connect:
About the book – Abide With Me (book three in The Barn Church series)
After ten years of marriage to the only man she’s ever loved, why is Angelina so unhappy?
As a wealthy yet lonely wife, Angelina Rousseau pours all her emotions into her paintings. Desperate for affection and attention, she finds herself willing to do almost anything to feel loved. Her husband Nick is determined to provide everything Angie could want, including finally giving her what she’s asked for most—time with him. When what seems to be the perfect real estate investment turns sour, he’s arrested for fraud, but soon learns being accused of multiple felonies is the least of his worries.
Once again, Nick’s choices negatively affect Angelina. This time she’s forced to part with cherished possessions to finance his defense and protect her future. When Angelina’s carefully built walls begin to crumble, both husband and wife must examine their emotionally bankrupt marriage. Yet even if they discover what went wrong between them, Nick could still spend the rest of his life in prison.
Could “having it all” cost Nick and Angie more than they ever imagined?
Can’t wait for the drawing? Get your copy now: http://tinyurl.com/y9qyewtw
Question for Readers: James 1:17 (KJV) says “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” I feel it applies to my personal love story. What verse does my story make you think of? Or what is your life verse?
Come back Oct 17th for Voni Harris!