Shannon here: Tara Johnson shares a sweet gift from her husband with just the right timing. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated May 18 – 22 to enter the drawing for her debut Historical Romance, Engraved on the Heart. Deadline: May 26th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Tara:
The Most Romantic Gift I Ever Received
I sprinted behind my son, attempting to wrap his dripping hair in a towel. Wrestling him out of the bath had worn me out. Wrestling him into pajamas was even more difficult. Now he had broken free and was running down the hall. He squealed in delight as I huffed, “Boy, when I get a hold of you…”
We rounded the corner and I stopped short, blinking in surprise.
My husband stood in the living room, a big grin on his face. His hands gripped a beautiful violin and bow. The irritation with my wayward son melted away.
My breath caught as I walked in slow steps towards him, an amazed smile tugging my lips. “I don’t understand.”
“Happy Anniversary, honey.”
I studied the way the beautiful instrument caught glimmers of light. I ran my fingers across the gleaming wood.
“I’ve always wanted to learn to play one. Ever since I was little.”
My husband beamed as he laid it in my hands, much like transferring a fragile newborn.
“I know. I remembered. And with our nineteenth anniversary next week, what better time to finally give you one?” He studied me, trying to gauge my reaction. “Do you like it?
I couldn’t speak for a moment. Words choked in my throat. It was more than his thoughtfulness. My husband is not the mushy, gushy romantic sort. When I bragged on his sweet gift a week later, he groaned. “Come on, Tara. Don’t make me sound sweet. I have a rep to maintain!” He is a sweet guy, despite his valiant attempts to hide it. But no, it was more than that.
It was even more than the violin itself, even though I’ve adored violin music since I was a child. My instruments are voice and piano, but if you want to captivate me, play some David Garrett and I’m transfixed.
When he asked me if I liked my gift, I cried, stood on my tiptoes and gave him a kiss, a huge smile wobbling through my tears. “Yes! Oh, yes!” He gave me far more than he knew.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a disorder that keeps the stomach from pumping. It’s a vagus nerve problem which involves pain, nausea, esophagus spasms, reflux and a host of other issues. This nerve dysfunction has now progressed into my larynx.
Gastroparesis is a progressive disease. Unless God intervenes, it will get worse. In short, I am losing my ability to sing.
This might not be a big deal to some. For me, it’s been a hard blow. I mean, I wasn’t just a sing-in-the shower kind of girl. I was signed with a Christian record label. Ten years ago, I thought God had made it clear He wanted me to use my voice to help others find freedom in Him. When He began whispering hints of change, I was confused. The God-ordained plans that had seemed so certain to me suddenly shifted. And I was reminded of this important truth…the more you build your identity on something other than Christ, the greater the pain when that identity crumbles.
Do you know why I teared up so quickly when my husband presented me with my exquisite gift? I knew something he didn’t know. Do you know which musical instrument most resembles the tonal quality of the human voice? The violin.
He gave me a beautiful gift…the gift of hope. Of being understood. It was a present that took the loss I was grieving and transformed it into something of beauty. Of new beginnings.
That’s what true love does. It sees the beauty that remains when life throws some tough stuff in the pathway. True love gives hope to the heartsick, comfort to the weary, and compassion to the hurting. Such a love never fails because it never gives up.
Talk about romantic.
About Tara: Tara Johnson is an author, speaker and singer from Alexander, AR. A passionate lover of stories, she loves to travel to churches, ladies retreats and prisons to share how God led her into freedom after spending years living shackled as a people-pleasing preacher’s kid.
Her first historical romance with Tyndale House Publishers will be released in the summer of 2018, and is the first of three stories set during the Civil War. She has won the Bronze Medal in the Frazier awards hosted by My Book Therapy and has articles published in Plain Truth Magazine and Live It Loud Magazine and has been a featured guest on Voice of Truth radio and Enduring Word radio. Tara is a member of ACFW and is represented by Janet Grant of Books & Such Literary Agency. She and her husband Todd have been married for twenty years and the Lord has blessed them with five children: Bethany, Callie, Nate, as well as Taylor Lynn and Morgan Lane who are with Jesus.
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Engraved on the Heart Blurb:
Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines―until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path . . . as a conductor in the Underground Railroad.
Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God’s plan amid such turbulent times.
Battling an angry fiancé, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price . . . and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war.
Can’t wait for the drawing? Preorder your copy now! Engraved on the Heart – Amazon
Question for Readers: What’s the best gift with perfect timing you ever received?
Come back May 25th for Leeann Betts!