Today's guest blogger is my writing friend, Heather Greer. Her story is super sweet. I think you're going to love it.
By the way, I just read her first book lately, and it was excellent. I highly recommend you check it out. Read all the way to the end for more information.
My husband and I have something not many people can claim. Our everyday romance is a real Hallmark story. Literally. Twenty-five years ago I started my first job during my senior year in high school. The week I started this job (which I only had for a month, but that’s another story), Andy was finishing his last week filling in for a regular employee who was out on vacation. A few days in either direction would have kept us from meeting. But that isn’t what makes ours a Hallmark story.
We’d gotten to know each other and flirted with each other as young men and women who find each other attractive often do through the course of the week. We found out neither of us wanted to get into a relationship due to previous failures in that department, but still, we flirted. (Don’t judge. I’m sure during dark times you’ve told yourself the same lie about never getting into another relationship and then taken it back when the cute guy at the coffee shop smiles at you.)
We weren’t scheduled to work together that Friday. Andy would get off right as I was coming in for my shift. I was surprised he was still there when I arrived. He said he had something for me in the break room. My curiosity sufficiently peaked, I followed. He opened the door to the fridge, and I saw several white carnations. He pulled out a flower and handed it to me. It wasn’t white or a carnation. It was a single red rose. As nice as receiving a rose from a cute guy is at any time, the moment was made sweeter because we’d talked earlier in the week about how none of the guys I’d dated had ever gotten me flowers, much less a rose. That was the beginning of our romance, but it isn’t why ours is a Hallmark story.
Through the years Andy has done some amazingly romantic things. He wrote me a poem to ask me to marry him. As cheesy as it was, I still said yes. On one memorable birthday he decided to rectify my horrible prom experiences. He secretly bought me a fancy dress and all the accessories I needed promising me in the note he left that we were going to dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in the area. Dinner was amazing. On the way home he stopped at a little venue where he had our friends and family waiting, dressed in formal wear, for our own prom. And at my latest job, Andy would take time on his rare days off to bring the ladies I worked with doughnuts, making sure there was at least one Boston Cream doughnut in the box because they are my favorite. But all of these romantic gestures, big and small, aren’t what make ours a Hallmark story.
Andy and I have had a great marriage. We have four wonderful children, two of which have found the co-star for their own Hallmark stories, and one grandson. We’ve had moments when our love for each other overflowed coloring everything around us with joy. We’ve also had moments when we wondered if there was any way even with God’s help if our love would survive. There have been twists and turns that have blessed while others have sent us to our knees. And that is where we found what we needed to not only keep going but also put our marriage back on track during the hard times. Our faith in God and openness to allowing Him to change us as individuals and a couple have made our marriage stronger than it’s ever been. We still have our rough times, but God has shown us what it means to love each other through them. But even this is not what makes ours a Hallmark story.
To understand why our story is what it is today, we have to go back to where our story began. Because our story began where I got my first job at a local Hallmark store. And that is why ours is literally a Hallmark story.
Heather Greer grew up as a pastor’s kid in rural southern Illinois. Though completely unexpected, she became a pastor’s wife thirteen years ago, when her husband answered the call to preach. Heather has had the opportunity to minister to all age groups, but teens and women tend to be where God most often leads her. When she isn’t writing or working with various ministries, Heather loves to bake and spend time with her husband, children, and grandson. Of course, she’s always willing to sit down with a cup of cocoa and watch the latest Hallmark channel movie too!
Social Media Links:
Website and blog: www.heathergreer.com
About Heather's Books:
Sometimes it’s the unexpected path that leads you on your journey back to faith.
Katie McGowan left her parents and their faith behind years ago. However, when faced with a devastating betrayal, Katie is ready to go back to Carbondale, Illinois to help her elderly parents despite their tempestuous relationship. Drained by the constant friction, Katie finds emotional support and encouragement in Austin. His practical, simple faith speaks to Katie, and she finds herself yearning for a new connection to God. As their friendship grows, so does the attraction between Katie and Austin.
Before her fledgling faith and thoughts of romance have a chance to take root, Katie’s cheating fiancé returns, remorseful and promising change. Can her tentative faith strengthen their past love? And if her heart breaks again, will Katie’s journey to faith end before it has really begun?
When dreams turn into nightmares what’s left to hold onto?
Katie McGowan knows her fears are irrational. They’re also beyond her control. Her mind says her fiancé is faithful, but the betrayal of her past love ignites a fear stronger than her trust. Attempts to overcome it are unsuccessful. Nothing banishes her panic attacks for good. Dreading Austin’s response if he finds out about her struggle to trust, Katie hides the truth nearly destroying their relationship.
It takes a lesson in hope to start healing. Katie is released from the nightmare holding her captive to enjoy the blessings God has given. But when tragedies change her life forever, Katie’s understanding of hope is challenged. Unresolved anger and disappointment leave Katie doubting the sincerity of her beliefs. Desperate to prove her faith and minimize her failure as a believer, Katie buries her feelings beneath all the right words.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.