Written On Her Heart By Julie Anne Lindsey

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Scars tell the story: We survived

Many years ago, I had a surgery that devastated my self-esteem. I was young and vibrant and owned a closet full of crop tops, hip huggers and belly button rings. College was good times. When I learned I needed a surgery that would “ruin” the figure I worked diligently to maintain, I was devastated. If that girl could see what three C-sections and 2 dozen years would do to her figure, she’d stop worrying about a little scar, but that’s the thing about hindsight, she couldn’t possibly know. It took years for me to see the scar objectively. That scar was proof I lived. I survived. And I was tougher than what had ahold of me.

In the years prior to the and following the surgery, I’d accumulated lots of scars no one saw. Being young can be like that. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I realized how much I hurt and because of that, how much I hid. I was a peppy paper doll without depth because to reveal myself was to reveal my pain and I wasn’t ready.

In a more recent moment of my very blessed and delightful life, I marveled at how much changed in the last decade. I have a life today I never dreamed of then. I didn’t know it existed to be honest. I wanted to somehow tell a girl hurting today that tomorrow will be different, even if you can’t see past five o’clock. Tomorrow will come and her pains will heal.

So, I waited out my family and sat up late into the night last summer writing the story of one girl who had the perfect life and a tragedy stripped it away. I took my time telling her story. I put her back together with gentle hands. I gave her a friend and a mom and a community to lift her up. But people are stubborn, and Emma chose to hide. She wasn’t ready.

And then she found her soul mate in the worn pages of an old journal.

Then man in the journal gave her excitement and purpose. Her soul connected to him and dropped dew on her quiet heart until it unfurled with new possibilities. She found a hero who understood her. Now, if only she knew who he was….

Emma’s story is special to me because I think women are fragile in ways we don’t talk about. I think we all have our share of scars, figurative or literal, seen or unseen, and I think our scars are beautiful. We are who we are because we were tried, challenged and healed. We are stronger than we imagine. I hope someone reading Emma’s story will connect with her and lift their chin higher in understanding. We should never discount the things that changed our lives. It’s because of those trials we now have so much more to offer.

That’s a peek into my heart, I suppose. I hope if you’re in the mood for a sweet romantic read, you’ll consider a stop in Honey Creek. The sun’s warm. The sweet tea’s cold and romance abounds. Visiting Honey Creek is as easy as Amazon.

Excerpt from Written on Her Heart

When Mom pulled the door open, she nearly leapt into my arms. Tears already streamed from her eyes. It’d been two years since I’d been home, but not even secrets formed halfway around the world were safe from our small town. The moment I pulled my rental onto Route 22, I became fair game for gossip and ghost spotting. When a train lumbered along the only set of tracks and held me up for nearly five minutes, I watched a dozen bystanders take notice. First of the car they didn’t know, and then they dipped their heads for a look at the driver. The lady in front of me yanked her mirror to the side to check her face, and her chin dropped when our eyes met. By the time I lifted Mama into my arms, she’d received no less than four phone calls announcing my arrival. So much for surprises.

She looked smaller and more fragile than I remembered. Maybe after two years in a battle zone everything did. Her thin palms gripped my cheeks tight, and she kept saying, “Welcome home,” until my eyes filled to match hers. Tears streamed over the skin on her cheeks, and I never wanted to leave. The most important thing I could protect was right there in my hands.

Emma sniffled and wiped tears as she finished the passage for the third time. Her tears dropped onto the ink. She flung her body backward onto her bed and exhaled. The imagery astounded her. She knew firsthand how it was to arrive home. Every car in town must be inventoried somewhere. She shook her head, picturing the train. How awful to be held back by something as mundane as a train when you’re coming home from war to see your mother.

A gush of air filled her lungs, and she bolted upright.

“Oh my Lord in Heaven, he’s from Honey Creek!” She looked around for someone to dance with. Grabbing the journal in one hand, she skimmed the words again though she’d practically memorized them already. Route 22. One set of tracks. His journal sat under her willow. “Wheeeee!” She scooped a pillow off her bed and spun until the floor tilted.

He was from Honey Creek.

About Julie Anne Lindsey

I am a mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus. Most days you'll find me online, amped up on caffeine & wielding a book. I write sweet romance for Honey Creek Books. I’m anticipating five release in 2013, including two YA titles and my debut cozy mystery from Carina Press. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Julie Anne
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