Thank you, Paula, for welcoming me on your blog today to share the inspiration behind my debut historical romance, A Love Restored. A Love Restored is based on my real-life romance with my husband, Mike, with all its ups and downs, including our emotionally devastating break up. I chose to set the story in the past because I’m a huge history geek.
In fact, it was Mike’s idea to write our story. “Really?” I asked over the rim of my readers, “because you don’t look so good in that story for a very long time.” He smiled and kissed my forehead then responded, “yeah, but I think it turned out all right.” I’d have to agree. We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in June.
You see, I’ve struggled with weight issues my entire life and that struggle plays an important part in our story. I’ve had cruel things said about my appearance. Oftentimes by people who were supposed to love me.
Boys don’t date chubby girls.
With those broad shoulders and hips, you wouldn’t be petite even if you lost weight.
You have such a pretty face, what a shame you don’t do something about your figure.
Men don’t marry overweight women.
I guess people assume that as your waistline expands so does your capacity to tolerate rudeness.
But their insensitive words failed in comparison to the ugly way I spoke to myself.
No one likes you.
No man…will ever…love you.
I’d become so defined by the negative comments and opinions of those surrounding me, I no longer saw anything to esteem. I’d allowed my self-worth to be determined by a yardstick that measured my value according to the size of my waist or the flatness of my stomach, always coming up short.
I yearned for a love that would look upon my heart and find inestimable worth, despite my physical flaws. Couldn’t someone love and accept me the way I was? Like a needle caught in the scratch of a vinyl record, the toxic phrases I spoke to myself played repeatedly in my head. Why was it so hard to believe a man might find me attractive? Even love me? No matter the exact phrasing, it all boiled down to the same thing in my mind—I was undesirable, therefore unlovable.
The Bible tells us in John 10:10 that “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Here are just a few things the Bible has to say about you:
1 Thes.1: 4 You are chosen and dearly loved of God.
Ps. 139:14 You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Zech. 2:8 You are the apple of God’s eyes. (I just love that one!)
2 Cor. 5:17 You are a new creation in Christ.
John 1:12 You are a child of God.
Col. 1:14 You have been forgiven.
Rom. 8:1 You are free forever from condemnation.
Eph. 2:6 You are his masterpiece
My personal journey to self-acceptance is shown through my heroine, Ruth Ann. But at its core, A Love Restored is not only a story of love, romance, heartache and restoration, but also a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture, so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. As Benjamin and Ruth Ann discover, it is only then that we are truly able to give and receive love, unconditionally.
I hope readers will be able to relate to Ruth Ann’s struggle. Whether their issue is with their body image, finances, appearance, lifestyle, occupation or something entirely different, my prayer for each of you is that you will not allow the enemy to steal the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God. Speak the truth of the gospel over yourself every day and ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself as He does. (1 Samuel 16:7b)
Your Turn: What scripture speaks to your heart when the enemy whispers in your ear?
She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything she’d ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.
When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.
You can connect with Kelly on:
Thanks so much for sharing, Kelly!
Go ahead and add this to your To Be Read List - you know you just have to read it!
And share an answer to Kelly's question - What scripture speaks to you when the enemy is trying to speak louder to you?