Molly’s Prize from Love In the Balance: Wendy Lawton
Cassie’s Prize from Though My Heart is Torn: Jenny (“nightowlreading” e-mail)
Bonnie’s Prize from Among the Pines: Martha Sturm
Laurie’s Prize from Mistaken: Bonnie Walker
Georgie’s Prize from On Distant Shores: Rebecca (“sunflower” e-mail)
And the grand prize of all 5 letters and keepsakes in the antique box is: Bonnie Roof
Rocky Knob, Virginia 1901
I never thought I’d ever write you a letter, but you won’t ever read this because I’ll never send it. Besides, I don’t have anyone else to write to.
I also never thought we’d be in this mess. You and I, married to the same man. But I guess that’s over now, isn’t it? You’ve moved on as you had to. And I have Gideon. I honestly didn’t think they would pick me over you. There are moments that I’m sorry they did. It all comes rushing back and I remember us sitting in the church the day the reverend told Gideon that I would be his wife instead of you. Do you remember what Gideon did? He got down on his knees right there, looked me straight in the eyes, and begged me not to demand he return. That’s when I knew. I always felt it, but that’s when I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he loved you and not me. All that to say, if you ever wonder if I’m happy now…I assure you I’m not.
There’s no happiness in what I’ve done. No peace.
This seems to be what my life is made of. I’ve lived for smiles. I’ve lived for laughter. I’ve lived for the moments that take your breath away–certain the consequences won’t sting in the morning as much as I think they will.
They always do.
Just like when I met Gideon. I looked into those green eyes of his and suddenly forgot about everything else. All my fears and insecurities were chased away in his touch. The sound of his voice whispering my name. We both know what he wanted and it was never real love. It’s always just a moment. A brief, blissful moment then heartache follows.
Maybe that’s why I did what I did—revenge. Except it’s not as sweet as I thought it would be. Perhaps because he’s not the same man he once was. There’s something inside him, a desire to do good, that wasn’t there before. I see pieces of him that are changing. I wish I could figure out why.
Especially in moments like today—when this man who couldn’t stand still long enough to truly get to know a girl is missing his family so fierce, he can hardly speak. When he looks past me like I’m not standing there. When his eyes are shadowed—a sorrow so heavy across his brow, that I know it’s you he longs for. These are the moments I wish I hadn’t kept the secret from him, wish I’d told him that our marriage was intact when he thought it no longer was. It was my fault that he thought he was free to marry another. That he was free to marry you. Free to give you his heart. His life.
I fear I’ll never be enough to fill all that he’s lost. There are days that I grow so weary of trying. Perhaps this burden was never mine to bear. Perhaps I wasn’t meant to walk beside this man down the road of life. Maybe it was meant to be you. Lonnie, I’m so sorry. I want to tell Jacob I’m sorry as well. I wish I could, but I’m terrified to look into his little face and say the words…
To tell him that it was me who took his papa away.
This is when my greatest regret takes wings. It flies from my heart to the bed of this sleeping boy who’s no more than a baby. I wonder what he looks like. And if he has green eyes like Gideon. Do you sing Jacob to sleep and promise that everything is going to be alright? That though he’ll never know his father, you’ll make it up to him somehow…someway? How do you do this without weeping?
Or perhaps that’s not possible.
There are nights that I want to tell you I’m sorry. Nights that I lie awake in bed all alone, while Gideon sleeps in his chair. As far from me as he possibly can be. Those are the nights I wish I could turn back time.
There’s moments when I feel like there’s just no hope. Am I in too deep? Or is there a way out of this heartache? I want to trust in this God that I saw in you. I want to better understand the changes I see in Gideon. I want to trust that God can truly be a light unto my path as the Bible says. But I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how to find that path, set my feet at the beginning of it and simply walk forward.
Do what I need to do so that Jacob can know his father. I know that will take courage and I want to find it. There’s nothing heroic about me. But I’d like to think that someday soon I could rise up and make this right. For Jacob. For you.
For Gideon. I love him more than he knows.
Gideon O’Riley has two wives–but he doesn’t know it.
Cassie’s prize bundle includes: Framed sheet music of the hymn “Before the Throne of God”, ginger snaps and assorted tea, plus a signed copy of book 2 in the Cadence of Grace series, THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN. ** If the winner has not read the 1st book in the series, BE STILL MY SOUL, they are more than welcome to choose that book instead 🙂 A winner will be drawn on May 19th and contacted via email.
To enter for this prize, simply leave any comment below. If you’d like to share…in THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN, “Before the Throne of God” was the hymn that gave Both Cassie and Gideon strength in a time of need. Is there a hymn that is dear to you?
We invite you to join us each weekday this week as we hop through cyberspace and history, gleaning hope from each heroine’s journey.