Happy February to everyone and Happy Valentine’s! I hope that everyone had a great Valentine’s day yesterday with love from your family and friends (and spouse/partner if you have one). Today’s blog post shares with you one of the things I loved most about 2018 - an excerpt from the novel I wrote. And as it is called “Lessons in Love” I think its most appropriate! I find love to be such a fascinating topic, and a universal concept, so I really enjoyed exploring it through this novel. Hilariously, I didn’t realize until I was most of the way through writing that I themed my book similarly to my blog - writing lessons!!! The excerpt is one of the “agony aunt” letters in the book. The central character answers these letters for her local newspaper, and this is one of my favourite. I hope you enjoy it, and find the love lesson in it. As for the book - I have decided not to publish it for the moment, and it has not been edited, but if you want to take a read and see what it is all about, there will be an option at the end of this blog post.
What is the book about you ask? Well here is the description I sent to my friends when I sent it to a few of them who wanted to read it. Karen is a thirty something island girl whose best friend Ally has just got married and moved halfway around the world! She is now faced with tackling her own love life, as well as helping others with theirs through her advice column - Dear Abigail - that she writes for a local newspaper. Here is the story of how she navigates the following year of her life, and the lessons she learns in love, told through her stories, emails and conversations.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt!!
I have a problem which I know that you can help me with! I recently met a man on a missions trip to Grenada. He is one of the members of the host church, and we spent a significant amount of time together during the trip. We had a great spark, and were really drawn together by our shared purposes within the church, and mutual respect for one another, and have remained in close contact through emails and what’s app. We have been communicating for a few months, and he wants to come over here and visit with me for a week of his vacation. He is also looking at work opportunities here and so he will use his time here to see me, and explore these opportunities more fully. But Abigail, I have not been totally honest with him. I am a divorced woman, and I do not have a very good relationship with my family, who blames me for the divorce. My husband was cheating on me, and I could not take it any more, so I left him, and my family did not approve of this. I have not told this man in Grenada any of this, as I am worried what he will say about me being a divorced woman given his commitment in church. Once he comes to visit, he will find out and I am afraid of this. Abigail – how can I tell this man now about this? He will think that I have been deceiving him all of these months, but I want to let him know before he arrives here. But I am also afraid that if he finds out, it will be the end of a friendship which I am hoping to turn into something more. Please give me your advice Abigail. Yours sincerely – divorced and starting over
Thank you for your letter. I am glad you reached out to me, and I hope this response is helpful. If you want my advice (and since you wrote in I assume that you do) I would just be up front and honest. Tell him that you are divorced and estranged from your family, and you just wanted him to have all the information before he makes travel arrangements. For one thing – if you can’t be honest with him at this stage, then your relationship will be off to a shaky foundation. It is so important to be involved with someone who is able to love and accept you as you are. There is nothing wrong with you for choosing divorce in the face of whatever situation you were facing, and this does not make you any less of a person. If he cannot see that, then this relationship definitely will not work. Secondly – you need to feel comfortable to be able to open up and be yourself in your relationships without such a great fear of judgement. Your relationship should be a safe space where you can be yourself. If you are so afraid that you will be judged harshly by this man, then I would question whether you have the same value system, and how you can be intimate with this man in a relationship. I think that a big part of intimacy (both physical and otherwise) is the ability to be yourself without fear of being judged. Just a thought. I wish you good luck whatever you do, and hope that this turns out in a way that makes you happy. Please write again and let me know what happens. Yours, Abigail.
And if you are curious to read the whole thing, I will send a copy to the first ten people who email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And until then I send you big BIG love from my small island, and a view of my other love - the sunset a few days ago.