Powerful new novel from Christian Fiction favorite Robin Lee Hatcher
If you scan any kind of social media long enough, you will run across people talking about how much they enjoy Robin Lee Hatcher’s novels. I’m sure her legion of fans are thrilled to have a new book from her. A Promise Kept is sure to be one of Robin’s most personal novels to date. I’m happy to have her here today to share about her latest work. Before Robin comes, let me give you a glimpse into the story:
What had become of His promise?
Tony Kavanagh had been Allison’s dream-come-true. They were in love within days, engaged within weeks, married and pregnant within a year. Her cup bubbled over with joy . . . but years later, that joy had been extinguished by unexpected trials.
The day Allison issued her husband an ultimatum, she thought it might save him. She never expected he would actually leave. She was certain God had promised to heal; it was clear that she’d misunderstood.
Now, living in the quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single, self-reliant Great Aunt Emma, Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small town life. But when she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic, a portrait of her aunt emerges that takes Allison completely by surprise: a portrait of a heartbroken woman surprisingly like herself.
As Allison reads the incredible story of Emma’s life in the 1920s and 1930s, she is forced to ask a difficult question: Does she really surrender every piece of her life to the Lord?
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
On an evening in 2011, as I talked with my dearest friends and confidants, sharing what God was doing in my life, I knew I would one day write a story about how God kept His promise to heal a husband’s addiction and save a marriage—and how He healed and saved them through divorce. It was, after all, how He healed my husband and saved our marriage.
That “one day” arrived a little over a year later when my editor sensed the desire of my heart and encouraged me to set aside the book I was then working on to write a new and different kind of novel.
A Promise Kept is my attempt to glorify the God who answers prayers in His own timing and in unexpected ways. It is my attempt to encourage other believers who trust in God’s promises but don’t see those promises manifested in their lives in the way they expected—or at all—to keep right on trusting in His promises.
Sharing a deeply personal story in novel form can be tricky.
First, of course, I had to know my husband was willing for his life, as well as mine, to be opened up to others in interviews and articles and a note to readers at the back of the novel itself. I want to honor him in his journey and am grateful for his trust and support.
Second, I had to allow my protagonist, Allison, to be Allison and not me. I had to allow her story to unfold in its own way without having to mirror mine in every detail. There are many similarities between Allison and me, quite a few scenes in the novel that I lived through myself, but A Promise Kept is not a memoir. It is, if you will, a parable (by definition, “a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson”).
I am amazed at how God can take painful experiences in my life and turn them to good. Because of those painful experiences, I have learned to hold onto the foot of the cross so tightly it’s as if I can feel the splinters in the palms of my hands. I hope that through the words I write I can encourage others to hold onto the cross in the same way.
I consider my life lesson to be this: Nothing, absolutely nothing, enters my life—filtered first through God’s loving hands—that isn’t caused or allowed by Him for the purpose of making me more like Jesus.
And because I believe this life lesson to be true, it allows me to be open and vulnerable—as a woman and as a writer—in order to offer hope and encouragement to others. When my marriage ended in divorce, I thought it was an end. I thought it was “The End.” My heart was broken in a way I thought could never be mended. I was wrong.
The God of the Bible is a God of second chances and a God of miracles, and He is not confined by an ending. He isn’t contained by any boundary that He hasn’t set Himself. Which is why, when Jerry and I were reunited in marriage five years after the divorce, we were able to declare together: “This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.” Psalm 118:23 (NASB95)
There is hope, even when there appears to be none. So hold on and keep trusting in Him.
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Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher, author of over 70 novels and novellas, is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She and her husband make their home in Idaho where she enjoys spending time with her family, her high-maintenance Papillon, Poppet, and Princess Pinky, the DC (demon cat). You can learn more about Robin and her books at http://www.robinleehatcher.com.