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Authors: Darlene Shortridge

Forever Blessed (Women of Prayer)

BOOK: Forever Blessed (Women of Prayer)
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Praise for Forever Blessed

 

Darlene is a gifted writer who accurately portrays the life of an abused woman.
 
Darlene tackles the difficult issues in life and how abused victims can find hope and courage through Christ.
 
A must read!

 

-Deb Knitter,
Survivor

 

Forever Blessed by author, Darlene Shortridge, is one of those books that will not be forgotten once the last page has been turned. The information and truth within this work of fiction is a subject that most authors step away from even though it is relevant
 
for life today. Forgiveness with strength rings out as one of the truths presented. I appreciated that Christians were not portrayed as weak even in the act of great forgiveness. The
 
characters were loveable and believable. Some of them were frightening. I hope that this book will help others to not be ashamed of their scars and to know they are not alone.
 

-
Elaine Littau,
Author of Christian Fiction

 

The second installment of Darlene Shortridge's Women of Prayer series, Forever Blessed is a winner, through and through. You will be blessed.

 

-Amanda Stephan,
best-selling author

 

For fiction, Darlene Shortridge writes real stories for real people…
 
In
 
Forever Blessed
, Ms. Shortridge carves a gripping and heartfelt tale about spousal abuse with stark conflicts and turbulent emotions, while entwining the tale with the Lord's eye-opening truth!
 
Forever Blessed
 
is about faith, triumph over trauma, a veil lifted from an unspeakable subject, and learning to rely on God’s sustaining strength. I look forward to book three of
 
The Women of Prayer
 
series!

 

-Kathy Goodhew, author of
 
A Vision Beyond Abuse
 
and
 
The Hidden Ones
 
fantasy series

 

Forever Blessed is a story of one woman’s journey through an abusive marriage, but it is more than that. It is the story of how following the leading of the Holy Spirit can mean different paths for different people, as other characters do follow different paths with different results. Where many people believe that there is only one right choice for women in violent marriages, the author doesn’t try to simplify this complicated issue.
 

 

In a book that I couldn’t put down to eat, I found both a great story and a great learning tool. If only every church could withhold judgment and accept the leading of the Holy Spirit the way the church in the story does we could really be the Church.
 
It’s more than a fantasy, it’s a goal.

 

Thank you for writing this book, Darlene, I hope it reaches enough people to have an impact in the world. I know it had an impact on me and I’ll be ordering copies for our church and the local shelter that tried to help me.

 

-Bonnie Rice

Author of
 
Love Has Its Ups and Downs:
 
With a Bipolar Spouse

 

 

 

Forever Blessed
 

 

 

Women of Prayer Series

 

Book Two

 

 

 

By

 
Darlene Shortridge
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books by

 

Darlene Shortridge

 

The Women of Prayer Series:

 

Until Forever

Forever Blessed

 

 

 

 

 

Forever Blessed

 

 

Copyright © 2012 by Darlene Shortridge. All rights reserved.

 

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any way by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author except as provided by USA copyright law.

 

This novel is a work of fiction. Names, descriptions, entities, and incidents included in the story are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, events, and entities is entirely coincidental.

 

Scripture quotations are from the NIV 1984 version of the Bible.

 

Published by DJDM Enterprises

 

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73119

 

Cover design by Jonna Feavel

 

Author photo by Photography by Jonna

 

Published in the United States of America

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dedication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For my grandmother,

 

Ella Louise Lafferty

 

1932-1997

 

And my daughter,

 

Jonna Michelle Feavel

 

Acknowledgments

 

To the women who shared their stories, you helped open my mind to see domestic violence from every possible angle.  You are the ones who had the most impact on making this fictional story entirely believable.  Thank you.  You have my utmost respect and gratitude. 

 

A special thanks goes to Deb, Bonnie, Amanda, Shaundra, Elaine, Kathy, Mary and Jonna.  You have provided editing, encouragement, words of wisdom, and/or personal information to help make this book what it is.  Danny and Jonna, without your computer skills, I would be lost. 

 

And to my family, thank you for sharing me, once again, with the world.  Danny, Jonna and Jeremiah, thank you for everything you do and for everything you sacrifice in allowing me to follow God’s leading in this crazy world of being an author.  You guys rock!

 

Every word I write is to glorify God.  He loves me and has called me according to His purpose and plan.  I am thankful and honored to be used in such a way to bring Him all the glory!

 

Dear Reader,

 

Welcome to
Forever Blessed
, Book Two in the
Women of Prayer Series.

 

The following pages may strike a dissonant chord in your heart. I apologize. Writing about domestic abuse is never an easy task. My heart broke when I read the statistics.

 

1 in 4 women will be abused in her lifetime. Most cases of domestic violence never get reported. 1/3 of all intimate partner homicides are a result of domestic violence. This breaks my heart. Every one of us knows someone who has been or will be abused in her lifetime. It may even be you.

 

The idea for this novel is based on the life of my grandmother, Ella Louise Lafferty. While she was a victim of spousal abuse, this is not her story. She was the mother of eight children, the wife to one husband. She had more lines etched around her kind eyes than a woman of 62 years should carry. She lived a hard life.

 

What broke my heart the most was after her passing she left a stack of Harlequin Romance books in the common room of her apartment building. Her marriage was built on fear and trepidation, not love and certainly not romance. She read hundreds of books, living a life of romance through each page she turned. Her self-imposed guilt kept her from sharing her quest with her family.

 

I rejoice in the fact that she entered heaven’s gates and looked upon the ultimate face of love, that of Christ Jesus. She never knew the romantic love of a man while on this earth. She saved herself for the best.

 

 

 

 

 

I
f you are, or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please do not wait any longer, get help today. There are people who will help you. Please call.

 

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

 

The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

 

The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 1-866-331-9474

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In His love,

 

Darlene Shortridge

 

51

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             
             
             
             
Prologue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were days when he moved silently, almost as if he were invisible, watching every move she made. This was one of those days.

The children sat at the table, eating their breakfast, and she was standing at the kitchen counter, making his lunch. She spread the last bit of mayonnaise on his sandwich when he grabbed a fistful of her hair, weaving her long, dark tresses through his fingers.

Making her listen, he forcefully whispered in her ear. “Did I tell you to put mayonnaise on my sandwich?”

The pain tore through her skull and she fought the threatening tears. She shook her head no. Even though he’d had mayonnaise on his sandwiches for the past seven years of marriage, no, he did not tell her to make it that way today. She managed a slight whisper. “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”

He used her hair to propel her face forward into the open-faced sandwich. “Let this be a reminder to you. You do nothing without asking me first. Do you understand?”

She nodded, trying to breathe as both her mouth and nose pressed into the bread, the sticky white condiment quickly filling the open spaces.

He yanked her head up, turning her to face the children, who watched with open curiosity, “Look at your mother, kids; doesn’t she look ugly with mayonnaise on her face?”

The youngest, being two and finding humor with most anything, pointed and began to giggle. The five-year-old followed suit. Only the eight-year-old remained quiet. She stared at her mother for a moment, then grabbed her school bag and headed for the door. The five-year-old ran to catch up.

When everyone had left for the day and the two-year-old was busy playing with toys, the woman sank to the floor and cried tears that flowed from the depths of her soul.

BOOK: Forever Blessed (Women of Prayer)
9.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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