From Best-Selling Author Mary E. Hanks
If only I could fix my husband and every problem between us, our marriage would be perfect! Make that an instant fix, please, because I like quick solutions. You know, fast food, self-checkout, instant deposits. Can I have that coffee to go?
Sometimes, we have such high expectations of our marriage partner. Like he’s supposed to be Superman or the most tender hero from one of our favorite author’s novels. Yes, I like those heroes too. But aren’t we expecting something artificial/fake/fictional of the man we pledged our love to that we would never expect of ourselves?
I’m flawed. You’re flawed. We’re all flawed—right?
So the idea that I could fix him is silly. Think of the beam-in-the-eye business. How can I extract a piece of lint from his eye when I have a twig jutting out of my eyeball? Yet—I’m cringing—sometimes, that’s what I want to do. (See the first sentence above.)
Have you ever felt like stuff in your marriage, or in life, would be so much better, more peaceful, more loving, if you could fix your spouse and coax him to change? If not him, maybe your kids, family, or circumstances. Maybe even change the world.
Now, changing the world sounds fabulous. But hefting that weight on our shoulders? How can we change others when we, too, are broken, flawed, and in need of change?
I’ve read that if I have the tiniest bit of faith, I can remove mountains. Imagine that! Move mountains? Whew. That’s a powerhouse of possibility right there.
So, with my little bit of faith, I pray for my marriage and family. I believe for God to do amazing things in my tribe. But sometimes—here’s that cringe—I want to add some action to my faith! We’re supposed to do that, right?
And while I believe God is the great transformer, the One who can change every situation in a heartbeat, maybe, just maybe, He needs my help!
I love to solve things. If something’s lost, I search until I find it. If something’s broken, I try to figure out what’s wrong. I love tearing a room apart and putting it back together.
But sometimes I can’t fix the damaged thing. I can’t find the misplaced item. I can’t resolve the problem.
Marriage is complicated and multi-layered. As are most relationships. Things go wrong that you never expected. During our marriage vows, we didn’t say—and maybe we should have—“I promise to stick with you even if we have crushing financial difficulties, if we argue constantly, if one of us sins against the other, if the world crashes down around us with crisis and loss, if I feel like you don’t love me, or if I don’t love you anymore.” I believe vows should be more realistic, but that’s a thought for another time.
When I was a young bride, I imagined that we would always feel like we felt then—wildly in love and so connected emotionally. You know the lyrics from the Beatles’ song, “Will you still need me … when I’m sixty-four?” When you get married at seventeen, it’s hard to picture how you’ll feel toward your spouse when you’re in your sixties. People say they want to grow old together, but do they consider how much both will change over thirty, forty, or fifty years?
We all change. That’s a good thing, right? Living things change and grow. But when our husband goes through a problem, or a season of personal change, sometimes we mentally shoulder the weight of blame and responsibility and think we must fix it.
I used to inhale blame and guilt like a thirsty sponge. I thought I had to be the peacemaker. Always saying I’m sorry. Trying to mend things. But at some point, I realized that, while I’m flawed—goodness, yes—I am not the healer or repairer of our marriage.
I am not the answer for fixing us.
In the book I’m writing, Judah wants to be his wife’s refuge. Paisley left him. Now she’s back, and they’re working on reconciliation. He desperately wants to be her everything. To keep her from ever running again. But he isn’t, and can never be, her savior.
If you’re like me, you may grasp for ways to solve stuff. If only we’d read another marriage book. If only we’d pray together for twenty-one days, holding hands, for twenty minutes a day—you get the picture. If only he’d talk to the pastor. If he’d just listen to me!
After forty years of marriage, here’s what I’ve found to be true—Jesus is the fixer! Not me. What a relief! He’s our refuge. He’s our peace in the middle of a storm. He’s the forgiver of all forgivers. He’s the grace giver when our grace bucket is dry. He’s the ultimate big shoulder for you and me to lean on.
If there’s a secret ingredient in marriage, or in life, it’s God’s love. His love is balm and healing. His love restores. It’s a dynamo of radical change if we’ll let it happen in us. Because only then, when we are full of His supernatural love, can we truly walk in love.
At fixing people, including my husband, my kids, church people, or even strangers, I am totally inept.
At accepting, loving, and showing God’s grace unconditionally? That’s something I can get excited about and do, and so can you, because that’s what Jesus did for us.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8
Mary Hanks writes Christian romances about second chances and reconciliation in marriage. She believes that second chances change our story.
Three clean, stand-alone, romantic-suspense novels.
Book 1 – No Safe Place
When Randi, a world-class, middle-distance runner, literally runs into Matt on an Olympic National Park trail, she believes she’s found someone who can help heal her heart. But she learns Matt has secrets that threaten both her heart and her life. Matt is a prodigal trying to come home from the far country, but how much is he willing to give to restore his honor?
No Safe Place is a clean, action-filled, romantic-suspense story that races from the scenic beaches of the Olympic National Park to the beauty of Lake Chelan in Central Washington State, a story of courage, honor, faith, forgiveness, and love.
Book 2 – No True Justice
They forced Gemma Saint into witness protection, not to protect her, but to silence her.
After testifying in a high-profile case, Gemma, a young intern at an influential media outlet, is forced into WITSEC by corrupt DOJ officials hoping to silence her. When Gemma’s testimony at a retrial threatens their elaborate conspiracy to control the upcoming presidential election. Gemma learns from her WITSEC Inspector her identity was compromised and someone in the DOJ has sent a team to kill her.
Gemma seeks help from Lex James, a young investigative journalist and offers him the biggest story of his career. But Lex was recently given custody of his deceased sister’s four-year-old twins, Josh and Caleb. Sparks fly when Lex and Gemma meet, and the boys see their mother in her. But can she endanger this fragile family? Should she run away, sacrificing her life and the course of her beloved country?
Lex has difficult choices, too. But the highly gifted boys, Josh and Caleb, have their own opinion about what should happen, and it is not wise to underestimate four-year-old boys with 200 IQs.
No True Justice is a clean, high-action, romantic-suspense story set among the breathtaking canyons and rivers around Lake Billy Chinook in Eastern Oregon.
Book 3 – No Turning Back
When, Drew West, a young man much like her dead father, offers Beth Sanchez protection, will trusting him bring another massacre, one that takes her life too? How can a young cowboy from Central Oregon protect her from the vengeful leader of a Drug Cartel who wants her dead?
Drew has reasons for wanting to protect Beth, reasons that run deep, all the way to his heart and even deeper yet, to his soul. No one in his charge will ever be hurt again, no matter the cost. But can he convince Beth of that or will she opt for witness protection?
Set near Big Bend National Park and in Central Oregon, near the Deschutes River, No Turning Back is a clean, high-action, romantic-suspense story about love, courage, and the futility of human vengeance.
This was an Intriguing collection filled with plenty of suspense twists and turns.
I loved the storyline and characters. This collection is highly recommended.
You won’t be able to put it down, thrilling to the end.page turner, I enjoyed the audio version till 2 am!
Finds to include Series Sales, only the first book is posted above.
When Jewel Wiltshire marries, she vows to love, honor, and obey. Little does she know that her husband’s secrets will push her faith far beyond anything she can imagine. For two years she remains a prisoner until a mysterious stranger appears offering friendship and hope.
Jack Vines has the Victorian home of his dreams–or so it seems until he discovers an intriguing beauty lurking in the shadows. Stunned, he finds they share the house but live a century apart. She is a prisoner of the past, shrouded in a world of dark mysteries. He holds the keys that will protect their future. When her letters suddenly stop, can he unravel the mystery that threatens to alter both their lives forever?
Timeless Moments is a spine-tingling suspense laced with faith and love that you won’t want to put down. This stirring novel seamlessly weaves together two characters in an intricate balance of emotion and hope that all things are possible. Kindle Scout Winner
I am not what you would call a reader, never have been. My attention span would not cross a small stream. But, I stumbled on this book Timeless Moments by Michelle Kidd and thought why not give it a look. Not only did this book amaze me, I also amazed myself…I read the entire thing. I had no choice, it grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. I expected some sappy love story with every cliché storyline one could imagine, but what I found was a new and mysterious world for me to step into and explore. I don’t know what was better, the characters or the setting I found myself following them around in and it doesn’t matter. This is not your typical love, time travel, try to stay awake story. Michelle expertly crafts each scene so that the reader feels they are standing right there in the living room, feeling the warmth from the fireplace.
The writing is so descriptive that I watched it all unfold like a movie. The plot twists kept me engaged and guessing. This is one of those novels that you can’t wait to get home from work (or shopping or whatever), so you can get back to the story to find out what happens next. And the ending is superb. Very highly recommended! This is an author to watch!