I think in life we all have challenges. Challenges come in all shapes and sizes. Some challenges lead to other challenges that come along because of the original challenge… In my book New Parish Sarah finds that her challenge of becoming a mom is complicated by several other challenges. Challenges such as finding a good man to marry, moving west to live in Arizona, overcoming some predisposed prejudices about a certain cowboy… I hope you’ll enjoy Sarah’s challenges, and her journey to solving those challenges, in New Parish.
Excerpt from New Parish:
Chapter 5 – The Storm
“Looking out the window Sarah could see the wind blowing wildly as the rain pounded the windows and everything else outside. The storm outside was gaining strength…
Sarah wanted desperately to distract her mind from the thoughts and feelings she was having so she went into the kitchen to fix some hot chocolate. She grabbed a warm blanket to wrap herself in on her way, the chill from earlier was still lingering deep inside her.
With hot chocolate made, she sat on the mismatched cushions of the wicker sofa and watched the storm outside. The storm inside her raged on as well, she felt like her whole life was in turmoil, not just because of another bad date with a man who really, in the big scheme of things, didn’t matter – but because she had allowed herself to be in that situation, “So, what’s the next situation I’m going to allow myself to get into?” she wondered. She decided to go back to an earlier strategy and consider the pros and cons of plural marriage because now that she had definitely decided that dating was never happening again, plural marriage with its matching system seemed her only option. “Well either that or live my life completely alone and never have the kids I’ve always dreamed of having,” she spoke this thought aloud – she thought her voice sounded sad and angry at the same time.
Sarah took a sip of hot chocolate and thought, “Cons, umm, Brother Michael’s wives covered a lot of those – jealousy, unfair treatment, possessiveness, controlling sister wives, husbands not doing what they should or allowing the new wife to be excluded… “Ah,” she said aloud, “It all sounds like a bunch of “mean girl” stuff! I don’t want to live the rest of my life that way!” She wrapped the blanket tighter around her and listened to the storm outside. The rain beat on the balcony like hundreds of miniature drums beating, the lightning and thunder joined in often to round out the show.
Sarah felt like her mind was going numb from too many thoughts – like when you get an injury, it initially hurts then it goes numb and then hurts like crazy later… she welcomed the numbness, but she could still feel the turmoil and conflict of her inner storm just under the surface of her emotions. She sipped her hot chocolate again and braced for impact. Then a memory suddenly and clearly came to the forefront of her thoughts and she could hear Brother Michael’s voice repeating the advice he’d given her when she was in New Parish.
He said, “The last thing I want to suggest to you is to take some time to ponder and pray about this decision. This is your life. Is this really what you want for your life? This lifestyle has many blessings but it can also be considered a curse to those who don’t have the capacity to accept it in all its varied and sometimes complicated components. I want you to understand that I only want the best for you. If this is truly what you want to do then I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen for you. But, if you have doubts about it, then take the time to find the answers you need to put those doubts to rest, before you make your decision. Okay?”
“Okay,” she said aloud to this vivid memory, “I’ll pray, I’ve done the “pondering” well, I’ve mostly done the struggling, agonizing, and suffering.”
Sarah determinedly sat her hot chocolate down on the old wooden end table beside the sofa and pulled the blanket tightly around her. Bowing her head, she poured out all her thoughts, doubts, and questions in sincere prayer. When she finished the long tearful appeal she sat there on the sofa quietly wondering what to do, then the memory of how she felt when she went to church in New Parish filled her with the peace and sense of belonging she’d felt when she was sitting in that place. She began to feel a new calm come over her heart and mind. Memories flowed now of how happy Brother Michael’s wives were and the things they said about accepting each other without requirements or expectations came to her memory’s surface. Next she remembered how happy the kids were and how Mary had described her family.
The thought dawned on her, “I was only focusing on what could go wrong. There’s a lot that can and does go right…”
Sarah began to smile, she wanted to keep this feeling, the storm inside was gone as the thunder outside was now sounding far away, she felt peacefully happy inside and had a peace and calm she hadn’t felt in a very long time… “Yeah,” she said, “I know what to do and what I want.”” New Parish is out now! Return to New Parish will be out in a few months!!! You can get a copy of New Parish here:
New Parish by Julie Worthington on Amazon.com
Also available at:
Bee’s Grocery (in Centennial Park)
Changing Hands Bookstores in Phoenix and Tempe AZ
Coming soon to many new bookstores!