Today’s blog features a snippet of Jennifer Rodewald’s new novel, Red Rose Bouquet, that offers an incredible story of God’s redemption and love that transforms not only the post-abortive heroine, but everybody around her. Red Rose Bouquet kick started a deeper healing in my own heart related to my abortion, which occurred 34 years ago this week. If you have experienced abortion, or love someone who has, I highly recommend Red Rose Bouquet along with Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Aborton. SYDNA MASSÉ
Brock looked at her, the deep love that had been in his eyes now replaced with horror. He’d found that word, put it over her name, and mentally branded her with it.
Agony seared through her. This was why. She’d sworn she’d never, never, never tell a soul. Ever. Because she knew how the other side thought. She knew what Brock was thinking.
“Say it,” she seethed
He took another step back. “What?”
“Say what you’re thinking.”
“I don’t know what to think. I need to process…”
“Get out!” She flew at him, her hands colliding with his chest with a mighty shove. “I know what you’re thinking, what you all think in your pristine church world. How could she do that? Right? How could she kill her unborn child? How can she live with herself? You don’t have any idea what happened. I don’t need your condemnation, so get out. Just leave, and don’t ever come back.”
She’d pushed him to the frame of her door before he finally caught her elbows and fought against her. “Stop this, Sherbert. I just need to think.”
Her hand flew. In her rage, she didn’t even feel the smack of her palm against his cheek. “Don’t ever call me that.”
He fingered the spot on his face that was beginning to turn red, and his glance measured her from head to toe. She didn’t want to see the result of that calculation. The cool of the door filled her palm, and she flung it as hard as she could. Still shaking, she leaned against it with her back and slid to the floor.
She’d known it, should have listened to the warnings in her head. Not even Brock Kelly could love a blood-stained woman like her.
Stillness seeped through the hall beyond her door. Leave, Brock. The floor creaked under her, his weight shifting outside the halls. Guess she got her way. Her head fell to her knees as she wrapped her arms tight around her legs.
Something scuffled against the door behind her. “Cheryl.” Brock’s deep voice vibrated through the wood at her back. “I’m still here.”
She winced. What was he doing? Waiting to convince her that she was a sinner? She knew. This everyday hell wouldn’t let her escape that fact.
“I told you to leave,” she screamed at the door.
With a fresh surge of fury she didn’t understand but couldn’t control, she jumped to her feet and ripped the door open. He jerked himself straight, and his hand, which apparently had been resting on the door, fell to his side.
“Didn’t I tell you not to call me that? I hate you, Brock Kelly!”
He flinched and took a step back.
“Get. Out.” She slammed the door shut again and waited until his footsteps echoed off the last of the wood risers below. Crumbling to the floor, she let the sobs loose. Life had been better when she’d kept her heart on ice.
Brock watched Cheryl as she passed through the doors leading outside, his heart in a jumbled knot.
She was leaving. Was he supposed to stop her?
It’d been stupid to think that they’d fall in love over the weekend. That wasn’t how it worked. He hadn’t wanted anything to do with women—love—in the first place.
Man, what was this squeeze in his chest about? Made it hard to breathe.
He followed her outside but turned to the deck rail rather than taking the steps down toward the driveway. Leaning on the railing, he traced her path with his gaze as Cheryl continued her retreat and ducked into her car. After a quick turn of the engine, she reversed and accelerated toward the highway.
Gone. She hadn’t even looked back.
That was what he got for listening to his imagination.
Love Cheryl? Sounded so…storybook while they were lying in the grass with her hand in his. What was God thinking?
Seriously? She just left. Clearly his head was wrong.
The words branded themselves in his mind—he could visualize them in capped, boldface type. And that tightness in his chest? He ran a hand across his sternum. Could be indigestion. Severe indigestion.
God, You’re going to have to bring her back. Or maybe I’m supposed to go after her?
The music that Cheryl had played five minutes before drifted through his mind. Be still my soul, the Lord is on thy side…
He wasn’t good at waiting. And trusting? Kayla had killed that.
I didn’t want a woman, remember?
The melody kept playing against his arguments, and he could still see those two words embedded in his thoughts.
This was going to be much harder than he had thought.
- To order a printed copy of Red Rose Bouquet, visit: https://ramahinternational.org/shop/red-rose-bouquetby-jennifer-rodewaldfree-shipping/
- To order a copy of Her Choice to Heal: Finding Spiritual and Emotional Peace After Abortion, visit: https://ramahinternational.org/shop/her-choice-to-heal-finding-spiritual-and-emotional-peace-after-abortion/
- To download a copy of Red Rose Bouquet visit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JSHVDWO