Monday, January 21, 2019

The Angel Who Wanted to Stay by Marianne Evans

Marianne Evans
Happy New Year! We’ve turned the page to welcome 2019, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably packed away the nativity scene, the lights, the evergreen garlands formerly draped over entryways to welcome family and friends. It’s a bittersweet time, too, isn’t it? Reliving precious memories, contemplating the happiness and tears of a year gone by as a new, blank canvas stretches ahead of us.

I was swept into that introspective world as I took down the tree this year, and that’s when something strange and beautiful happened. For the second year in a row, I came upon an angel. The Angel Who Wanted to Stay. Here’s why that means so much to me now…

A year ago, amidst what felt like constant snowfall in Michigan, hubby and I toted our empty tree through a carpet of white, depositing it at the curb in front of our home for pick up by the municipal recycling team. It wasn’t until a brief thaw, in February, that I was walking to the mailbox, and caught sight of this lovely angel ornament, face up on the ground, an arm broken and resting nearby, but she was lovely as ever. 





She's been one of our ornaments for probably close to ten years, but held no heirloom-type designation. She was simply a beautiful representative of heaven who captured our hearts and imagination and made it onto the branches of our tree. With a lump in my throat, I lifted her from the dirt and grime, cleaned her off, repaired her, and stashed her to be hung on the tree this year, as always.

Fast forward a year.

Just a few short weeks ago we spent New Year’s Eve packing away Christmas d├ęcor. We started to carry our tree to the curb. From somewhere within the empty branches tumbled our pretty pink angel. I nearly cried all over again. Truly, we’re extremely careful about removing and storing our ornaments. We don’t ever want to lose these beautiful pieces of history. However, this angel—I promptly named her ‘The Angel Who Wanted to Stay’ – fell gently to the floor and I retrieved her all over again, wrapped her in tissue paper, and tucked her into a prize position in our ornament storage box.

Remember when I said she held no heirloom designation? That changed this year. With her lovely, demure features, her arm stretched in hopeful welcome toward heaven, I now treasure her dearly, and will make a conscious effort to find and box her from now on. She wants to stay in the tree…yet she wants to remain with us as well—for the second year running.


Somehow, some way, I believe God is trying to tell me something with that message. Blessings, friends, and may the New Year bring you blessings, joy, peace, and most of all love!

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Aaron Fisher is the middle-born Fisher man, but through necessity, he’s embraced the role of family leader. He’s always been the stronghold, the standard bearer. Aaron conforms. He fulfills and most often exceeds expectations. He’s stoic and strong—the sheep that stayed on course with the Savior.

Seen as the one most likely to marry a known and well-suited woman from town, Aaron intends to continue the traditions of faith, farming and family left behind in the footsteps of those who preceded him. Until he meets Emma Briggs.

A gifted RN, Emma enters Aaron’s life when his father experiences health issues tied to a weakened heart. She’s a newbie to Antioch’s medical facility who calms the family’s storm, but Emma harbors a secret, an undeserved shame she’s disclosed to no one in this tight-knit, rural town.

Emma is a mystery—the new and unknown quantity of Antioch. Aaron is part of its foundation and pulse. Can Emma’s past be reconciled to the present? Can she find acceptance in a new place—a new season—with the love of a lifetime?

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Marianne Evans is an award-winning author of faith-affirming fiction who has won acclaim from critics and readers. RT Book Reviews named her book Forgiveness a 4.5-Star Top Pick and readers laude her books as ‘riveting’ and ‘true to heart.’ She’s a life-long resident of Michigan who calls suburban Detroit home.