LoveLast week on SouthernBelleView I asked readers to share true love stories in order to be entered to win a copy of Until the Harvest. Just let me say, after reading the comments I realized this was a brilliant idea (which means the credit for it lies elsewhere!). I promised to share some of my favorite stories with you, so here we go:

CINDY – “I was supposed to have quit my job at the local roller rink two weeks earlier. But I loved that job! I had been through three bad relationships in a row and was tired of boys and dating. I just wanted a friend to skate couples with me when the couples song played so that I could skate and not be alone while I kept my whistle at the ready. A new guy showed up one night. Then he came a few more Saturday nights. My parents were reminding me to quit the job since college classes were out for summer and I was not making enough to pay for my gas. After several weeks of his coming to the rink, I memorized the new guy’s skate size and saved the best pair for him. And I “forgot” to quit that job. When he came up that night, I plopped those best skates on the counter. He plopped a brand new pair of skates right beside them. He bought a new pair of skates! My heart skipped a beat. A couple of more weeks–enough for me to secure a first date–and I finally quit my job. By then I knew he was a true gentleman and was the kind of guy I had been looking for. One year later we were married and both our families were very happy. We’re still married 35 years later as of June 7, 2015, and still very much in love.”

Isn’t that the best “how we met” story? Happy anniversary, Cindy! Sounds like not quitting that job was the best investment you could have made.

DEANA – “Growing up in a home where love was not shown or even spoken, I never knew what it felt like to be loved. I got married and my husband and I had two boys together. One day I decided I didn’t want to be married anymore. After all I still didn’t know what love was, even though my husband showed it every day with words and affection. We got divorced after thirteen years and I was on my own with two boys thinking I could find love. An emotional wreck, I realized I was all alone. My now ex-husband still saw his boys and continued to tell me that he was praying for me and standing for reconciliation. Really, I thought? Why is he doing that? One day something touched me and I knew that I had made the biggest mistake in my life. After dating my ex-husband again, my heart began to soften and I truly saw my husband for the first time. Through his prayer and God’s love, I began to feel loved. We remarried and had another child. We call him our restoration baby. I now know what it feels like to be loved unconditionally and to be able to return those feelings. I thank God everyday for giving me a husband who loves me unconditionally and never gave up. We celebrated 32 years of marriage in April.”

Phew. How many people today need to hear a story like that? I especially appreciate how Deana recognizes that it wasn’t just her husband’s love, but God’s that restored her heart.

And now, the winner of the a copy of Until the Harvest is . . . Carolyn Hiatt! Carolyn, send me an e-mail with your address and I’ll get your book in the mail (salt96 at charter dot net). Thanks to everyone who commented–it was a joy to read your stories!