Please welcome author Nancy Shew Bolton to The West Corner!
I’ve really pondered over what I should write for this guest blog. I keep coming back to the event which has been my biggest challenge this last year. After 44 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart, my husband John died suddenly in September of 2017. Both of us had struggled with health issues for the last decade or more, but through these challenges had learned to work on diet and lifestyle changes that we hoped would make our approaching senior years into ones strengthened by increased health. After 11 years of being unable to work and living on disability, John had started a job, and was delighted at the prospect of greater income every month than what we were used to living on. He had so many plans, and was happier than he had been in years. He always said he wanted to live his life with all his might, and leave it with, as he put it, “nothing left in the tank.” And he wanted to die working. And his hopes and prayers were realized, as he died at work, suddenly and quickly, after a life lived on his terms, and one devoted to God and his family.
I never thought I’d really have to live without him. Though he had so many health problems, he always fought through them and prevailed, and so I guess I thought he was somehow as indestructible as a person could be. And to be honest, I figured God would make sure to keep him here because I didn’t want to imagine living without him. Deep inside, I was afraid it would destroy me, or make me mad at God, and compromise my faith. I felt ashamed for having these fears, but had to face the fact that they existed.
The first few months of my bereavement passed in a kind of cushioned blur, where I knew God was carrying me through the worst part of the crushing pain, and I could literally feel the support of many prayers lifted up for me. I held tight to God, and gradually began to face some of my disappointment, anger and discouragement, and to pour these out before God. I stopped being embarrassed about what I thought of as my shortcomings of faith, and realized I could lay these in front of God, too. He already knew they were in my heart, and I needed to trust His love enough to be honest with myself. This is still an ongoing process as I walk forward, doing my best to figure out my life without my husband. There are so many layers to this difficult journey, most of them painful, some beautiful and inexpressibly comforting. What I do know so far, is that I truly can cast all my cares upon Him, and He will sustain me, even when I doubt, or crumble, or question His ways. He won’t leave me because of my shortcomings, doubts or fears. No, He will walk me through all of it, because He cares for me. What a comfort it is to know that. God’s love never fails! Never.
About the Author
Nancy Shew Bolton is a wife of 43 years, mother of five grown sons, and grandmother to a boy and girl. Ever since she learned to write, she would jot down her thoughts and impressions in little snippets of inspiration in the form of poetry, song lyrics, or short essays. About six years ago, she decided to try her hand at writing a full length book. She’s since written five works of fiction, two non-fiction, and is working on an idea for a children’s book, as well as more fiction manuscripts.
Writing a full-length work is much more challenging than she thought, and she has received so much valuable assistance from other writers, especially from the ACFW critique groups. Her husband has been supportive of her long hours spent at the keyboard. Many thanks to her beloved Johnny! And now she’s under contract with Prism Book Group with a novel set to be released in September 2014! What a journey!
Nancy loves to write character-driven stories about relationships of love and faith, since she is fascinated by the complexities within this emotional terrain. She thanks God and His Son for her life, her loved ones and the spark of creativity inside every person. She believes each person is a unique creation, with their own special voice and place in this amazing universe. God’s handiwork amazes her every day!
In the unsettled days of 1972, music is the steady focus of Ruth’s life and the high point of each college day. But when her happiness derails in the span of a few seconds time, Ruth is left to piece together a life that becomes fraught with confusion and emotional turmoil.
Paul has worked hard to school his stormy personality into a career that satisfies his love of music and a desire to teach. Yet his own actions threaten to rob him of his vocation, his reputation, and his view of himself. Confronting his own shortcomings was not part of his plans. But when he meets Ruth, everything changes.
Amid the challenges of life in the politically and socially turbulent 1970s, both must find comfort and support through the music they love and each other.
The Flip Side of Love is available from Amazon.