In novels, curve balls are those delightful tools we use to make our characters suffer. Adding onto the conflict until they don’t see a way out. Putting on the pressure.
And that’s great—for a romance novel. Because even though the hero and heroine delve into dark moments where nothing appears to work out, we readers all know that somehow it will end in a happily-ever-after.
I wish real life was that simple. I’ve been struggling with a number of issues, both health and personal, until I feel close to my breaking point (and I honestly know I’m not anywhere CLOSE to suffering as some dear friends this week.)
So I got to thinking, what would I tell my characters if they complained about the gunk I’m making them wade through? In my May release, The Cowboy’s Twins, Jax finds his twin girls dropped on his doorstep—kids he didn’t even know he had. And Faith, the heroine, has jumped into a Mustang refuge project well over her abilities.
So Jax and Faith, here are my suggestions:
- PRAY Reconnect with God. He’s got this, right? Or if you’ve already been praying about it, realize that perhaps what’s happening is the answer to your prayer, even if you don’t get it right now.
- GRIEVE It’s important to give yourself time to grief and heal, whether your pain is from a lost love, a lost job, if you or your loved ones are experiencing health issues, or you find yourself in the middle of a series of events you didn’t foresee. It’s okay to cry. Be gentle with yourself.
- BE GRATEFUL I know that sounds counter-intuitive, and it is, especially for someone like me who has always see the glass half empty. Find the good within the situation. It’s there, somewhere, though you may need to dig very deep. Jesus is there. You just have to look for Him.
I don’t think I’ll be creating any spoilers by saying Jax and Faith successfully manage to work through their problems and have their happy ending, but it doesn’t come without a fight. My own issues seem to be taking a bit longer than that, so I’d love to hear how everyone else deals with life’s unexpected curve balls.