Crystal Joy is stopping by for a chat this time. This author with a heart for people writes deep-rooted romances often based in real-life love stories.
Just looking at Crystal’s photo makes me smile.
Join the chat below to add your name to the drawing for Crystal’s Shattered Heart.
A Word From Crystal Joy
Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Linda! As Christmas quickly approaches it’s so easy for us to become overwhelmed and anxious instead of grateful for all of our blessings. I know I certainly fall into this trap. Maybe this year more than ever.
I’m worried about getting the right gifts for my three little ones, grandparents, and friends. With two kids in school this year, our schedule is fuller than ever. I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to meet my financial and creative goals for 2019.
I’m also working on my fifth book, Stained Heart. It’s the third novel in my sweet and wholesome small-town romance series. All of the characters in Shackled Heart and Shattered Heart make an appearance in this final book of the series, which features Grace Cunngingham and Caleb Meyers. They were high school sweethearts and haven’t seen one another in ten years. Grace is a single mom with a nine-year-old son. As a mom and the owner of a bed and breakfast, Grace struggles to do everything well. She’s a perfectionist. Although her circumstances are different than mine, at her very core she is me.
Crystal Joy: A Worried Youth
During my teenage years, I started worrying about my body image. Unlike many of the girls at my high school, I never developed curves. Standing a little over five feet, I sometimes felt like a little girl compared to the rest of the tall, well-developed girls striding by me in the hallway. When would I feel like a woman?
In college, the negative perception I had of my body continued to seep into my mind like a poisonous gas. I gained about fifteen pounds, which only made me hate my body more. While trying several diets for a few months, I ate as little as I could without starving. I lost all of the weight I’d gained and exercised like crazy, but I still wasn’t content with my body.
Crystal Joy: A Worried Wife and Mother
After I got married, I doubted my ability to have children. I had no valid reason to believe I would have trouble getting pregnant, except I didn’t “feel womanly.” I can only imagine God smiling down on me and shaking his head. As soon as my husband and I started trying, we conceived right away.
As my baby bump continued to grow, I became so thankful for my body, and in awe of God—that He had made me to help create a new life. Slowly, my immense gratitude diminished the negative perceptions, and a peaceful contentment took root inside my heart. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care if my arms looked toned. I didn’t mind if my thighs couldn’t fit into my jeans. It didn’t matter if my feet could barely squeeze into my cute flats.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
Crystal Joy: Weighed in the Balance
Around twenty weeks into my pregnancy, my joy was tested. The doctor noticed that my cervix had started funneling, and I was showing signs of pre-term labor. She told me that if I went into labor now, my son would have a fifty percent chance of living. My husband and I were scared. I was terrified of losing my son, and I wondered if my body would fail me after all. All those familiar doubts crept in, but I refused to drown in them like I once had. I immediately took my fears to God, praying that He would keep my son safe.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Through God’s leading, we found a new doctor who had very similar beliefs. During our first appointment, he said, “Only God knows when your son will be born. There is no reason to worry.” His confidence in God’s plan reaffirmed my faith. God designed my body as a beautiful “masterpiece,” just like my son’s. I needed to trust in God’s future for us.
Whittling Worry Down to Size
Fear and worry could’ve taken away my gratitude during such a special time in my life. I could’ve hidden in bed, attempting to control the situation. But I put God in control by praying and thanking him for my son. I didn’t want my fears to take away the peace I’d finally found.
Thankfully, my son was born just three weeks early. He was a healthy seven-pound baby. Holding him in my arms for the first time, I called him beautiful. At that moment, I fully grasped how God sees His children.
No matter our size or shape, He views each of us as beautiful masterpieces.
My hope for all of us is to enjoy this holiday season. To love ourselves and others and to enjoy every little moment along the way!
Some questions to consider this holiday season:
- Are you letting fear drive away your peace?
- Is there anything preventing you from seeing yourself like God sees you? If so, ask God to help you feel as beautiful as you really are.
- What are three things about your body that you are most thankful for?
FREE Giveaway From Crystal Joy:
Since I gave away the first book in my small-town romance series last time, I’m giving away the second book of the series today! You’ll get to know Grace a little bit in this second book, but you’ll get to know her best friend, Amanda first. Here is the back cover blurb if you’d like to know more about it:
Amanda Meyers is a force to be reckoned with, especially when her beloved father is diagnosed with lung cancer. She’s all too familiar with the heartache of losing a parent. But this time, she refuses to watch her dad suffer from the debilitating side effects of toxic medications like her mom did.
As a successful oncologist, Ethan Contos is more than capable of fighting for the lives of his patients. But when he starts falling for Amanda, he finds himself fighting a battle between two desires—pursuing the feisty daughter of an ailing patient and moving back to Greece to make amends with his parents.
When Amanda’s dad urges Ethan to spend time with his daughter, Amanda and Ethan can no longer deny their chemistry. With her dad’s deadly diagnosis, an ex-boyfriend who still cares about her, and Ethan’s impending move, Amanda can’t handle much more. Will her heart shatter to pieces, or can Amanda find a way to have her happily-ever-after?
Happy Holidays from Crystal Joy!
If you’d like to connect with me, please send me an email.
If you’d like a copy of any of my books, I’m currently doing a 12 Days of Book-Mas on Facebook. 12 days, 12 amazing deals!
Author Facebook Page:
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Lord, please bless each and every word Crystal writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake