Spring has sprung—officially, anyway. Depending on where you live, you may be experiencing the first blooms of spring, sprigs of grass nudging their way through the cold earth, the first blossom on a rose bush, or green leaves opening on tree branches. Spring is a time of rebirth that brings with it a sense of renewed hope each year. Bess Weaver, the central character of my latest Amish romance novel, Upon a Spring Breeze, struggles to find that hope. Hers has been decimated by a tragedy from which she believes there is no return. She’s a young mother with a newborn baby, surrounded by reminders of all she’s lost. How can she believe God has a plan for her? How can she believe He is a good and gracious God? Three friends—widows who have experience with Bess’s situation—come alongside her to guide her through this season of change in her life.
As I wrote this novel, I too traveled on my own journey seeking renewed hope and assurance of God’s plan for me. I split my time between writing and the infusion room in a cancer care center where I received chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. The diagnosis came not long after learning I have a degenerative motor neuron disease that affects my ability to walk. I mourned the loss of my health and mobility as I wrote. I poured my grief and uncertainty into Bess’s story as I sought Scripture that would answer her questions and mine.
The answers aren’t easy. Life isn’t easy. But Bess learns—as I did—that God doesn’t promise an easy life. “I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (16:33)
That promise allows us to look beyond our pain to the beauty that spreads out before us to all corners of the earth. With her friends’ encouragement, Bess plants her spring flower garden. She takes a job cleaning rooms at a B&B. She makes a new friend who loves plants as much as she does and confesses to falling in love with her. She reconnects with an old friend, whose surprising secret opens her eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. She finds joy in motherhood.
Like Bess, we don’t always understand why we don’t get the answers to prayers that we so deeply desire. Scripture tells us this: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) When we learn to do that, the peace that passes understanding gives us the healing we need.
Upon a Spring Breeze explores themes of loss and renewal that all readers will recognize as they travel through their seasons of change. I hope you’ll join me for a Facebook Chat Party celebrating the release of Upon a Spring Breeze at 8 p.m. EST (7 CST) on Wednesday, April 12, at https://www.facebook.com/Kelly.Irvin.Author/. Giveaways are sure to be included!
Kelly Irvin is the author of several Amish series including the Bliss Creek Amish series, the New Hope Amish series, and the Amish of Bee County series. She has also penned two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Wilderness and No Child of Mine. The Kansas native is a graduate of the University of Kansas School of Journalism. She has been writing nonfiction professionally for more than thirty years, including ten years as a newspaper reporter, mostly in Texas-Mexico border towns. A retired public relations professional, Kelly has been married to photographer Tim Irvin for twenty-nine years. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two cats. In her spare time, she likes to write short stories and read books by her favorite authors.