Love's Promise (The First Street Church Romances) (Volume 2) Paperback – March 2, 2017
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"This is a great book. It is filled with romance, hope, love and great characters. I feel that the people in this book are my friends." ★★★★★ from Kate Schoenherr
"Melissa is an amazing author. She makes her characters come alive and the reader has a front row seat." ★★★★★ from Pam Foster
"Melissa has done it again. She makes you feel as if their characters are your friends too." ★★★★★ from Nati
"This book is so very inspiring, it's about how two people learn to trust God and themselves. Melissa, thank you for writing such a powerful story." ★★★★★ from Joyce Day
"If you are having doubts about your worth in this world, you need to read this book." ★★★★★ from Rosemary Pfeiffer
"This is a very sweet romance but it is also so much more! Main characters are dealing with major issues of body image, family expectations, diabetes, responsibilities of friendship. You know from reading this that the author has experienced some of these herself, especially gastric bypass, as they are very realistic!" ★★★★★ from Kec200
"If you love Christian fiction, you won't want to miss this series." ★★★★★ from Anne Blyth
"When you can see pieces of yourself within a story, you know that you've found something special... We all need a little help, that voice of encouragement to inspire us to push through and never give up. Love's Promise is that voice." ★★★★★ from Isha Coleman
"Melissa Storm delivers with Love's Promise! I really enjoyed the unique storyline featuring such a real topic." ★★★★★ from Maryam L.
From the Author
I have a secret. Sure, I've let it out in bits and spurts, but fully admitting it has been hard to do. I try my best to appear confident, but I am so crippled by poor self-esteem that I sometimes find it hard to function. I'm more than one hundred pounds overweight--quite literally stuck inside a dungeon of my own making.
It wasn't always like this. Thus, it's taken me a long time to truly recognize how bad this problem has gotten. But now I'm finally looking at what I've allowed myself to become and am admitting that I can't beat this thing on my own. I've decided to go through with weight-loss surgery, and this decision, along with the physical and emotional healing process, is something I plan to write about frequently. I think sharing my fears, my shame, and my eventual triumphs will not only help me recover--help me escape--but it could help others like me, too.
So let me begin my confession . . .
I have always been just a little bit overweight, enough to give me nice curves and to fill out my five-feet-ten frame. And I always hated myself for that. I wondered why I couldn't be skinny like other girls, why men didn't find me desirable (when in fact many did), and what was wrong with me. During my first year of college, I developed a form of anorexia where I would exercise at a high intensity for four to six hours per day even when my doctor told me to cut it out, and I became underweight. I didn't care. I had lost the extra twenty pounds I had always carried around with me and another thirty pounds on top of that (and all within two short months). I could fit into a size 6, and I had guys throwing themselves at me. It was awesome.
But I couldn't keep it up. A health issue arose that led me to regain that fifty and then another thirty on top of that, bringing me to my highest weight ever. This began my yo-yo dieting/exercise period. I would gain and lose that same fifty pounds over and over again, so quickly it was hard to believe.
The most recent time I lost that fifty saw my health ascend to a new and glorious peak. I was mindful of my exercise addiction (sort of) and took up hiking and jogging as a way to skirt the rules I had set in place for myself. I could run for an hour without stopping. I could hike thirty miles at a go. It, too, was awesome, even more awesome than being skinny and spending my entire day doing cardio had been.
That was in 2011, the last time I felt good about myself.
Four things happened to seal my fate as an obese person.
1) I started a business, and it took off! I worked one hundred hours per week for about two years running. I didn't have the time to worry about my health.
2) My first marriage collapsed. With that came a lot of terrible things that I would prefer to keep private, but these things destroyed any remaining scraps of self-esteem to which I'd managed to cling and brought out the emotional eating monster that haunts me to this day.
3) After a whirlwind romance and remarriage (still very happy, thank you!), I got pregnant . . . and sick. I put on about sixty pounds during my pregnancy and racked up three complications. One of these was preeclampsia, which caused my limbs and face to swell with water and hasn't gone away to this day, even though my daughter has almost reached her first birthday.
4) I herniated two discs in my lower lumbar, an injury that is constantly reaggravated, causes intense pain, and limits my mobility to an incredible degree.
So now here I sit, writing this extremely personal and--let's face it--incredibly embarrassing journal entry, more than one hundred pounds overweight. And even though I just spelled it out for all to see, I can't help but wonder again and again: How did I let this happen to me?
You might think that I should have seen this coming, and maybe a part of me did. But another part of me feels like I one day magically woke up with a hundred pounds of fat of fat trapping the real me beneath it.
At first, I tried to laugh it off, tried to empower it off. I've done this before. I can do it again. And I tried and tried and tried. Each time, I'd lose ten to twenty pounds and then get hopelessly stuck. The lingering edema from my pregnancy wouldn't let my weight fall past a certain laughably high set point, and my back injury kept me off the exercise circuits. Believe me, I tried to challenge it and now have to take painkillers twice per day every day for that folly.
My warped, funhouse-mirror-esque image stared back at me every time I dared to look at myself, its taunting only amplified by the echoing tick of my biological clock. I wanted--I want--another child so badly, but getting pregnant again could very well kill me just as it nearly did the first time. I can't leave my husband without a wife, my daughter without a mother, yet I can't accept not being able to give her a sibling.
This is when I started to warm up to the idea of weight-loss surgery. And I felt like a total failure for even considering it. I should be able to do this on my own. But I couldn't. I'd tried and failed. I had doctors telling me that the edema and back injury were standing in my way, yet neither condition was improving.
So, racked with doubt, I asked my ob-gyn about weight-loss surgery. He knows my case history and special challenges better than anyone, and he said it would be a great thing for me. I took his referral, set the appointment, and started wondering how I would admit to everyone in my life that I had failed, that my fat was a disease.
I'm so glad I went. My new doctor was incredibly supportive and really understood what I was going through. He'd seen it so many times before. He explained that the two medical conditions holding me back were very real concerns; they transformed my obesity from a condition into a disease. I really needed to take this extra step.
And I'm starting to believe him.
There, I've admitted my deepest insecurities: my weight and the feeling as if I've somehow failed. And admitting it is the first step to getting better, right?
I am always happy to help others who stand where I stand, have stood where I've stood. If you have questions or just need someone to listen, don't hesitate to reach out.
- Publisher : Partrige & Pear Press (March 2, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1942771371
- ISBN-13 : 978-1942771371
- Item Weight : 14.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.69 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,707,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In this story we meet Kristina Rose Maher, an overweight young lady that is going to have a gastric bypass to lose the weight she has lived with all her life. Kristina Rose lives in the small town she grew up in, Sweet Grove. She works at Mabel’s Diner as a waitress.
Also working at Mabel’s is Jeffrey Berkley. Jeffrey is the cook and is Kristina Rose best friend.
We also get to meet Mabel who is ‘mother hen’ to both Kristina Rose and Jeffrey.
The story follows you through life for Kristina Rose and Jeffrey for the time before the surgery and after. Through realizations about themselves and each other.
Through this journey you see how powerful love of friendship, family (biological and not) and God is. You also see that what and how we see ourselves isn’t always how others see us.
I saw a lot of myself in this story for several reasons, but I loved the journey each took to get to the point of finding more than each other, but themselves. Self-confidence isn’t something that happens, you have to choose to have it.
I know once you start reading that you will find yourself lost in the story and see a little of yourself in one of the characters.
Definitely a book I would recommend reading.
This is the story of Kristina Rose and Jeffery. Both of them have image problems, and both are attracted to each other. However, each of them let their inferiority feelings prevent them from being open and honest about their developing feelings for one another.
This author very skillfully handles topics that are seldom written about. As this story progresses, it becomes a joy to watch these two appealing young adults find their way to an open and honest relationship with one another.
I highly recommend this book, and this author.
Melissa Storm has taken a piece of her personal life and written a timely and poignant novel from it.
With a society that is tending to be overweight and the addiction of emotional eating quite common, yet one few recognize as having, the author takes this starting point and writes about one of her characters journey through bypass surgery, the changes she has to make in her life from that surgery -- emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and physically.
The characters from her initial book in this series, "Love's Prayer," return. They are just as strong and realistically written as before. They are carried over accurately. While this storyline was different, pieces of the first novel were sprinkled in to allow the reader to "catch up" on any news. Given that, this novel is also a standalone, it is just more enjoyable having read the first one previously.
This is a well written novel that is informative, engaging and well recommended.
This author writes really good, clean romances. The only think I didn't particularly like was the fact that Kristina Rose focused so much on her weight. It's unfortunate that this is true for so many women. She is such a kind, loving, beautiful person, inside and out, that it is sad she feels she has to change her body so drastically. I know this story portrays a very real situation, and it does have a good outcome, but I just wish it didn't have to be such an issue.
Melissa is good at tackling the difficult issues that people (especially women) struggle with. She always brings a positive, hopeful message, though, along with the struggle.
Top reviews from other countries
She gives us characters we can believe in, empathise with, want to be frineds with and puts them in situations where we can see ourselves.
In this story we meet Kristina Rose anf Jeffrey. Both are making difficult decisions, both feel that they will be letting family and friends down, no matter what. Krisina is haivng life altering surgery, is terrified that she will lose herslef once this happens. Jeffrey wants to stay being a chief but his father wants him to train to be a pharmacist and take over the family business.
Then there's the added complication in that they are best friends who have feelings for each other.
This is their story.
I really like that the characters have a faith and that they and their friends are not afraid to admit that and show it.
I really look forward to the next one.