With her marriage strained and very little hope left, Elizabeth Collins decides to take a trip to the Inn at the Lake with her husband Nathan. It’s here she hopes to change their marriage for the better, but they both have secrets. Will their secrets destroy their marriage? Or can God make the impossible possible? From the best-selling Inspirational Christian Romance Author T.K. Chapin comes a story of love, faith and passion that will keep your fingers turning the page to see what happens next. One Friday Afternoon is book two in the Diamond Lake Series by T.K. Chapin.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 and above
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I got the idea for this series after visiting my aunt's Inn in Washington. Once the first book was so successful I felt like God was calling me to continue the series and reach people with them. I hope every story has something that can resonate with the reader, and I pray that God opens their heart to the message.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Every character in my book is based off of someone I have met or personally know in my life. In this book Elizabeth is a mixture of my sisters, little parts of each of their personalities brought together as a whole. It was a really neat book to write.
Decisions. They shape us into who we are and impact our lives in ways we often never realize. When I married Nathan, I was marrying my best friend and it was perfect. Our wedding was large and extravagant with all the trappings I had dreamed of as a little girl. Both friends and family came to usher us into the new chapter of our lives. Not long after the wedding, we decided to start a family. Everything was falling into place, just like I had always dreamed that it would. Sure, we had disagreements and arguments, but they never lasted for long, and we always found ourselves apologizing by the end of them.
We were madly in love.
Three children later and almost twenty years of marriage, another decision came.
This time, it wasn’t good.
My mistake came in a time of great weakness on my part. I had been struggling with losing my mother to cancer, and Nathan had been traveling on business for several weeks. One day at the local bookstore where I worked, one of my co-workers found me crying in the stockroom. I confided in him. From there, the emotional affair bloomed.
There’s no excuse for what I did, and I know it was my fault. For a long time, though, I didn’t think that way. I didn’t let myself take responsibility for what I had done.
Our selfishness in the flesh has a way of masking our eyes from the truth and blinding us of God’s plan for our lives. I had myself convinced I committed my sin due to a lack of need in my marriage to Nathan. That wasn’t true though. The real thing lacking in my marriage was God.
We, as humans, are capable of making horrible decisions and affecting not only our own lives, but the lives of others. Often, it happens without our knowing it until it’s too late and the damage has already been done. If I could tell you one little Bible passage that flipped a switch in my soul and made everything better in my life, I would, but I can’t. It was multiple verses and ultimately, my relinquishing control to God.
I’ll tell you a story of how God took my broken marriage and made it beautiful. I’ll show you how a single decision can change one’s life forever.
Speeding down the freeway, I could barely breathe between pauses in the argument from the passenger seat. It was infuriating that Nathan, my husband of eighteen years, still to this day could somehow forget to turn a coffee pot off. Though if I were being honest with myself, I didn’t care about the coffee pot. No, it was how he made me feel—like he didn’t care about me. If he couldn’t turn off a coffee pot after I asked him this morning, how was this special getaway going to fix anything in our marriage?
“I already told you I’m sorry, Elizabeth! I don’t know what more I can do here,” Nathan said as he slammed the steering wheel with an open palm. Our special getaway was quickly derailing and becoming a full-on disaster in the making. My attempts to get through that thick skull were falling short. He always does this. He ruins everything. My negative thoughts crowded their way to the forefront of my mind and took the steering wheel. How could any man care so little for everything in his life? I wondered. It was incomprehensible and drove my hopelessness to new depths.
“Just think about something other than yourself,” I said. “Literally, just have a thought outside of you! How about that?”
“It’s a coffeemaker! C’mon!” he snapped, slamming the steering wheel again. “Why do you have to always freak out about nothing?”
“Fine.” The conversation between us stopped, but it continued in my own thoughts. My dislike of Nathan was growing more each day, and hope was dwindling.
Turning my attention out the window, I saw pine trees blurred along the side of the road as I felt my chest tighten under the pressure of my heart breaking. This trip is such a waste of time. We were already one foot into the deep end of misery, and our two teenagers were stuck at my in-laws’ over two hours away. All the trouble of driving Jenny and Dakota to Moses Lake so we can spend our time away fighting in a fancy place? The thought of being stuck in a room with that man for a week pained me.
Silence mingled with the tension between us the rest of the way to the bed and breakfast. As we pulled into the driveway of the inn, a woman opened the front doors and walked outside. She beamed with a smile that did nothing but annoy me. Instantly feeling bad by my annoyance, I pushed it aside and told myself, have a good time. Just try. We don’t know that Nathan will be a jerk the whole time, and we don’t know what that doctor will end up saying. A woman waved as Nathan slowed to a stop.
“Must be Serenah,” Nathan said as he put the car into park.
I nodded. Without Nathan’s knowledge, I made myself a promise that if this getaway didn’t produce something of a change in our marriage, I’d be filing divorce papers once we got back to Spokane. It was a tall order to put on a simple stay at a bed and breakfast, but I needed something—anything—to change. I would not put up with him anymore.
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