Two years after losing her husband, Angela’s apartment suffers a fire and forces her out. Taking up her cousin Serenah’s offer to visit Eastern Washington for the Holidays, she looks forward to a white Christmas while repairs are being completed back home. On the plane ride to Spokane she is confronted head on with a fear that shakes her to the core. Through the comfort of a thoughtful prayer with a stranger, Angela finds peace. Could she ever see the mysterious man again? Or are some things never meant to be? From the best-selling Inspirational Christian Romance Author T.K. Chapin comes a Christian Christmas story of faith, hope and love that will keep your fingers turning the page to see what happens next. One Monday Prayer is book five in the Diamond Lake Series by T.K. Chapin.
Targeted Age Group:: 18 and above
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wrote this book to help people that are going through difficulties in their life. Oftentimes it’s not until we stop trying that God can truly begin to work in our lives. The story centers on a widow that visits her cousin (Serenah) for the Holidays. Through a near death experience she finds comfort in a prayer of a stranger. The truth this story draws on is one near to my heart, that’s God is always working behind the scenes. It also touches on healing after loss. My hope for this story is that it blesses you as much as it did me writing it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
All the characters in my books are based off of people I know or have met in my life. Angela is based off of a girl I used to know in youth group growing up, she has been through a lot in life and deserves some love and happiness.
At gate forty-seven in the Tampa International Airport, I dabbed on a little frankincense oil to help settle my nerves. The cashier at the gift shop insisted that the oil worked great for anxiety. Unfortunately, it wasn’t working very well. The knot of anxiety in the center of my chest tightened and expanded as I waited for my plane.
I loathed flying almost as much as I hated the holidays the last three years without Ted. We were married for only two years, but each holiday was a reminder of the life I would never have with Ted and the dreams of a future we once made together.
“Zone one is now ready to board,” a woman’s scratchy voice said over the intercom. The knot in my chest grew in width and depth at the announcement of my zone.
Watchful eyes focused on me with looks of envy as I stood up and made my way over to the line. First class had that effect on people. While the rest were stuck with all the crying babies and seats that were packed too tightly, first class was comfortable. This wasn’t my choice, but by my cousin Serenah’s.
She wanted me comfortable.
It took her over a year of phone calls to get me to visit her in Newport, Washington, and I think she felt bad about what helped me finally agree to come—my apartment caught fire. With a timeline of two plus weeks until the landlord could get me into a new place, I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t visit.
The line shifted a few paces.
Attempting to focus on my breathing, I was minding my own business when a man in front of me turned around. He looked at me for a second and then shifted his gaze to somewhere behind me. Then he took the liberty of looking at me again. Our eyes met for a moment, but I shifted my eyes to a row of seats nearby.
“You going to Detroit?” the man asked.
Shaking my head, I looked at him. “No. Just passing through. I connect out.” Conversations, or more specifically, small talk, weren’t something I was interested in. Especially with men. They had a way of taking a simple conversation and thinking I was interested. Turning my head, I looked over at the row of seats again.
I saw a child.
Not over three or four years old, the little boy was smiling as he pushed a train back and forth on the floor and made train sounds as he went. Peering up at his mother and father, I flashed them a smile. My heart longed for a family ever since I was young enough to chase my siblings around the house. Ted and I were going to have kids at the five-year mark of our marriage.
Arriving at the ticket booth, the lady took my five hundred and thirty-two-dollar piece of paper. She tore off a portion, handing only a remnant back to me.
As I walked down the narrow jetway toward the plane, I prayed for safe travels for not only myself, but everyone up in the air that day.
Stepping over the small gap of space between the plane and the jetway, I noticed the runway not far below. I lifted my eyes, and they fell on two flight attendants and a pilot. They all welcomed me with smiles and handshakes that helped my anxiety a smidge. There was something about meeting the pilot that settled my nerves.
After finding my seat, I peered out the window and stared at the other planes I could see off in the distance. Some were landing, and others were getting ready to take off. So many planes and so many people, all coming and going for the holidays.
Eventually, the plane filled up and I thought myself lucky since the seat beside me was empty. Then, just as the door was being shut by one of the flight attendants, a blond guy in a gray suit grabbed the door from shutting.
They let him on.
Holding my breath, I watched nervously as he chatted the flight attendants up and apologized for his lateness. He came down the aisle and our eyes connected. He glanced up at the number and then his ticket.
He sat down.
Letting the air out of my lungs, my shoulders slumped and I turned my eyes back to the window.
“Sorry to disappoint.”
Turning my head, I nodded to acknowledge his comment but kept looking outside.
“I like it when there’s an empty seat beside me. Makes me less nervous about flying.”
Turning to him as the engines fired up, I felt like talking could distract me. “You don’t like flying?” I asked.
Buckling his seat belt, he shook his head. “Hate it. I like to be on the ground. Even though planes are the safest way to travel, they freak me out.”
“Me too,” I replied. Watching, I saw him retrieve a pair of ear buds from his backpack and plug them into his phone. “What are you listening to?”
“It’s a pretty broad mix. I really like jazz.”
Nodding, I said, “Jazz is nice. I like a little bit of everything, but I love the violin.”
My eyes shifted back to the window as the plane began rolling. My heart raced as I prayed fervently for God to keep us all safe on the flight. Cast all your fears and anxieties on the Lord, Angie, I thought to myself.
The plane jolted forward.
Pushing my palm against the seat in front of me, I took notice of my breathing and started taking deep breaths. C’mon, Angie. We haven’t even taken off yet. Keep it together. Worst case scenario? You get to see Jesus today. That’s a pretty good worst case scenario. My breathing came back under my control as the flight attendants got into position to go over safety while flying.
As the woman over the intercom system talked about the seat being a life preserver, the man beside me snickered.
“What’s so funny?” I inquired.
He leaned over and said, “How is that going to save us in any circumstance?”
Laughing a little, I caught the attention of the flight attendant. She flashed a forced and plastic smile over at me for a second and then continued with the presentation.
Successfully avoiding any additional small talk from the attractive gentleman sitting beside me on the plane, I made it to Detroit and connected to Seattle. I didn’t notice, but he had also been on the flight from Detroit to Seattle. After getting off the plane in Seattle, I found my way over to The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, a little coffee shop inside the airport, as I waited for the flight to Spokane.
As I read an email from my landlord that came through on my phone during the last flight, I was interrupted.
“You drink coffee too?” the man from the plane asked as he walked through the trellis and into the sitting area of the coffee shop.
Peering up at him, I nodded and couldn’t help but smile at the enthusiasm he held for such a rudimentary fact.
“Sure do,” I replied.
Turning my eyes back to the phone to help communicate the fact that I didn’t want him to come over to the table, I glanced up a moment later to see where he was now. Watching, I saw him order a coffee, but when he handed his money over to the cashier, he glanced behind him for a moment. What is that about? He turned his body toward me, and I jerked my eyes back to my phone to hide my interest. Slowly, I looked again. Now he was waiting at the end of the counter for his coffee. As he waited, he tapped his fingers on the countertop and kept a smile on his face. The person standing in line behind him previously walked over to him and shook his hand with a smile on her face. Ahh, he’s one of those kind of guys.
Boarding the plane an hour later, I laughed as I found us in the exact seats we were in during our flight from Tampa to Detroit.
I smiled as I scooted past him, and he looked up at me. “I wasn’t late this time.”
Getting comfortable in my seat, I set my purse down at my feet and caught his eyes still on me. In an attempt to shoo his interest away from me, I brought up what I had seen earlier. “Did you have a good coffee date with that gal?”
He leaned in toward me. “What are you talking about?”
“The girl you bought coffee for earlier.”
“Ooooh. That.” He laughed and sat back in his seat. Glancing over at me, he leaned in. “I bought the whole line of people coffee. Not just that girl.”
Taken aback, I shook my head. “Why would you do something like that?”
“Um. It’s a nice thing to do? Plus, it’s the season for giving.” He pulled out a small candy cane from his front suit pocket and handed it to me. “I know it’s a little early, but Merry Christmas.”
“Yes. Five weeks away, but how sweet.”
He laughed. “Literally.”
A few minutes later, he put in a pair of ear buds and leaned his head back against the seat, closing his eyes.
Turning my head, I focused on the runway and prayed for another safe flight.
Not a half hour later, the flight was interrupted by a rough patch of turbulence.
The plane shook, and luggage tumbled from the overhead compartments and into the aisle.
Clutching onto both armrests, I felt my insides rumble. The pilot came over the intercom. “We’re flying into some bad weather. Please make sure your seatbelt is on and you are securely in your seats.”
Shaking of the plane worsened.
Then the plane dropped.
Clutching the armrests tightly as my knuckles went white, I prayed. I felt my heart pound against my ribcage and my faith falter. Come on, get it under control. We’re almost done with the flight.
When the oxygen masks suddenly fell from the ceiling, I lost it. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I reached up and attempted to untangle the mask from the knot of tubes.
The knotted tubes weren’t coming undone.
The man beside me reached up and untangled them. Reaching over, he placed it around my face and our eyes met. I saw the fear in his eyes that I felt in my heart as the lights flashed in the plane. As the plane turned to one side and screams from others grew louder, I just kept looking into his eyes. Suddenly, I felt a touch as one of the man’s hands found mine. We clutched our hands together and leaned into one another.
He began praying. His voice rattled and was muffled by all that was going on around us, yet somehow, I could hear him. “Father, we come to you not knowing the outcome. Please help us in our time of need. Please, Lord, save us.” In the midst of the most fearful moment of my life, I found myself in prayer with a stranger.
Our hands locked and we kept staring into each other’s eyes in what was probably one of the most intense moments of my life. Life and death danced in the moment. Anything could happen.
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