Today I’m delighted to introduce you to an author. While I’ve never met Cheryl McKay, I feel like I got to know her well through her delightful novel Never the Bride, co-authored with Rene Gutteridge. This is a novel that I believe every single woman should read. I invited Cheryl here because I thought you’d be blessed by her story…and it would give you a chance to learn about her new book. Be sure to read to the end to learn how you might receive a copy of the book, Finally the Bride.
Cheryl, it’s a delight to have you join me. I LOVED your novel Never the Bride. How has this new book grown out of that story?
Thank you. I’m so glad you loved Neverthe Bride.
In Finally the Bride: Finding Hope While Waiting, I wanted to share, in non-fiction form, my personal angst as a single person. It gave me lots of great comedy material for the story of Never the Bride (co-written with Rene Gutteridge). But I also wanted to be more forthcoming with a similar message the novel has about how God cares about our love lives. While we were working on that novelization, I felt strongly I was to write a non-fiction companion book, especially penning it while I was still single. I needed to write it from a place of pain, not “after the fact” when I had moved on, gotten married, and my wait was no longer present (a wait that admittedly was driving me a bit crazy at times). So, I wrote it concurrently, except the final few chapters. I had to wait to finish the book, to see how God was going to pay off my true-life story. Little did I know how much it would match what God does in Never the Bride!
What encouragement would you offer young women who are ready to settle?
Please don’t! I was tempted to, as well. I had many “nominations” for God about people I thought were best for me. And now that I know what (and who) God was writing for me, I’m so grateful He denied my requests for every single guy I asked for before my husband. The comparison is eye opening! I had no idea what I wanted and why it was not best for me. I feel like we have a lot more peace in our marriage than some others I’ve observed because we did wait for God to guide us in making this decision. God certainly won’t override anyone’s freewill. But my husband and I both independently prayed the same prayers of surrendering this area of our lives to God to let Him take over. And He did! If we had caved in to prior relationships, we both would have been settling for less than God’s best. How did Jesus write your love story? Well, first He let me know during a prayer time that He wanted to, that He knew best what I needed, no matter how long it would take.
That was in 1994. (Not exactly a whirlwind romance, right?) I certainly did a little dating throughout the years. I even thought I was going to get married in 2003. But Jesus showed up again with another message for me: in advance, He warned me that relationship was about to end. I had no idea that was coming and would have been so blindsided had I not be warned in advance. But the same day He warned of its end, He also reminded me of that 1994 promise to take care of this area of life for me, if I would just wait on Him. I never dated again after that point, until I went on the first date with my husband. It was the hardest 7 years of waiting you could imagine!
I had plenty of “suspects,” lots of love interests, but none of them were God’s choice. In fact, I was so hung up on someone else (a “best friend”) when my husband stepped into the picture that I said no to him for six months, hoping that God was writing someone else into my story. I won’t give away all the details here. But in the book, I share in real time, what that whole journey was like as I was going through it, how I got fooled into thinking God was up to something completely different, and how God finally got me to jump on board with HIS story. (Because I had a different plan in mind.) The pay off to what He was writing was so far beyond what I could have imagined for my life! And I’m so glad God didn’t give in to my desires, as I see so much clearer now why what God wanted was far superior to any of my ideas. Any regrets about the time it took to find your love? It was by far worth the wait. I know with 100% surety I am with the right person, and that God led us together. Not a day goes by that we don’t tell each other truly blessed we feel to be together. We are both thankful we waited for each other. However, just because I am no longer waiting, doesn’t mean I forget or have lost touch with what it’s like to wait. (We are about to hit our one-year anniversary.) Sometimes, I still feel that twinge of wishing we had found each other sooner so we wouldn’t have to make certain decisions about our lives based on our age. But I’m also sure of God’s divine timing and that He knew what He was doing, when He made us wait so long. How can all of us (regardless of our marital status) come to see Jesus as our bridegroom? He wants to be loved for who He is. He wants to be known, seen, treasured, adored, pursued, praised, and listened to. He wants us to prioritize Him, and spend time with Him. Sounds a lot like us, doesn’t it? He doesn’t only want this from single people. He wants to be first in our lives, whether we have a spouse or not.
What does it mean to you that Jesus is your groom?
I have this chapter in Finally the Bride about Marriage Boot Camp, God style, where I go into all the ways falling in love with God is like enlisting in Marriage Boot Camp; all the ways we end up loving God are very similar to the ways we can and should eventually love a husband. If someone is still single, it’s great preparation, if we let it be, especially God’s desire to be loved unconditionally no matter what. (Even when He takes forever to bring love into our lives.) If someone is already married, God still wants to be loved the same way. I also have a chapter on all the ways God is like a true husband to us, even surpassing what an earthly husband can possibly do or be for us.
What do you hope your readers will take from this book? If anyone has been waiting a long time, I desire for readers to find hope in my story. They’ll hear from someone who gets it, who’s been there (and was there for 39 years of my life.) And if anyone’s ever been waiting a long time for God to bring a promise to pass, I think my story can encourage them. God does, indeed, fulfill every promise He makes, even if it takes a while. I hope it’s a journey of faith that inspires people.
If you could give this book to one group, who would it be and why? Single women who’ve lost hope or who are tempted to settle. I was that person who was so short on hope, especially when Never the Bride was released and I was constantly being interviewed about why I wanted to offer this hope to others when God clearly hadn’t written my love story for me. I walked in those shoes for a long time. So, I hope what I have to share will resonate with anyone in that position, no matter how long they’ve been waiting.
Where can readers find you on the internet?
And my twitter is:@purplepenworks
On Facebook I have a page under Purple PenWorks that people can like. And Rene Gutteridge & I also have a joint author page.
Where can readers find your book?
Amazon.com for kindle or paperback versions.
I am delighted that Cheryl is giving away a copy of her new book Finally the Bride. To be entered, leave a comment. For additional chances, facebook or twitter this post inviting others to come learn more. Finally, like the book on Amazon. Leave a comment for each entry.
Thanks so much for joining us, Cheryl. Your heart for those who are still waiting comes through in a big way!