How do Jen and Michael meet? On line romance.

Excerpt from Finding Her Voice:

After she and Ollie36451078204185961_HMZmvGgi_b returned, she dried the dog off and settled into warm flannel jammies with some peppermint tea. Ollie burrowed into the covers on her bed, but she wasn’t tired enough to sleep yet. Jen turned back to her computer screen.

She clicked on the icon where she’d saved the grief group to her browser toolbar.

Couldn’t hurt to look in on the conversations. She didn’t have to write anything.

This time the front page held a picture of a young teenager — eleven years old, the caption said. A boy whose birthday was the same day as Trudy’s. His father had posted the story of his son sometime late the night before. The eyes of young Landon pulled at her. There was so much life in those eyes. So much wonder and fun. It was so brutal to see a life cut short.

She took a deep breath. Beth had been right — they knew better than most how precious life was.

Jen clicked the Comment box at the end of the post about Landon.

Your son shares my daughter’s birthday. I can see he was a very precious boy. You are in my thoughts and prayers tonight. Jen

She was startled when, with a ding, a reply popped up.

Thanks. I saw your pictures of Trudy and thought the same thing. I’m not sure about prayer. I gave it up a while back. But I am sending good thoughts your way. Michael.

Sometimes she wasn’t sure about prayer, either. Before she realized it she had replied with those very words. She elaborated.

I don’t understand how a God who cares can take away the one we love the most. And if God doesn’t care, just lets it happen, then He isn’t the God I thought I knew, either. Jen

Had she really written those words right out there where another person could read them? She gasped, a little shocked at her own daring. She had hardly admitted to herself, much less to someone else, that she was mad at God. She slammed the lid of her laptop down before she wrote something else she’d regret.

*****

He hadn’t meant to scare her away, but it looked like he had. “Jen” was off-line.FindingHerVoiceCoverArt

Maybe she wasn’t ready to talk about God yet anyway. He wasn’t.

What faith he’d had was lost at the terrible death of his family.

Like Jen said, “How could a caring God allow it?” And if He didn’t care, what was the point?

There were lots of preachy people who came to his site. They came and went, because their too-rosy response wasn’t a good fit.

Those who continued to participate were grittier, realistic about their loss once they admitted to it.

Like Jen. He sensed a kindred spirit in the few words she’d shared.

He sighed and pushed away from the desk. He put a kettle on for a spot of tea and then added another layer of clothes for warmth. The wind whistled around the house. They were in for some weather.

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