Eden Christiansen never imagined her role as her younger brother Owen’s cheerleader would keep her on the sidelines of her own life. Sure, it feels good to be needed, but looking after the reckless NHL rookie leaves little time for Eden to focus on her own career. She dreamed of making a name for herself as a reporter, but is stuck writing obits—and starting to fear she doesn’t have the chops to land a major story. If only someone would step up to mentor Owen . . . but she knows better than to expect help from team veteran and bad-boy enforcer Jace Jacobsen.
Jace has built his career on the infamous reputation of his aggressive behavior—on and off the ice. Now at a crossroads about his future in hockey, that reputation has him trapped. And the guilt-trip he’s getting from Eden Christiansen isn’t making things any easier. But when Owen’s carelessness leads to a career-threatening injury and Eden stumbles upon a story that could be her big break, she and Jace are thrown together . . . and begin to wonder if they belong on the same team after all.
What Readers are saying:
“Susan May Warren delivers another beautiful, hope-filled story of faith that makes the reader fall further in love with this captivating and intriguing family.”
“This book is an amazing book. The characters really draw you in & the individual stories of each character touch your heart. I also like this edition because it includes a novella entitled. “I Really Do Miss Your Smile”. This novella tells the story of how the Christiansen family came to be. It was really good as well.”
“I do recommend this book for readers who enjoy intense, real life scenarios, just the right amount of romance mixed with faith, and a happy ending!”
“I am blown away by how amazing this book was! I took a chance on Susan by reading the first in this series, Take a Chance on Me, and she did even more of an astounding job with the second in this series, It Had to be You!… I give It Had to be You a 5 out of 5 stars (it definitely is going to be in my top ten novels of 2014)!”
Behind the Pages:
I am in a season of letting go. First, my oldest son trotted off to college, then my beautiful daughter had the nerve to leave me. And just this year, my third child packed up his car and drove away.
I can admit the recent leaving may have been the most difficult. Oh, I cried buckets of tears over the first two, but with the advent of the college-going of my middle son, there also went the memories of sitting in the football stands, watching him score touchdowns. I’ve logged thousands of hours in the car and in the bleachers, back and forth to football and basketball games, and track meets. More than that, I gave my heart to my athlete, helping him through injury, defeats and even victories. I’ve earned the title of jock mom. Thankfully, I still have one football player at home root for.
Letting go has caused me to wonder, however, how much of my identity have I put into my children’s success? Their losses?
I am the first to admit that my darlings have made mistakes. Thankfully not life-altering, but enough that I’ve had to choose whether to get involved or stand back and let life deal with them. Consequences are always a powerful enforcer…but how far should you let your children fail? In sports, you learn you can’t score the touchdowns for your kids or make the baskets. But I admit I’ve been known to run down the bleachers, trying to keep up with my track star as he crosses the finish line, just to urge him on.
It pains me to see my children make mistakes. But without mistakes, they won’t learn. And some of my best lessons have come from the mistakes I made.
As I settled in to write this story, it also came during a season when I struggled with the balance of stepping in and letting go to let them fail. And I realized that their failing was neither my fault, nor was it my responsibility to fix. If I truly wanted to support my kids, I needed to guide them toward their Heavenly Father, for Him to meet their needs.
Frankly, in letting go, I’m learning that, God can meet my needs, too.
As I took a look at failure and letting go, I also began to wonder at the other side of it. A life redeemed. Can God take failure and turn it to victory? The Bible shows us over and over that He can, He does. And when He does, we find ourselves uniquely designed for the next season in our lives. If we start seeing failure not as an end, but as a part of the journey, then suddenly our lives become not about regret, but gratitude.
In fact, the story idea was birthed by this concept…what if God could take your regrets and redeem them? John Doe’s track meet story actually happened. I was at the track meet, standing on the sidelines watching this poor man crumble as he realized his failures. The memory haunted me and I wondered…what if? What if it destroyed him? How could he come back?
Grace. We come back by reaching out to Jesus. But letting Him redeem our failures.
I am letting go. But I’m also holding on….to my Heavenly Father, who is at the helm of my children’s – and my – life. And thankfully, He will never let go.
Thank you for reading It Had to Be You! I hope you are enjoying the Christiansen family as much as I am. Stay tuned for Grace Christiansen’s story in “When I fall in love.” Here’s a hint – you’ll see our friend Max Sharpe again!
In His Grace,
Susie May Warren