Christian. Fiction. Romance
A Psalms 37 Novel
Pastor-Elect, Carson Eugene Montgomery IV has just issued a blistering decree upon his wife’s life. In order for him to ascend to the throne and take over his family’s church,
believes his wife, Scarlett no longer fits the role to stand by his side. In a tyrannical rant, he pressures Scarlett
into leaving her beloved Christian church, Wondrous
Works Tabernacle Fellowship where she has served with Carson faithfully in
ministry for five years so he can marry his latest conquest, Rebekkah
Trust the Lord and Do Good
Scarlett’s parents, bible quoting Minta and funny man, George Watson are preparing to live out their retirement dreams when she shows up for a visit at their new home in Jordan, Mississippi to regroup.
Determined to chart a new path in life, Scarlett begins to experience what it means to trust in the Lord with all of her heart and lean not to her own understanding. She learns early on that purpose has to be born and sometimes the greatest triumphs are birthed out of severe adversity.
Faith Without Works Is Dead
In an attempt to process her new way of life, Scarlett discovers she has a knack for merging faith and fitness together.
In teaming up with cardiologist, Dr. James Hartgrove to improve the health conditions of the citizens of Jordan, Scarlett finds herself wondering if Dr. Hartgrove’s ability to heal people’s hearts goes beyond his successful medical practice.
Will Justice Be Served?
When the pews of Wondrous Works calls Scarlett back home, will it go down like a showdown at high noon?
“You were supposed to love me. Cherish me. Protect me. You promised….”
“I do....I did, or at least, I thought I did.”
“What on earth does that mean – at least, you thought you did.”
“If you didn’t, you never should have married me!”
The shouts, the slams, the crashing from treasured ornaments against the walls filled the Montgomery home for hours.
Carson Montgomery was finding his stride in ducking from trying to miss the projectile objects being thrown at him by his wife, Scarlett.
Unable to understand what was happening to her in that moment, the internal sensations she felt, the mental responses she thought of, a wide range of emotions engulfed her, “How dare you? How could you do this to me, you selfish, ungrateful, son of a -?”
Putting up one hand and interrupting his wife, “Now you hold on a minute Scarlett…”
“Hold on? Hold on, you want me to hold on when you just informed me you’re filing for a divorce? If I didn’t know it before, I certainly know it now, you are one self-centered individual. Everything I’ve done for you and this family, and you’re telling me, it’s over? Oh, and let’s not forget, you’re supposed to be a man of God, right?” The sneering from Scarlett cut deep, “What part of Ephesians 5:25 do you not understand? Somehow, this doesn’t feel very Godly, Pastor Mont-gom-ery? ”
Scarlett looked at
through eyes that seemed to be glowing, the tears and the snot flowed from her
face onto the floor. This was the first
time in hours, Scarlett was showing signs of slowing down and the appearance of
a small break gave way for Carson to take control of the situation. Carson
Carson folded back his starched long sleeves as he paced the floor, searching for the right way to deliver such wrong news.
“You see Scarlett, I did love you, or so I thought. At the time I met you, I was getting pressure from my parents and other mentors that it was time to find a wife. The thing is, I wasn’t really ready. But you know my story, my legacy, and family history; if I was to begin taking over the leadership at the church, I needed to have a wife and start a family. Either I had to choose a wife or they were going to do it for me. So I chose you. I was hoping to get all of my needs met by you - sexually, emotionally, physically, I was looking for you to make me be ready for marriage. I needed you to fix me, make me a better man and you didn’t.”
Scarlett’s heart seemed to freeze, then pound as she sat and listened to the disgraceful display of her husband’s revelations. A slow, disbelieving shake of the head was the only thing moving on her stiffened petite frame.
Carson E. Montgomery IV, the epitome of a child born to that of a preacher man, walked both sides of the fence in life. From the moment of his birth he was groomed for ministry and leadership, he would represent the fourth generation of Montgomery men to lead Wondrous Works Tabernacle Fellowship, a 25,000 member multi-cultural church. Extremely charming, yet conniving, he was known to have a reputation with the female congregants.
His religious heritage subconsciously granted him levels of superiority.
There were reports and sightings of him in VIP areas of places like cigar lounges, sex shows, and strip clubs. Whenever these reports would surface the ministry would reduce them to mere rumors, attacks from people wanting to harm the good name of the family and the ministry. With long-standing traditions, influence as well as affluence within the community, people tended to believe whatever the church said. His pedigree also seemed to protect him.
Carson’s dramatic monologue continued, “It’s been five years and you still haven’t produced me a baby to present to my family and the congregation. If you were unable to help me be better and then also not give me children then what good are you to me?”
The room began to spin and close in on Scarlett, adrenaline spiking through her body caused her skin to tingle and her breath to be short. Not before letting out, “Did it ever occur to you that because you’ve sucked out all of the life from me, I didn’t have any left to bring forth a life?”
“I’m your wife and I’m not going anywhere, we are going to work this out. Oh and don’t get it twisted, all you’ve been putting down ain’t all that great. So you might want to check yourself.”
“Uh Scarlett, I think others would tend to disagree with you on that and just so you know, we will not be working anything out. Listen to me, I’m going to lead this church and I need someone other than you to help me lead it. Hey, it’s real simple, you and I just didn’t work out.”
“Carson, the man you presented yourself to be when we were dating is much different than who you turned out to be after we were married. Yet, I stayed with you. I’ve loved you in spite of your misgivings. For you to say what good am I to you? I’ve been everything to you. I’m a good wife and you know it. You know how I gave up everything to become your wife.”
Scarlett’s pleading was going in one of Carson’s ears and coming out of the other, Scarlett’s voice sounded like white noise to him until he heard, “Plus, please tell me this; if you married me for the church, how is now divorcing me going to help you in your pastoral pursuits?”
An expanded feeling filled his chest, enthused for what was about to come, “I’m glad you asked my dear. I’ve already spoken with our attorneys, Bishop, and the board of trustees and this is what’s going to happen. Even though I’m the one wanting the divorce, you are going to be the one filing. I’ve already found another woman to marry and she and I will be getting married in about six months, time to allow me to heal from you leaving me. You are going to leave here and fade off into the sunset to never look back here ever again. You will change your last name and you will remove any ties from me, my family, and this ministry.”
“Over my dead body Carson.”
“We can have that arranged Scarlett, we just thought it would look better that you left me because you were unable to handle the pressures related to being in ministry rather than me becoming a widower. When you’re in ministry at this level, it can take a toll on you and unfortunately, you never adjusted. The publicist for the church has already drafted the narrative to be released as soon as the divorce is final. She also wrote the letter you are going to leave me. Just so you know, we are on the fast track docket to have it finalized within a few days since one of our Trustees is a judge.”
“I’ll never agree to this
a minute, let me get this straight, are you telling me that both Mama and Daddy
Montgomery are going along with you on this?
They are going to just let you do this to me?” Carson
pulling out the brown leather portfolio caused Scarlett to flashback to the
days before her wedding where she signed the prenuptial agreement in the
offices at the church. The only reason
she signed was because she believed in the forever he promised. Based on the lavish wedding they were
planning, she never thought in a million years anything written in those
documents would come to pass, especially not within five years. He sold her a
dream, a ticket he couldn’t cash. To the
core of who he was, he was emotionally bankrupt. Carson
The rustling of the turning pages sickened Scarlett to her core, little did she know signing those documents she was signing over her life to this machine of a ministry.
“First of all, Bishop knows only a little bit but mother doesn’t know anything, she’d never forgive me for this. I have to spin this in a way that works in my favor so that everyone believes me. Again, it’s going to be better for her to believe my story that you left me and have her hate you instead of me…this plan is brilliant, right?
Scarlett was beside herself, unable to really absorb what was happening. She felt like she was watching a movie and she had the starring role.
“You know, the first thought I had was to go and do like the guys in the bible did back in the day and go and get me a couple of wives and a few concubines but since we don’t live in Utah and I do have a heart, this plan seemed better.”
“What has happened to you Carson….the stuff you are saying sounds crazy, even for you. What is going on? Who made you like this?”
Everything in Scarlett’s view began to grow depressingly dark.
“Now, based on the prenuptial agreement you signed, there is a tiny little clause that states, if for whatever reason I deemed necessary to divorce you, I could, but we had to be married for at least five years and it’s been five and a half. Should you accept the terms of the agreement, we will provide you with generous transitional support for a period of five years, the length of our marriage. After that, you’re on your own, but you have to essentially forget everything about Wondrous Works and move on somewhere else.”
“You will be removed from all ministry materials and we will shut off your cell phone service. All of your credit accounts will be canceled and I’ll get all new bank cards and claim yours as lost. You will need to change your email accounts and come off of social media. You know what, just take this.”
According to the document, there is also another clause that prohibits you from speaking about this, making any allegations, or bringing any lawsuits against us. We can’t have you bringing any reproach upon the ministry now can we?”
The portfolio slammed shut, he pushed back from the table and walked over to his soon to be ex-wife.
Scarlett sat with her hands on her shaking head, repeating the word, “No.” The questions swirled around in her head, “What next? What now? Where do I go?”
Doing a double take at
feeling the need to verbalize her disbelief in what she was hearing, “Are you
serious, are you even listening to the words coming out of your mouth? You are
seriously trying to tell me this is the will of God concerning my
“Yes Scarlett, I’m telling you, He’s in control. In fact, He told me to give you the weekend to get your things together and remove yourself from the premises. So, when I come here on Sunday morning to get ready for church, I will expect you to be gone. You will leave quietly too and don’t even think about going to see my parents. The Gulfstream private jet will take you wherever you want to go. You don’t have to let me know where you end up, just leave your bank account information with my assistant and we’ll take care of things on our end…good-bye.”
The clock had struck midnight but this was no fairy tale. Life as she knew it was over, his arrogance had finally won, she chose to not let it bother her during the marriage but tonight, she felt mastered, conquered, defeated.
Shakira R. Thompson, a natural born storyteller has submitted to her God-given talents and have allowed them to transform her into an author, publisher, and entrepreneur.
She is the founder of Believer’s Choice Media, an inspirational content company dedicated to encouraging believers to live the life they were created to live on earth and beyond.
She has recently launched her debut novel, "High Noon Justice," a series based upon Psalms 37 to a loving and accepting audience. These days, Shakira now believes she is living her life according to Ephesians 2:10:
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (KJV)
With a renewed sense of purpose, Shakira is ready and prepared to not only find the plan of God for her life but also fulfill it. Shakira is a proud Alumni of Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida where she holds a B.S in Business Administration as well as an M.B.A. with a concentration in Supply Chain Management.
Born and raised in Fernandina Beach, Florida, she now resides in Orlando, Florida with her family.
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Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart