Read Country Crooner (Christian Romance) Online

Authors: Rebecca Lynn Clayson

Country Crooner (Christian Romance) (9 page)

BOOK: Country Crooner (Christian Romance)
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Chelsea didn't know exactly how everything would look, but no matter what happened... it would be fine. As long as she trusted in the hand of God, everything would happen exactly as it needed to happen.

*****

Friday afternoon she stopped at a gas station for lunch, and knew that she needed to tell Kurt that she was moving. She had talked to him on the phone a few times since she started packing  because they were coordinating details for the Saturday show, but she'd never found the right time to explain the sudden decision that she’d made. She was a little nervous to tell him about her decision, especially since it was completely opposite of everything that she’d been telling him over the past few weeks.

Chelsea
knew that she was really beginning to care about him; all week she’d caught herself thinking about him throughout the day. She wondered about the possibilities of a relationship with him, but had completely written those off prior to making the decision to move back to
Idaho
. Now that they would be living in the same town, starting a relationship with him would be more likely and much easier. But, the big question in her mind was whether he felt the same way about her.

She thought that he reciprocated the same feelings of interest for her, although she was confused about the fact that he had withdrawn the last few days before she left to head back to
California
.

Chelsea
decided that she didn't want to get hurt by a relationship, so she reminded herself that the reason she was moving back to
Idaho
was so that she could manage the radio station. If the relationship worked out between them, it would be an added bonus. Deep down she was hopeful that she would be able to have the best of both worlds - both a successful radio station and Kurt in her life.

As she sat in the gas station parking lot, she picked up her cell phone and called Kurt hoping that he had his phone nearby. Sometimes, it was hard to get in touch with him during the day because he didn't hear his cell phone ringing while the loud carpentry saws were running. She knew that if he didn't pick up, she couldn't leave a message telling him that she was moving. She wanted to tell him so that she could hear his reaction when he found out. So, she decided ahead of time that if she got his voicemail she would just ask him to call her back.

The phone rang three times as she waited for the voicemail to pick up, but instead she heard Kurt's voice on the other line.

"
Chelsea
, how are you doing?"

"Hi Kurt, I'm good. How are things pulling together for the show tomorrow? Do you think you guys are ready?"

"It's going to be great, I've heard a lot of positive feedback from the community, and I'm amazed to see how many people have stepped up to help out. I'm hopeful that we’re going to be able to raise enough money to keep this radio station going. The kids are so excited. They’ve been talking to all of their neighbors and friends telling them to come to the show and make donations."

"That's awesome! I'm really glad to hear that things are going well. You'll probably be surprised to hear this, but I'm sitting at a gas station in
Reno
,
Nevada
right now. I'm driving to
Idaho
."

"Really? I'm excited to hear that you're coming back for the show. Everyone is going to be excited to see you! How did you convince your boss to give you more time off? I know that you've been so busy trying to catch up after being gone for so long."

"Well, it's interesting that you say that... because I actually turned in my resignation at work. I hired a moving company to help me pack up my apartment, and right now, I'm driving a moving truck with my car on a towing trailer. I figure that I can live in my dad's house and manage the radio station."

The phone line was silent for a few seconds, and Chelsea started to ramble a little bit-- trying to justify her decision.

"Um, I know it sounds crazy, especially because I am moving so quickly. It's a huge leap of faith. But, I feel like that's what God wants me to do with my life right now, and so I'm trying to move forward on faith. Hopefully we raise enough money to actually make it happen, or else I'm going to be looking for work in Idaho."
Chelsea
giggled a little bit, trying to get rid of the nervousness in her voice. Even though she felt at peace with her decision, she knew that there were still a lot of pieces to the puzzle that would need to fit together in order to make the radio broadcasting a success.

Kurt was stunned at the news. His heart leaped in his chest and he was excited to hear that
Chelsea
was going to be living nearby. He was so surprised, that momentarily he didn't know what to say.

"Wow, you're right that is a big surprise! I'm speechless. I don't know what to say." Kurt seemed happy about the news, but
Chelsea
was having a hard time understanding his reaction over the phone because of his silence after hearing the news.

"Don't worry. I've been thinking through everything that I can do to make it work. I know a little bit about the radio show because my dad taught me when I was young, so I think that I can get it figured out. Plus, my boss is going to let me work from home for the next few weeks, so I will still have a little bit of income from my job."
Chelsea
felt as though she was trying to rationalize her decision to Kurt.

"Oh, don't misunderstand me. I'm thrilled for you and know that you’re going to do a great job! I'm happy to hear that you’re moving back. It’ll be great to have you living in our little town. I'm sure that you're going to do an amazing job of filling your father's shoes," he reassured.

"I hope so, but I recognize that there is a lot of work to do. I'm a little nervous about everything, but I feel like it could work out. Since my dad's house has already paid off, I can live there for minimal costs. As long as I can figure out a way to raise enough money for the radio station to get things going, it will give me a little bit of time so that I can have the opportunity to start looking for advertisers."

"
Chelsea
, anything is possible with God on your side. The sacrifice you're making will have a great impact on the lives of so many people, and I know that you’ll be supported in your decisions. I promise you that I’ll be there by your side the whole time, to support and help with anything that I can. Between your understanding about online marketing and my experience with music, I think that we could put together a pretty good radio station."

"I agree! I’m hoping that I can apply the knowledge I got from my father, plus use Mrs. Bullock's experience to keep things going. I know there is going to be a big learning curve as I'm trying to figure everything out, but I know just enough that I think it'll work. Plus, I've already talked with Mrs. Bullock, and she's on board 100%."

"That's fantastic news!" The excitement in Kurt's voice was obvious, and he was feeling the hope and faith that
Chelsea
had.

"Well, I better get back on the road, I've been driving for a while, and I still have about seven hours ahead of me. I'm hoping to pull into town no later than midnight tonight."

"Be safe and I’ll see you soon!"

*****

Chelsea
arrived with her moving truck late Friday night, the day before the show. She was exhausted from driving all day, and had been keeping herself awake with caffeine the last few hours of the trip. Her plan was to park the truck in the driveway of her father's house and unpack the following day or whenever she had time to get it done.

As she pulled the moving truck up in front of her father's house, she could see someone sitting on the porch swing and instantly recognized Kurt's shadow. Her heart leaped in her chest, and she was excited to see that he was waiting for her arrival. It was late, and despite her tiredness, she was suddenly alert and excited to talk to him.

As she turned off the truck, he walked over to open her door and say hi.

"I wouldn't have guessed that a city slicker like you would be pulling up in a moving truck to a place like this," he said with a smile. “Are you sure you’re in the right place? It's good to see you. The choir kids are going to be so excited that you're attending the show tomorrow."

Chelsea
jumped out of the truck and gave Kurt a hug. "If you talked to me four weeks ago, I would've never guessed it either. It's amazing how quickly things change, especially when God helps you to see a different path for your life. It's good to see you too."

Kurt wrapped his arms around
Chelsea
and hugged her back. They held on for a moment without saying anything, and then Kurt pulled away and looked into
Chelsea
's eyes.

"I'm sure you're exhausted; you've had a big day today. That's a long way to travel, especially driving a big moving truck. I need to let you go to bed. "

" Yes, I'm exhausted. It’ll be nice to get some rest tonight."

"Be ready in the morning, because I've arranged for a few people to help you unpack at 9 o'clock in the morning."

"Oh wow, that's unexpected! Thanks, I can definitely use the help getting that truck unloaded. I know that tomorrow's a big day so I figured that the truck could wait to be unloaded until after the show. But, since help is available, I'd be happy to get it done in the morning!"

"You’re welcome. Have a great night; I'll see you in the morning." Kurt turned around and walked over to his car, as
Chelsea
unlocked the front door of her father's house and went inside.

After closing the door, she peeked out the curtains in the front room to watch Kurt's car drive away, secretly wishing that he would have stayed a little longer. Despite her tiredness, she would have liked to spend a little more time with him.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day, she reminded herself. We will have more time together after this fundraiser is over.

Chelsea hoped that Kurt felt the same way about her, because she didn't want to be setting herself up for a heartbreak.

*****

The next morning, at 9 o'clock sharp, people started showing up to help with the move.
Chelsea
was surprised to see that there were already 10 people waiting in the front yard, ready to help unload the truck. Excitement was in the air as everyone talked about the choir performance that evening.

Because she had lived in a one-bedroom apartment in
California
, she didn't have much to unload. As they worked, another five people showed up, and it only took an hour to get everything into the house.

She knew that the show was top priority, so she left everything in boxes. They would still be there next week, waiting to be unpacked. Right now, it was time to focus on the performance at the town hall.

 

 

Chapter 6

Saturday morning, Kurt woke up thinking about Chelsea. He’d only known her for about four weeks, but he felt like he knew so much about her. As he lay in bed trying to wake up, he knew without a doubt that he was in love with
Chelsea
.

She was beautiful; he loved her spirit, and the way that she threw herself into making sure that the fundraiser was a success. The fact that she was making such a sacrifice for the radio station touched his heart and proved to him even more that she was a good person deep down inside. She was the type of woman that every man dreamed about, high-caliber in every way.

He hadn't told
Chelsea
about his feelings, because he was still worried about the fact that he didn't feel worthy of her love. He knew that he’d made some big mistakes in his life, and she deserved the best man that she could get. He felt conflicted, wanting to confess his love to her, but at the same time, wanting what was best for her.

Kurt pulled himself out of bed, got dressed, and drove over to help Chelsea with the move.

While everyone was unpacking the moving truck, he focused on the work and tried hard to not let on how much he cared about
Chelsea
. He kept his distance from her so that he wouldn't have to worry about hiding the feelings in his heart.

He felt as though there was a big sign on his forehead that said, "I love
Chelsea
," and he was worried about her reaction if she found out how he felt. It wasn't hard to avoid her during the move, because there were so many people going in and out of the house. He needed a little more time to sort through his thoughts before he could let her know what was going on in his heart and mind.

Once the truck was unloaded
Chels
ea
needed to drop it off, and Mrs. Bullock was going to give her a ride back home. She had a few more things that she needed to get done at home before heading over to the town hall, but she wouldn't be long because she wanted to help with the preparation for the show. Kurt headed over to the town hall immediately, and planned to meet up with her later.

He arrived at the town hall and found a few of the choir kids there ready to help with the setup. They started working on the preparations: setting up chairs, checking the sound system, and making sure the stage was ready to go. An hour into his work the pastor from the church stopped by to see what he could do to help. Kurt stepped out into the hallway to talk with the pastor for a few minutes.

"Hi Kurt, it looks like things are coming together, are you ready for the show tonight? Is there anything that I can do to help?" the pastor asked.

"I think we’re almost ready, thanks for the offer though.
Chelsea
should be arriving soon, and the rest of the youth choir will be here shortly as well to rehearse a little before the performance. At this point, all that's left to do is to pray for a good turnout."

"Well, praying is my specialty, so I can definitely help with that!" The pastor paused for a moment, as if he was deciding what to say. "The rumor around town is that you and Chelsea have been spending a lot of time together. How's that going? I may be overstepping my bounds to ask you, but I like to keep an eye on the people in my congregation."

"She's a wonderful woman, and has definitely stolen a piece of my heart. But at this point, we're still just friends. And I think its best that we remain that way." Kurt was a little hesitant as he spoke, but he knew that it was the right thing to do.

"Why do you say that you should remain friends, and not pursue the relationship? If you care about her, then you should tell her how you feel."

"Well, she's a woman of strong faith, and I feel like she deserves a man to match that faith. I'm not sure that I’m good enough of a man for her."

"I would have to disagree with that statement," the pastor said strongly. "You’ve come a long way in the past two years, and you can't discredit the progress that you've made."

"Yes, I realize that I'm a better man now than I was two years ago, but I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. I have too much baggage to bring into the relationship."

"Kurt, you need to keep in mind that the atonement of Jesus Christ is a very real gift that has been given to us. You have worked with me over the past couple years to repent for the mistakes that you made, and through God's grace you have been forgiven for your sins. Have you not felt God's forgiveness in your life?"

"Yes, I have felt the forgiveness. But sometimes, I still question myself. I just want what's best for
Chelsea
; I don't feel like it's fair that I've had such a rough history."

"If I can give you some advice, it would be that you need to spend more time on your knees understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ. Once God has forgiven you for your sins, those sins are washed away as if they never occurred. Forgiveness from God is complete, and whole in every way. You’ve been so diligent with your progress in growing closer to God over the past few years, that you literally have become a new man. God has forgotten about the mistakes that you made, and you should forget about them as well. Focus on who you are right now, not who you used to be."

"Thanks for your advice. You’re right, I’ll spend more time on my knees asking God for guidance so that I can understand the situation a little better. I would love to spend the rest of my life with
Chelsea
, but it's important that I make the right decision because I don't want to hurt her."

"Follow your heart; it will lead you in the right direction. Also, know that my door is always open, you’re welcome to talk with me at anytime."

"Thanks Pastor, I appreciate it!"

*****

Chelsea and the choir kids arrived around 4 o'clock, and everyone got to work quickly so they could run through the songs before the performance started. Mrs. Bullock and a few of her friends had volunteered to sit outside the door to collect donations. Some of the women from the neighborhood showed up to drop off homemade cookies and treats to sell as refreshments.

People started showing up at 6 o'clock, an hour before the show started. The rumor was that there was going to be a big turnout, and everyone wanted to get there early in order to have good seats for the performance.

The air was buzzing with excitement as more people arrived, and there was a special feeling of camaraderie as the community gathered together. Judgments and hard feelings were set aside as everyone came together to support the cause.

A sign was hung up stating that the suggested donation was five dollars per ticket, but any amount of money would be acceptable. They wanted to be sure that everyone had the opportunity to listen to the performance, even if they didn't have five dollars to spend. At the same time, they were hoping that some people might donate more than five dollars per ticket.

Mrs. Bullock was touched to see the donations coming in. Some people paid the suggested $5 per ticket. Several people slipped $100 bills into the donation bucket, and there were a few checks written for larger amounts.

As the time grew closer for the show to start, people started showing up in droves. By 6:40, every seat in the town hall was filled. People started bringing their own chairs and setting them up in the aisles and the back of the town hall.

Since people were continuing to come and the meeting space was completely filled, they decided to open up the windows of the town hall, so the people outside could hear the music. A few more speakers were set up to broadcast the music outside, and pretty soon the large grassy park on the side of the town hall was covered in the blankets of families who sat down to listen to the show.

When it was time for the show to start, the youth choir walked out on stage and the audience began to cheer. There was a great excitement among the audience; everyone was happy to be gathered together to hear the performance.

Chelsea
had saved a seat on the front row, and she turned around to see the audience on their feet clapping and cheering. She felt overwhelmed with gratitude that so many people had shown up to support their cause. The sight of so many people gave her hope that there was a way to make it forward with the radio station.

The choir was ready to begin singing, and Kurt stepped out on stage to conduct the music. Before the music started, he turned to the microphone to say a few words.

"Thank you so much for supporting us tonight, we are excited to share this wonderful music with you! This concert is dedicated in memory of Jerry Watson; he was the amazing man who ran the radio station for 30 years. It is because of him that we are here today, enjoying the beautiful music of this choir. Jerry, we will always remember you and the impact that you had on this community. Let us share a moment of silence as a sign of respect and gratitude for him."

The room quieted down and the men in the audience removed their hats out of respect for the moment. Everyone bowed their heads and silence filled the room.

After the minute was up, Kurt spoke into the microphone again. "We hope that you enjoy the presentation tonight, and that you can feel the Spirit of God through the music that we have to share."

Everyone clapped, and then Kurt turned to the choir to cue the music. The entire town hall quieted down to listen to the music, which echoed beautifully through the acoustics of the room. The extra practicing had paid off, and the sound was phenomenal.

Chelsea
sat in awe as she listened to the beauty of the music, and she loved seeing Kurt directing the choir. He seemed to be in the right place, enjoying what he was doing and making a difference in the kids’ lives. He was a natural on stage, and it was as though he was living his dream by helping the choir produce beautiful music.

The choir sang a variety of music with both upbeat songs and some slow songs, all glorifying the name of God. The Christian theme to their music was uplifting and edifying to the people listening, and
Chelsea
could tell that everyone was enjoying the show. There were a few solos performed by some of the children in the choir, as well as group songs where everyone participated. They even had some songs with audience participation as a sing-along.

As the show was nearing the end, Kurt turned around to face the audience and spoke into the microphone.

"Before we finish up, I want to take a moment and say thank you, from everybody involved in the youth choir and the radio station. We are so grateful for your support, and glad that you could come to enjoy the music tonight. Thank you so much for your donations, we hope that the money will allow us to continue to bring you more of this great music!"

The crowd roared in applause to show their appreciation and support.

Kurt continued, "I would like to invite Mrs. Bullock to come up and share the results of our fundraiser. She has been tallying the donations that came in tonight, as well as the online donations that we received throughout the week."

Mrs. Bullock walked onto the stage with a big smile on her face and a paper in her hand. "It's a good thing the choir had a lot of music to sing, because we received so many donations that I needed plenty of time to count all of it! We're happy to report that between the online donations and the donations here at the show, we've raised enough money to buy the equipment that we need for the radio station, and we'll be able to keep everything running for the next three months. Thank you to everyone for your support, we’re grateful that we can continue sharing the gospel message on the radio!"

Again, the crowd cheered in excitement, and many people were on their feet. Outside, children were dancing around the grass to celebrate the good news.

"Additionally, we were contacted by a large ad agency that saw our video on YouTube, and they have expressed interest in running their ads on our radio network. The income from the ad placements will help us to keep going forward, and we're very hopeful that we will continue broadcasting for quite some time. Thanks for your patience over the past few weeks listening to re-runs. Next week, we hope to have our first live radio show back online again!"

The crowd roared in excitement yet again, and everyone was glad to hear that the radio station was going to continue. As Kurt looked out over the crowd, he was so happy to see that the fundraiser had been a bonding experience for the community. Old friendships had been rekindled, and new friendships had been created as people gathered together in a united cause.

Once the crowd quieted down, Kurt spoke into the microphone again. "I have to give credit to Chelsea Watson, because she sacrificed a lot to make this fundraiser happen, as well as to keep the radio station alive. For those of you who don't know her,
Chelsea
is the daughter of Jerry. She is cut from the same mold as her father, and has a heart of gold. She is a wonderful woman who will be a great addition to our community.
Chelsea
, why don't you come up here for a moment and share a few of your thoughts." Kurt waved his hand toward where
Chelsea
was sitting on the front row, and the audience started cheering again when
Chelsea
stood up.

Chelsea
walked up to the stage and took the microphone from Kurt. She had a big smile on her face, and tears of joy running down her cheeks. The crowd quieted down to let her talk.

BOOK: Country Crooner (Christian Romance)
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