Meet the Heroes from A Dozen Apologies: Brent Teague

2014 February 3

A DOZEN APOLOGIES FINAL FRONT COVER (282x425)In case you haven’t gotten word, there’s a new heroine in town, and she owes apologies to twelve different fellows. Here’s the scoop:

Mara Adkins, a promising fashion designer, has fallen off the ladder of success, and she can’t seem to get up.

In college, Mara and her sorority sisters played an ugly game, and Mara was usually the winner. She’d date men she considered geeks, win their confidence, and then she’d dump them publicly. When Mara begins work for a prestigious clothing designer in New York, she gets her comeuppance. Her boyfriend steals her designs and wins a coveted position. He fires her, and she returns in shame to her home in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where life for others has changed for the better.

Mara’s parents, always seemingly one step from a divorce, have rediscovered their love for each other, but more importantly they have placed Christ in the center of that love. The changes Mara sees in their lives cause her to seek Christ. Mara’s heart is pierced by her actions toward the twelve men she’d wronged in college, and she sets out to apologize to each of them. A girl with that many amends to make, though, needs money for travel, and Mara finds more ways to lose a job that she ever thought possible.

Mara stumbles, bumbles, and humbles her way toward employment and toward possible reconciliation with the twelve men she humiliated to find that God truly does look upon the heart, and that He has chosen the heart of one of the men for her to have and to hold.

100_0238Today, we meet Brent Teague:

Tell us a little about yourself: where you’re from, what you studied in college, what you do now?

My name is Brent Teague. I was born in North Carolina, where I spent my early childhood until my dad left us and my mom moved us to Spartanburg, SC. My major in college was Computer Technologies, but God had very different plans for my life than I did. He took me on a journey that was often painful to lead me home, to ministry as a pastor back in Spartanburg.

How did you meet Mara Adkins and what did you think about her when you first met?

The first time I saw Mara was my freshman year in high school, but I remember the moment like it was yesterday. She was a freshman, too, but you’d never know it. She had the mature beauty of a senior homecoming queen and popularity to match.

When I first set eyes on her, I was trying to find my math class in the halls of the school. I looked over when I heard a musical laugh and there was the most gorgeous creature I’d ever seen, walking my direction, surrounded by her admirers. She looked toward me and waved with a stunning smile as she walked. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

Then a massive football player shoved me from behind and headed to Mara, who beamed that smile at him without a glance at me. I didn’t even notice my aching shoulder from contact with the jock until I got home that afternoon. I thought I had seen an angel, and even four years of watching her harsh treatment of others couldn’t change my mind.

Mara did some pretty ugly things to a few guys. How did you feel about her when she broke up with you so publicly? How did you handle the embarrassment?

I didn’t handle it at all. In fact, it nearly destroyed me. I didn’t care so much about the embarrassment—I had never been a popular kid in high school or college—but I was devastated that the dream I had just finally realized, Mara noticing me and liking me, was all a lie. The knowledge that the woman I had loved for so many years actually hated me, as she told me so publicly, cut to my soul.

I sobbed the rest of the night and smashed my computer to bits with my roommate’s baseball bat. I left school and returned home to my parents, who had no idea what to do with their suddenly depressed, self-loathing son. It was a dark time. You see, Mara was more than just a crush to me. She was everything. I had made her my reason for living, and getting her to like me someday was my ultimate purpose in life. She was my idol, in every sense of the word. When your reason for living is taken away, life becomes pretty dismal.

But I still couldn’t hate Mara, even after what she had done. She was too necessary to all my hopes and dreams, the center of my life. So I went on loving her even as I began to hate myself and my life.

Be truthful here. Did you every think of paying Mara back for the cruel game she and her sorority sisters played? If so, what did you think of doing? If not, why not?

No, I honestly didn’t. I was too crushed and devastated to think of getting revenge on anyone, except maybe myself. My identity had been built on my skills with computers and my love for Mara. When those shaky foundations washed away, I wasn’t strong enough to engage in normal living, much less to get back at anyone. Besides, I could never have intentionally hurt Mara, no matter what she did to me. I loved her too much for that.

What do you think of Mara today?

I’m so thankful for her. I see now how God used Mara and my all-consuming love for her to eventually bring me to Him. I had to be broken by Mara’s rejection, by the ripping away of my greatest love and reason for living, before I could find my home in a much greater love—the love of my Savior. He used Mara’s cruelty to save me from a fruitless life and unthinkable eternity. Like Joseph in the Bible, I have the privilege of seeing how God took something others meant for evil and used it for tremendous good.

I thought that after I came to know Christ and turned my life around, I wouldn’t care for Mara anymore. At least not in the same romantic way I had. But God again knew best. He left me with that love, which has grown into a much stronger, deeper, and wiser love than the worshipful infatuation I used to feel for Mara.

After praying for Mara every day since I became a Christian, I had the bliss of seeing her again and learning that she has also come to know Christ! I thought it impossible, but she is even more beautiful now than she ever was, thanks to the beaming light of Christ’s love shining through her. With that change, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I love her more than ever now.

Mara’s reunion with Brent is posted today at Write Integrity Press. His author isn’t being revealed because the project authors (and our fearless editor) believed it would be fun for you, the reader, to vote for your favorite hero. Voting will open at Write Integrity Press on the day the last hero’s chapter is presented, February 5. Voting will be opened until February 8. The votes will be tabulated, and the winning hero gets the final chapter in the novella when it is offered free on Kindle beginning February 14.

The authors hope you have joined in on the fun. If you haven’t, here are a few sights where we have been having the best time:

Mara’s Facebook page

The You Know Your Job is Odd When… Facebook page where we’re sharing funny stories, memories, etc., about odd jobs we’ve all had.

Update:

Have you read each of the hero’s interviews? If not, click on their names below. If so, do you have a favorite? Well, the time has come to vote for him at Write Integrity Press. The winning hero gets the last chapter in the book, and he also might just win Mara’s heart.

David Hansen

Dominic Cardano

James Green

Collin Tate

Chip Linton

Ted Rivers

Russ Farlow

Elliott Weston

Connor Martin

Derrick Howzer

Remy Perone

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