I remember when my first novel From Dust and Ashes: A Story of Liberation came out in 2003. I was so excited to share it with my friends who’d believed in my writing dreams. But out of all the people who read the novel, there was one person’s comments that stand out the most. My friend Kathy had worked with me to start Hope Pregnancy Center in Kalispell, Montana. She’s also been in the Bible Study with me for women who’d had abortions.
Kathy had heard about all my broken places. She’d seen my tears. She’d also seen my freedom as I opened myself up to God’s complete forgiveness and learned to forgive myself.
“You’ve written an amazing novel,” Kathy told me. “I couldn’t put it down. It’s your story in novel form.”
“My story?” I asked. “I don’t know what you mean. It’s a story about a Nazi officer’s wife in World War II who helps care for Holocaust survivors after liberation.”
Kathy offered me a knowing smile. “Look at Helene. She is you … it’s your story set in World War II.”
After Kathy said that my mind went through Helene’s story again:
1. Pregnant and abandoned.
2. Ashamed of her past actions.
3. Seeking to redeem herself by helping others.
4. Finding true liberation in Jesus Christ instead.
It WAS my story! How had I missed that as I was writing my novel?
For so many years I wanted to hide my story. I didn’t want people to know about my teen pregnancy and definitely not about my abortion. Yet over the years God has confirmed in me that my story isn’t about my mistakes. It’s about Christ’s liberation, redemption, and freedom.
If I’m unwilling to share my story, then I’m also missing out on sharing His.
The theme of “broken people finding freedom in Christ” is one that shows up in all of my novels in various ways. It also shows up in my non-fiction fiction books.
Yesterday was release day for my book Teen Mom: You’re Stronger Than You Think. It’s a book FOR teenage mothers. I not only tell my story, I also share advice for their everyday life as a mom. Most importantly, I share how a relationship with Jesus Christ gives them strength and hope for their futures.
As you can imagine, this book is important to me. As a mentor to teenage moms for the last twelve years through our weekly support group, I know every young mom needs advice and encouragement.
It’s so important to me, that I’m going to ask you to do something special: Buy a copy of the book.
Buy Teen Mom for a young mom you know.
Buy it for your local crisis pregnancy center.
Buy it for your church’s youth pastor.
Buy it for someone you know who teaches in the local high school.
I guarantee each of those people have a young woman they know who they can give it to.
I’ll also be bold and ask you to buy a copy for yourself and keep it in your car. AND THEN I ask you to pray and ask God to bring someone in your life who you can give it to. I guarantee He will.
Young moms need to know that God has a good story written for their lives. They need to hear that God makes broken things beautiful. When I was seventeen years old and pregnant I needed to hear that.
You never know how God will use you to bring help, hope, and spiritual liberation to a young woman’s soul.
What about you? I’d love to hear about the spiritual liberation that God brought you when you needed it most. Share your story in the comments!