Afflicted But Not Crushed

One email changed everything. Bad news rained down determined to drown my commitment to be thankful in everything. Is this challenge from God? Is it temptation from Satan to throw in the towel? I don’t know. When life struck with a severity that stole the breath from my lungs, my limbs trembled.

That’s where I was as I created “Jenna” from The Builder’s Reluctant Bride. I needed to be reminded, like Jenna, that my current struggles didn’t negate the ways God was using me. I needed to remember that God would use everything in my life to shape me into His image and draw me closer to Him.

“I thought after his mom died I had lost the both of them. Then, you came around.” The corners of his eyes crinkled.

“Me?” she squeaked.

“Yes. You changed everything for him. I know you left for college right after graduation, so you likely didn’t see the change. But God took that seed you planted in my son and grew this man.” He gestured to William, who stood with his fire jacket off and held a dog while it licked his soot-covered face. “This man of God.” Carmen looked squarely into her eyes. “I am indebted to you, Jenna.”

She squirmed at his unquestionable sincerity. She didn’t deserve his praise for directing his son to faith, the same faith that later let her down in every conceivable way.

When life hit Jenna with bad news, it caused her to question her faith and question God’s goodness. Bad news comes to everyone at some time and in some way. The truth in the midst is that God is good. Still. Always. Never changing. Good.

It might not feel good. You might want to give up. You might think there is no way for God to redeem your story. You are wrong.

This is what you, me, and Jenna need to remember when our foundation is shaken.

With words, God created the world. Then the Living Word became flesh. Through inspired words, God promised protection. Not protection from all hurt or heartbreak, but protection from His justifiable wrath through Jesus for all who believe. He promises to work out all things for the good of His children. Not always the way that I want, but He will take what the enemy meant to destroy me and redeem it for my good. He’ll finish what he started. He provides comfort in our trials when we seek Him, which is not a promise to remove the trial, but a promise of His presence through it. He will supply all our needs, and we need saving faith in Christ most of all. He will return for us. It is the hope that we cling to. He is coming back. His Word is true.

Today is the LAST DAY to scoop up The Builder’s Reluctant Bride for .99 cents!


He wants a second chance, she says there’s no going back.

The Builder’s Reluctant Bride—WINNER of Best Romance at the 2016 Word Awards—is only .99cents!

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