Today, Jennifer Slattery is here for the last Monday of the January words, "New Beginnings" and with new beginnings comes restoration.
" My aunt used to tell me a story—or perhaps more of an analogy. “Each one of us,” she’d say, “started out as a clean glass of water. But over time, people and life throw mud in our water. Calling us names, putting us down, or treating us poorly. The mud settled to the bottom, where we promptly forgot about it, until life shakes us up, and then the mud begins to swirl, creating a mess of dirty water.”
A mess that leads to insecurity, emotional reactions, defense mechanisms.
Hiding. Striving. Competing. Comparing.
I would probably phrase it like this: We were created to be image bearers. We were hand crafted for a glorious purpose, a purpose we are uniquely created for, but then sin—ours and others—knocks us back and distorts everything, keeping us from being who we were created to be.
God’s restoring love is a beautiful thing, once it takes hold.
This is the journey Angela, the main character in Restoring Love, is on. She’s lived an incredibly broken life. Broken relationships. Broken dreams, and prior to the book’s beginning, she nearly ends it all. Her sinful, selfish choices brought her, quite literally, to the end of herself.
But it was there, in a hospital bed that her daughter, one of the people she’d hurt the most, shared the gospel, and from that moment on, everything began to change. God’s restoring love was set into motion as bit by bit, He healed her heart, and set her on an adventure of purpose and hope.
Because that’s what His love does. He brings beauty from our pain, and uses is all, every bit of our past and every bit of us, for His glory—so that we, too, can play apart in someone else’s restoration. Like Angela does with an impoverished single mom who’s struggling to make ends meet and fighting to give her kids a better life.
Perhaps you’ve been there. Maybe you’ve been there now, moving forward in God’s healing grace and feeling His restoring love take hold of you and your life. Or maybe, having been embalmed by His restorative love, you’ve now begun to seek out the hurting so that you can be a part of God’s ongoing ministry of reconciliation. If that’s you, will you share your story with us? How has God’s love restored you? How has He used you as a healing, restorative force in someone else’s life?
Share your thoughts, examples, questions, and stories with us in the comments below, because we can—and should!—all encourage one another. "
Novelist and speaker Jennifer Slattery has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, (http://whollyloved.com) she and her team put on events at partnering churches designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maximum impact. She writes devotions for Internet Café Devotions, Christian living articles for Crosswalk.com, and edits for Firefy, a Southern fiction imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.
Thank you, Jennifer!
I had the pleasure of meeting Jennifer at last year's Christian Fiction Readers Retreat, and she is just an awesome person to know. Her journey is inspiring and she is such an encouragement even to those she just met. Connect with Jennifer and you'll know what I mean. =)
ABOUT RESTORING LOVE
Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She's almost his worst nightmare, and she s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband's incarceration. While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?
TO PURCHASE A COPY OR ADD IT ON GOODREADS
OTHER BOOKS BY JENNIFER
Authors, I still have a few spots left throughout 2017. Please contact me via the "Contact Me" form or message me on Facebook if you would like to sign up. Thank you!