THE POWER OF GRACE
By Jennifer Slattery
For years I fought God’s call, for one reason—I knew it’d lead to self-exposure. I feared someone from my less-than-glamorous past would see one of my books, happen upon my blog or an online interview, and tell the world I was a sham. I worried word would get out that this smiling, verse-spouting Christian was once a hopeless, homeless, bitter teenager.
But God was relentless, and over the years, He tugged and tugged and tugged on my heart, I realized He was calling me to something much scarier—transparency. And as I began to obey, I began to view my story, and my past, differently—as a testimony to God’s power and love. I began to see the beauty of His grace, displayed through my story.
Why did Jesus come to earth as a helpless babe, born to unknown peasants?
Why did the angels announce His birth to smelly, rough shepherds?
Why did God choose a homeless teen to write about His love and grace and the transforming power of His resurrection?
To show everyone—from the “best” to the “worst”—that His grace is meant for all.
I first learned of Christ through a lady named Dorothy, a woman who lived in a tiny, humble mobile home who opened her house to a bunch of hyper, poor, antsy kids. I don’t remember much—how often we came or what she said. But I remember she gave us popcorn and that she told me about a God who loved me so much, He died for me.
That truth penetrated so deeply, I grabbed hold of it with my entire, young being.
And then we moved. And moved again. Far from Dorothy, who never saw the fruit of her labor.
But God didn’t let that emerging flame die. Somehow, we always lived near very strong Christians. These believers invited me into their homes where they loved on me and demonstrated grace in action.
During my teen years, I began to self-destruct. eventually, I ended up on my own, crashing wherever I could with my belongings jammed in a plastic garbage bag. Soon, I lost hope for better and fell into survival mode. But although I gave up on myself, God never did. He never left me, never stopped pursuing me. And when I hit rock bottom, I fell smack into the palm of His hands.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me” (Isaiah 49:16, NIV).
For the next decade, God gently, consistently, patiently showed me His love, and in doing so, showed me I was lovable. He showed me I had value. He gave me, in my hopeless state, hope and a purpose.
He hasn’t let me go since.MEET JENNIFER
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.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte
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?
Buy it on:
Christian Book Distributors: http://www.christianbook.com/restoring-love-jennifer-slattery/9781625915139/pd/915132?event=ESRCN
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/restoring-love-jennifer-slattery/1124423437?ean=9781625915139
Connect with Jennifer
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte