I am so excited today to have a Genesis 5020 story to share with you. Jennifer Slattery is an author whose books I always love. She also has a great Genesis 5020 to share. Read on!
My daughter was falling apart, literally. My heart was breaking, and I felt trapped. I did not want to move. We were settled, belonged to a close-knit church, lived in a close-knit relationship, and our daughter was about to enter her sophomore year in high school.
Potentially, one of the worst times for a kid to move.
With our house full of boxes, my daughter sitting upon one of them, crying, I scrambled for potential solutions. Ultimately, ways to keep my daughter and I in Kansas City, even if that meant renting an apartment and only seeing my husband on weekends.
I’m ashamed to say it, but I was so caught up in my daughter and my temporary pain, so uncomfortable with all the unknowns we’d face, should we move, I honestly contemplated temporarily splitting our family up.
I tried to justify this. We’d only be two and a half hours away. And it’d only be for a few years, just long enough to allow our daughter to finish high school.
My momma-bear heart was dominating, attempting to put our child above our marriage.
Had God not called me out, I fear, there’s a good chance I would’ve done irreparable damage to both. And honestly, I knew better. When a marriage fails, everyone, the children especially, loses.
And so, reluctantly, I surrendered, and came to Omaha with dragging feet, a heavy heart, and slumped shoulders.
That first summer was the hardest I’ve experienced to date as I watched our daughter slip into depression. She was lonely. Incredibly lonely. And being the introvert she is, I knew it’d take her a long time to make friends. Maybe even the rest of her high school before she really developed the kind of relationships we were leaving back in Kansas City.
To make matters worse, I got sick. Incredibly sick, and this added to the family stress exponentially. Things felt so chaotic for our girl that she developed shingles.
Talk about parental guilt. Witnessing her extreme pain, it literally felt like my heart was shredding. One morning, so distraught, I went down into the far corner of our kitchen, where she couldn’t hear my cry, and sobbed.
And asked God why. And begged Him to intervene.
At first, it felt as if God had closed His ears and turned His back, but regardless of how I felt, I kept stepping. Kept walking with Him. Kept getting up each morning and reading my Bible, trusting Him to speak. To comfort and strengthen.
Those turned into some of the sweetest mornings of my entire faith journey, because God did meet with me, and He did speak to me. Through His Word, again and again, He told me He would fight on our behalf.
He did. He was fighting for us the entire time, doing what needed to be done inside each of us, bringing growth, and ultimately, healing, and some incredibly deep friendships.
It was here, in Omaha, that I met my Wholly Loved team, a group of women who’ve become not only ministry partners but cherished friends. It was here, in Omaha, that my daughter met two of her best friends, lifelong friends. And it was here that she found a youth group that allowed her to heal from some wounds she’d experienced in church in the past.
It was here, in Omaha, that my husband heard the call to donate his kidney to a young man he’d never met.
More than that, through all the gunk, He brought our family unbreakably closer. We learned how to lean on one another and on Christ through the hard. We learned to be real. And to listen to the hard shared by one another, to apologize when necessary, to work through gunk, and to hold tight to one another.
God does indeed turn all things to good, and He’s always fighting on our behalf.
Author, speaker, and ministry leader Jennifer Slattery writes for Crosswalk.com and is the managing and acquiring editor for Guiding Light Women’s Fiction, an imprint with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She believes fiction has the power to transform lives and change the culture. Healing Love is her sixth novel, and it was birthed during a trip she and her family took to El Salvador that opened her eyes to the reality of generational poverty and sparked a love for orphans and all who’ve experienced loss.
Her deepest passion is to help women experience God’s love and discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she travels with her team to various churches to speak to women and help them experience the love and freedom only Christ can offer. When not writing, editing, or speaking, you’ll likely find her chatting with her friends or husband in a quiet, cozy coffeehouse. Visit her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com and connect with her and her Wholly Loved team at WhollyLoved.com
Healing Love (click here to pre-order her book)
Goodreads link here.
Genre: Women’s fiction with a strong romantic thread
Dual setting—Southern California, and El Salvador
Blurb: A news anchor intern has it all planned out, and love isn’t on the agenda.
Brooke Endress is on the cusp of her lifelong dream when her younger sister persuades her to chaperone a mission trip to El Salvador. Packing enough hand sanitizer and bug spray to single-handedly wipe out malaria, she embarks on what she hopes will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But Brooke is blindsided by the desperation for hope and love she sees in the orphans’ eyes. And no less by the connection she feels with her handsome translator. As newfound passion blooms, Brooke wrestles with its implications for her career dreams.
Ubaldo Chavez, teacher and translator, knows the struggle that comes with generational poverty. But he found the way out – education – and is determined to help his students rise above.
When he agrees to translate for a mission team from the United States he expects to encounter a bunch of “missional tourists” full of empty promises. Yet an American news anchor defies his expectations, and he finds himself falling in love. But what does he have to offer someone with everything?