Hope story by @Deenamadams
Hunting for hope in non-fiction is the second in a series of posts I’ll be sharing over the next couple of months. These posts feature a condensed written version of the Facebook Live seven-day Hope Hunt I recorded in May. Today’s post focuses on how we can find hope in non-fiction books.
If you prefer the more in-depth video version, find it here.
Philippians 4:8: “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (NLT)
The part of this verse I want to zoom in on is “fixing our thoughts on what is true.” Don’t we all need truth in our world permeated with lies, deception, and darkness? Doesn’t it seem like every time we watch the news or scroll on social media, we encounter conflicting reports and opinions?
Sometimes I’m confused and don’t know what to believe. Anyone else?
Amid all the craziness and uncertainty we face today, here are a few facts I’m convinced are true about God.
God is real. God is good. He’s on the throne. He sees us and knows our concerns, and He cares. He’s not taken by surprise at anything going on in our world or in our personal lives. He hears our prayers and answers according to His sovereign and perfect will.
I’m a believer in being real and that by telling our stories, God employs them for Kingdom purposes. So this week, I’m sharing about a family crisis we endured about fourteen years ago that has shaped me forever. In fact, I’m in the editing phase of a novel based on my experience.
As a Christian parent, my heart’s desire has always been for my children to follow God with all their hearts. So, when one of my kids ran away and lived in rebellion for several years, my heart broke, and I couldn’t understand why God hadn’t answered my faithful prayers.
As the situation escalated, I spiraled into a cavern of hopelessness and experienced an identity crisis.
I was desperate for God to intervene and solve our mess. To restore our daughter. To deliver us from the turmoil. But guess what?
God wanted to fix ME!
Like I said last week, most of the time God doesn’t take us out of the trouble, but transforms us through it.
Through those excruciating years I came to realize that I had wrapped up my identity in who I was as a mom. Even though I knew in my head identity was found in Christ alone, I learned that deep down, I believed my worth depended on my children’s behavior, obedience, and success.
When my teenager chose the world over us and God, I had a choice.
Would I stay in the pit and wallow in my heartache? Or climb out and allow God to transform me and the way I think.
I yearned to change. I truly desired to honor God with my emotions, concerns, words, and actions, but making that a reality was another story.
I’m so thankful God gifts people with the ability to encourage and build others up through non-fiction books. That was the case for me in my situation.
I devoured resources written by individuals who had experienced what I was going through, or those who had the wisdom to guide us through tough decisions we had to make.
Non-Fiction Book Recommendations
Although reading these books, and many others, didn’t change my daughter or resolve my crisis, they altered how I viewed myself and my trial.
God used non-fiction works, along with His Word, to help heal my heart and shift my faulty perspective.
Maybe your struggle isn’t with a prodigal child, but your marriage. There are lots of resources out there to assist with marital troubles. Here’s two I’ve read and recommend:
Do you wrestle with unforgiveness? The book, “What’s So Amazing About Grace,” by Philip Yancey was so powerful in opening my eyes to the overwhelming grace of God in my own life.
When God’s forgiven me so much, how can I not forgive others?
Or do you battle with finding your identity in your career, success, or possessions? The book by Neil T. Anderson, “Victory Over the Darkness,” leads us to grasp the power of our identity in Christ.
If you contend with guilt over an abortion, check out, “Empty Arms,” by Wendy Williams & Ann Caldwell. It’s packed with over 60 life-giving stories of Hope from the devastation of abortion.
Loss of a Child
Have you endured a miscarriage, or loved a baby who only lived a few hours, months, or years, and grief overwhelms you? Angie Smith tells her story in the book, “I Will Carry You.” She weaves her experience with a biblical story of hope that aids in understanding how to better cope with loss and disappointment.
Another publication by Angie Smith, “Mended: Pieces of a Life Made Whole,” teaches how God uses our brokenness to affect the lives of others. She says on the back cover copy that God reminded her if it weren’t for the cracks in us, He couldn’t seep out the way He does.
I’ve developed a helpful PDF highlighting ten truths we can cling to when we’re heartbroken. It’s free to every blog subscriber.
Join the conversation. Can you recommend a Christian non-fiction book that may help someone dealing with a difficult circumstance in their life? Do you need a book recommendation? Comment and let’s build community!
If this post has encouraged you, please share with others using the social media icons below or the Click to Tweet block. Thanks for reading!