"Discovering Grac e" by Doug Fowler, at lulu.com
“Discovering Grace” has many smiles, laughs, tears, and triumphs. It begins with a young teen, Grace, who has many questions about life, some because of the chaos and drama in her family. She discovers that learning the answers is just the start of a fabulous adventure.
Grace realizes she has always had gifts – like compassion. Only by following God can those gifts be used best. She tries to make a difference in this family of confusion, along with her brother Jimmy – whose comments such as expecting a food fight to break out provide as much humor and confusion as they do help. Still, she’s thankful that he, too, is a new Christian and can help her.
Grace feels frustration – with herself as much as anything at times. Still, through her relationship with God, she finds peace, strength, and encouragement. So, when things leave her feeling unusable by God, she finds that God still loves her, and she doesn’t have to put herself in the belly of a whale every time she slips up. The drama in her family bothers her greatly. But, she learns that sometimes, God puts people like her and Jimmy in such chaotic situations because people like Grace and Jimmy are needed to help others learn to love better.
Their home has lots of trouble, too. Their mom's repeat boyfriend wasn’t faithful at first. His kids have loads of bitterness from his divorce. Grace has her own mixed feelings about him. She and Jimmy try to survive and learn to love family members - all with issues of their own - as Jesus would. These include a mom who would rather think about guys at times, a sibling who tests Grace to see if there is unconditional love there, and an older teen who stirs things up for her own reasons. Is it to taunt Grace or is she hiding something? Also, what’s waiting on their vacation to cause even more turmoil?
This book provides many valuable lessons on how to overcome by turning them over to God and believing in His ability to get one through. And, He provides great victories, sometimes in places one least expects.
After all, I’m sure there’s teens – or younger – out there who God wants to be the kind of help to a younger sibling Grace is to Erin, or who God wants to use in some other way to bring about a wonderful change. Because God sees each person’s heart, and each person is special to Him. It’s rough when family problems mean that someone like Grace has to be almost the mother for someone like Erin, but in the end, God richly rewards such devotion and unconditional love, too.
And oh, what a feeling when that reward comes! It’s not the reward she’s expecting, and it doesn’t come when it’s expected. But, eventually, good can come out of the problems of life. And, it comes because she and Jimmy trust God to use them to make a difference by showing unconditional love.
This book is only available through the online publisher lulu.com at http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/discovering-grace/9781901 but it will be worth any young person's while to purchase as a book or download.