If you have been a follower of this blog you know that a favorite of mine is Karen Kingsbury. Once again, she doesn't dissapoint. This book is about a modern day Mary Magdalene. A woman who was saved from demons by Jesus and became a part of His ministry. A woman who witnessed the cross and was the first to see the risen Jesus. This is a story of Mary who is lost to her sin and abuse. A woman who needs rescuing, as we all do. A woman who is rescued and in turn, with Christ's power, rescues others just like her. "Women who practice abstinence are healthy women in every sense of the word. The same is true for young men. When they make a choice to wait, they tell the world they are worthwhile, valuable, special. Every other action they take toward their future will fall in line with those feelings." When we feel worth something or valuable we are less likely to cave to outside pressure, we are more likely to stand up for what we believe. "I almost believed the lie that killing myself was the only way to find freedom. But it isn't. You do that, and the nightmare will continue as long as your daughers live. Every day of their lives they'll wonder why their mama didn't love them enough to live." I understand the desperation behind suicide, it's a hopelessness and a pain so deep you just want it to stop. But the pain is passed on to those who are left behind. And God offers the hope, the rescue you are looking for. He has a plan for each one of us, even in the midst of the pain. "Because people can't be judged by their clothes or their hair or their skin. But only by the way they love Jesus." Thats all that really matters, how we love Jesus. "The horrors that come with abuse are not always expainable. It's bondage." Bondage that only Christ can set a person free from. "Abuse is never fair. It leaves its mark on everyone involved." An indelible mark that once again only Jesus can erase. He wants to make us new creations, not just give healing, but new creations. "When people give their lives to Christ, He gives them His Spirit. It breathes from the center of the soul, giving life to the heart and shining bright through the eyes of believers." "That serving Him is all the life, all the love I could ever want, all by itself." Now that is something to strive for. "Telling her story was draining. It took her back to unspeakable darkness and horror, back to the doubts and uncertainties and loneliness that had driven her into a life that should've killed her. But she would tell it over and over again until she died, for the privilege of having a woman like Emma ask her about Jesus." That is what makes all the pain, hurt and sorrow worth it, being able to use your story for redemption. That is exactly how Christ turns beauty for ashes, how none of the trials or horrors that we go through are in vain. "Jesus died to take all the pain from yesterday, to offer people a new life, a new start today. A start that would build one tomorrow on top of another until change in that life became obvious to everyone. It was true. The power of Christ wasn't a one-time fix. It would keep working in her life today and tomorrow and every day that she woke up believing the truth." God doesn't stop working in us, as long as we hold on to His truths He continues to make us new. This is a great story of love and redemption. It is a story about abuse that is sometimes hard to read but most of all it is a story of God's great love for each of us.