I was a prodigal. No excuses. I had a good family. They taught me right from wrong and took good care of me, took me to church, supported my extracurricular activities… Still—in my late teens, I chose to wander a different path. It was the path culture sold through media and song, an alluring path, but one that ended in sadness. No, I didn’t end up in a pigpen. I went to college, got a degree, worked at my job, and made friends. I knew and still believed in what was right, but didn’t want to give up control.
Inside, though, the old expression held true. I had a hole in my heart only God could fill.
At twenty-six years old, I hit my knees and begged the Lord to take me back. I was finally willing to go where He led me if only He would have me.
I heard the prodigal story anew in a sermon. The story was more about God than it was about the prodigal. The fact that our Father is waiting, watching, and searching us out. He yearns to have his children back with Him. In Luke, Jesus describes a scene where a father runs to his son when he turns down the road to home, throws his arms around his long-lost son’s neck. He puts a ring on his finger and throws a party to celebrate.
So I often write stories with prodigals as a main characters because that’s what I know.
The messes of your past and mine also don’t eliminate us from being useful in God’s service. He can transform the ashes of our pasts into something beautiful if we give Him the chance.
My latest book is called The Art of Rivers
About the book:
Rivers Sullivan bears both visible and invisible scars—those on her shoulder from a bullet wound and those on her heart from the loss of her fiancé during the same brutal attack. Not even her background as an art therapist can help her regain her faith in humanity. Still, she scrapes together the courage to travel to St. Simons Island to see the beach cottage and art gallery she’s inherited from her fiancé. When she stumbles upon recovering addicts running her gallery, she’s forced to reckon with her own healing.
After the tragic drowning of his cousin, James Cooper Knight spends his days trying to make up for his past mistakes. He not only dedicates his life to addiction counseling, but guilt drives him to the water, searching for others who’ve been caught unaware of the quickly rising tides of St. Simons. When he rescues a peculiar blond woman and her sketch pad from a sandbar, then delivers this same woman to his deceased grandmother’s properties, he knows things are about to get even more complicated.
Tragic circumstances draw Cooper and Rivers closer, but they fight their growing feelings. Though Cooper’s been sober for years, Rivers can’t imagine trusting her heart to someone in recovery, and he knows a relationship with her will only rip his family further apart. Distrust and guilt are only the first roadblocks they must overcome if they take a chance on love.
More about Janet W. Ferguson
Janet W. Ferguson grew up in Mississippi and received a degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Mississippi. She has served as a children’s minister and a church youth volunteer. An avid reader, she worked as a librarian at a large public high school. She writes humorous inspirational fiction for people with real lives and real problems. Janet and her husband have two grown children, one really smart dog, and a few cats that allow them to share the space.
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