Do you find yourself getting lost in a fictional story?
If so, you are not alone. Many people enjoy reading, but for some of us, losing ourselves in an imaginary story is the best possible way to deal with issues in our own lives. We find help, hope and guidance by studying the lives of those that never were. In some cases, this helps our minds to cope with some of the realities in our own lives. Finding help and guidance through fiction is not unusual or strange; in fact, Candace Mann, the author of the Parker Valley series of books, says that she wrote these stories in the hope that the books would inspire and help those who read them.
“Sometimes getting, lost in a fictional story is the best way to allow your mind to cope with some of the realities in your own life,” says Mann, whose Parker Valley series includes Parker Sisters: Sondra, Parker Sisters: Jennifer and her newest book, Parker Sisters: Claira. “I encourage you to read my Parker Valley series – Sondra, Jennifer, and the third installment – Claira. It is my fervent hope and prayer that these books will allow you to see that there is help and hope for the heartbreak in your life.”
While Candace Mann’s Parker Valley series offers help and guidance through fiction, there is also another way that we can find hope for desperate times. God’s word continues to reach out to us across the ages with its timeless message. Christ is our hope through life’s struggles, and striving to emulate Him and live a life worthy of his calling is the goal we should all have. When life gets hard, it is great to get away from our troubles with the help of a good book like the story of the Parker Valley sisters. However, seeking help through God’s word should also be our first line of defense when life gets difficult. Picking up the Bible should be our immediate response to all life’s problems. When you immerse yourself in God’s word, you will find that fictional stories like the ones about the Parker Valley sisters simply highlight the importance of living a life dedicated to Christ.
Will Rogers, a famous comedian, once said,
“If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.”
While we smile over this wisdom, we sometimes miss the point of the saying. Before we can fix anything that is wrong in our lives, we have to be willing to stop doing the things that are making us weak or causing our problems in the first place. No matter what our problems may be, if we do not stop, give our issues to God, and seek out help and Godly guidance we are going to slip further down the rabbit hole of pain and mistakes. Seek out a church, Christian counselor or trusted family member for earthly council, but continue to trust in God and pray to him for clarity.
In order to solve a problem, the first thing we must be willing to do is admit that we have a problem. Many people are not willing to do this. In fact, many people are unwilling to even make the smallest admission that a problem may be their own fault! It is so much easier to blame others than to accept the fact that we are not perfect. However, unless we are willing to admit our faults, we cannot take the steps necessary to correct them.
Once we have finally admitted to ourselves that we have issues, it is time to confess them to God. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The first step in forgiveness is confession. In order to confess, we must be willing to repent. Repent comes from the root word that describes a man following a plow and working a field. When he comes to the end of a row, he turns the horse and plow completely around and goes in the other direction. We must be willing to leave behind our sins.
If we have serious problems, we may want to seek the help of a certified Christian counselor. Whether you rely on our Christian friends or a professional, finding God’s purpose for your life hinges on your willingness to confess and repent from your own sins.
There is nothing more painful than the death of a loved one.
When someone dies, it can feel as if our very souls are ripped out in agony, particularly if the death is sudden and unexpected. It may take years for us to regain some semblance of normalcy after losing a loved one to an unexpected tragedy. While we do not have the answers we seek as to why something like this must happen, we can rejoice in the knowledge that, even in the pain, our God surrounds us with His comfort through the Holy Spirit. The only thing to do when faced with tragedy is to give it to God, trust in Him and let those around you comfort and lift you up and support you with their love. Remember that God has promised that we will see our loved ones again one day.
Death is a painful separation for loved ones. Even if a death is expected, it is difficult to accept. When a sudden tragic accident takes a loved one, however, the shock can feel as if it is too much to bear. The only thing we can rely on in these times is God’s word. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, we read, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” We understand from God’s word that this world is only temporary. As much as we may love and miss the one who is gone, we have the hope and confidence that we will see that person again one day.
In the face of an unexpected tragedy and losing a loved one, it is easy to lose hope. As the girls in the Parker Sisters series found when their parents were tragically taken in an airplane accident, the pain can seem to be too much to bear. However, hope will always find a way into our hearts; the hope of one day being reunited with the ones who have gone before us and are, even now, looking on our Savior’s face.
When Things Go Wrong, Where Do You Turn?
Who supports you through the difficult times in your life? Who do you feel will always be there, guiding and supporting you no matter how far away you may roam? Many of us fight with our families and at times feel that we can do just as well without them. However, it is unwise to try to do everything on your own. Do not push your loved ones away! Whether you are related by blood or not, family is key in your support system in any time of struggle. Fortunately, as Christians, we have more than one family. We have our relatives whom God has placed in our life to help us as well as the Church’s body of believers and, of course, our heavenly Father.
The story of the Parker Sisters is one of the importance of family. The sisters soon discover that without each other, they would be unable to face the perils life brings. In fact, the sisters are faced with the simple fact that without family, they would never overcome the terrible struggles they face. For example, Sondra is determined to keep her family’s ranch, but faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Without her sisters’ help, she might have given up! Jennifer has made some terrible choices in life but knows that when she turns to her sisters, they will not only forgive her but will help her find a way to overcome the problems and return to the path God has set for her life.
Family is key in any time of struggle. While we rely on our earthly family, we also have a heavenly family that supports us as well! Not only do we have the love and support of the Church on this earth, but we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. God’s word promises that He will never leave us or forsake us, and that he has sent the Comforter to us to help us in our earthly struggles. When we are in trouble, we can turn to our earthly family, our Church family and our heavenly Father who will always be there to guide and support us.