Introduction to Joyful in Hope
Since the publication of Seasons of Womanhood, I have been overwhelmed by the stories that have come back to me, of lives touched and spirits lifted as people realised they were not alone in their situation.
For that reason, I have produced this second volume of stories, in similar format - stories of women of all ages, facing challenges that many of us encounter in some form or other. As before, all the stories are true, although occasionally names have been changed to protect identities.
If your faith is stronger and clearer as a result of reading this book, then it will have been worthwhile. You can contact me through the Share or Contact page
and let me know if you would like me to share your story with others.
Introduction to Seasons of Womanhood
For the last ten years I have worked for the Christian charity Care for the Family, co-ordinating the work in Northern Ireland. Every fall we hold an event called Reality, usually in the Waterfront Hall, a wonderful concert hall in the city of Belfast, attended by almost two thousand women. More recently, hundreds of women have also attended this event in Dublin and Glasgow. It is for these women and tens of thousands like them that I have written this book - a collection of stories of women who have faced the reality of life and proved the sufficiency of God's power in many different situations. The stories cover various stages of a woman's life, from early days through to the final years. The one thing that each of these stories has in common is that they are based in the reality of everyday lives. Occasionally names have been changed to protect identities.
I have always been inspired by the stories of great women in the past who have overcome enormous obstacles, proving God in unusual circumstances and thereby growing stronger and more dynamic in their faith. There are other stories that are taking place around us in the twenty-first century, stories of women alive today who face life with courage and faith, sometimes doubting but desperately holding onto God and trusting even when they do not understand what is happening. They might describe their life as "ordinary" - certainly they would not think of themselves as any sort of ideal - but something in each of their lives grabbed my attention and turned my thoughts to God.
Each of the women in this book has something to teach us. They provide us with evidence that none of us is alone in our situation. It is my prayer that as you open each chapter and encounter the lives of these women you will identify with their doubts and fears, be challenged by their faith and have the courage to be "real" with God.
Some of us will have faced similar situations in our own lives and yet all our paths are different because we are all different people. The good news is that God has a plan for each of us, and although we face difficulties and problems, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, there is always hope. God reaches out to us in our struggles.
He has done it for others, he can do it for you!