Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Worry, Prayer, and Faith by Laura V. Hilton

In a recent message I heard, a member of the congregation suggested, “Prayer is bringing your worries to God. Faith is leaving it there.” It hit home. Hard. I’m pretty sure I whimpered in pain as my foot was stomped on. An almost audible voice queried, “Are you listening, Laura?”

Um. Yeah. I heard the words. I understood the words. But putting them into practice? 

Practical Prayer

In my experience, God doesn’t show up in a magical way when I pray about something. I pray for months. Years. Decades. And it doesn’t seem God hears. My oldest son went to a “revival” where the “minister” said he prayed for money and he woke up the next morning with the exact amount of cash under his pillow. I’m not sure what denomination this “minister” was, or whether my son misheard, but God hasn’t ever done that for me.

No. He’s responded with a loan from a friend. Or a small gift from a church member. He responded by having a creditor hold the bill for a week or two, or by giving us an additional job At the same time, I have to be fair… He always provided.

And my son? I’m still praying and waiting for God to move while he rediscovers all his old friends, the joys of being unemployed, and bad habits. No miracle there either. Just more heartbreak as I discover hidden activities that have recently come to light. “God, why don’t You answer? How long, oh Lord…” I cry with the Psalmist.

The Struggle

In my current story, the hero and the heroine struggle to find where God is when their prayers seem to go unanswered. Or are answered in the most wrong way possible. “Ummmm . . . . God? No. That’s not what I had in mind!” They, like me, are struggling to take their worries to God . . . and leave them there. Eventually, they will learn that God is hearing their prayers and guiding their steps even though it doesn’t seem like He is. 

Write what you know, right? 

Help My Unbelief

An acquaintance has seen fit to share with me that my son’s decisions to walk in the ways of the world are the direct result of my passion for writing Christian fiction. My God-given gifts and abilities have forced God’s hand, and He is punishing me by taking my son and giving him to the devil. 

The God I serve would never “give” someone to the devil. It isn’t His will that any should perish. The God I serve used parables in the Bible to illustrate a point. I don’t think He would punish me for trying to serve Him the way He called me. The definition of a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. 

All I can do is keep being honest. Yes, Lord, I am having trouble with the faith part. 

“I believe, Lord. Help thou mine unbelief.”

I may never see my son turn from his ways while I’m on this earth, but I can say with the psalmist in Psalm 37:25: “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

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God, thank you that I can bring my worries to you in prayer. Give me the faith to know that You hear me and will answer in Your time. Amen. 

For more posts by Laura V. Hilton, click here.
About the Author

Award-winning author, Laura Hilton, her husband, Steve, and three of their children make their home in Arkansas. She is a pastor’s wife, a stay-at-home mom, and home-schools. Laura is also a breast cancer survivor. Laura also has two adult children.

Laura V. HIlton

Her publishing credits include three books in the Amish of Seymour series from Whitaker House: 
Patchwork DreamsA Harvest of Hearts (winner of the 2012 Clash of the Titles Award in two categories), and Promised to Another. The Amish of Webster County series, Healing Love (finalist for the 2013 Christian Retail Awards). Surrendered Love and Awakened Love followed by her first Christmas novel, A White Christmas in Webster County, as well as a three book Amish series with Whitaker House, The Amish of Jamesport series, The Snow GlobeThe Postcard, and The Bird House in September 2015.

See below for information on Laura's latest, The Christmas Admirer. Other credits include Swept Away from Abingdon Press. Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer.

Connect with Laura

visit her blog: http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Laura_V_Hilton or @Laura_V_Hilton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Laura-V-Hilton/161478847242512

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/vernetlh/

Firestorm by Laura V. Hilton

Bridget Behr and her family migrate from the bustling Amish community where she grew up in Ohio to the mostly unpopulated Upper Peninsula of Michigan after a stalker breaks into their home. While her father and brother try to find work in the area, the family is forced to reside in a borrowed RV until the house and barn are rebuilt. While Bridget is hoping for a fresh start, she’s afraid to trust anyone—even Gabriel, the overly-friendly Amish man who lives nearby. Bridget thinks he’s a flirt who serial dates and doesn’t even remember the girls’ names.

Due to not enough construction work in his Florida community to keep him out of trouble, Gabriel Lapp has been sent to Michigan to work. His father is desperate for his son to settle down. When the family walks into Gabe’s home in the middle of a thunderstorm and he discovers their circumstances, he offers to help with construction. For Gabe, the beautiful girl he teasingly calls “the recluse” once he discovers she doesn’t attend youth events, confuses him like none other.

As Gabriel and Bridget grow closer, they realize there is more to a person than meets the eye. Just as Bridget is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding love, tragedy strikes. Now Bridget and her family must decide if they should move to another Amish community, or dare to fight for the future they’d hoped for in Mackinac County.