5 Stars Out Of 5
All Things Are Possible with God!
February 17, 2016
Laurie Coombs endured more as a young woman than many do. When she was 15, her parents divorced and, less than a year before her college graduation, her father was murdered. By someone he knew, Anthony, who even admitted to killing him. She would finish college and marry before the trial came to be, and Anthony was given two life sentences.
The week before his murder, Lauries father shared with her of his new found faith in Jesus. She had turned away from the Lord after her father left, not returning even when their relationship was restored. She knew he seemed happy, different with his new-found faith. It would be several years and two babies, one a miracle, and a horrifying time of darkness and severe anxiety before she began to believe in Jesus as her Lord and Savior. What a challenging, magnificent journey He has led her through! He called Laurie to do what many might have refused to ever do forgive her fathers murderer. Not just forgive him, but to love her enemies. The Lord put on her heart to take him a Bible. Thus began an intensive season of communicating primarily by letter.
Laurie faced obstacles, not the least of which was the reaction of her husband and mother and her fathers girlfriend Anthonys ex-wife what she needed to do. Travis and Laurie had been together since three years before the murder. He and her father had a good relationship. She endured health challenges and the aftereffects and waiting for approval of visiting rights. Simply writing to him had to have been hard; it would have been easier to get through the impossible red tape to send him a Bible than to write and receive letters.
Many things she wrote resonated with me, either as a reminder or as the sweet water bubbling up through the Holy Spirit and giving me fuel for another day, especially:
All through the Bible bad things happen people sin or something goes wrong but over and over two words make it okay but God (pg. 55). no matter how bad things seem to be, God is the constant. (pg. 55) Laurie references Joseph in the Old Testament, and Romans 5:8, But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
What amazes me is not just their correspondence, but how God would use their testimonies. There are many things that I admire in Laurie. The passion she had as a new Christian and her walk of obedience through the irritable, tedious, tumultuous challenge to forgive what for many seasoned Christians would be unforgiveable. How many of us would slog through life, miserable, just trying to endure until Jesus came back rather than seeking to forgive as she had?
I also admire that she gives God the glory for His work in the unique ministry He called Laurie to; even the fact of the changes in Anthony and, as a result, other men that he knew in prison had their lives changed, too. The ministry included sharing the reconciliation, redemption, mercy, forgiveness and peace through Christ. I highly recommend this book to Christians in any age or stage of their faith, or whatever their challenge of forgiving, and those who have volunteered in prison ministry groups; it is an open encouragement that obeying God, even when it is hard, is a blessing when we are willing to try it and see.
With a grateful heart, I received a copy of this book through the For Readers Only group at The Book Club Network, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own; no monetary compensation was received for this review.