Many people romanticize the process of adoption. Those poor children who were needing a home find love and acceptance and all of a sudden, everything has changed and is now perfect. Right?
Yet older children still have past lives that they remember and that affect them. It takes time and lots of love to overcome, even when surrounded by love. Just because circumstances have changed doesn’t mean that hearts and habits follow immediately.
The same is true in a spiritual sense. We have been adopted into the family of God and yet our flesh tries to keep us in bondage. Though we are no longer slaves to sin, it continues to struggle for dominance and have us living as we did in the past.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome sin and walk in freedom.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
Searching for You
by Jody Hedlund
Series: Orphan Train #3
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date December 4, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Illinois Civil War Era - US - 1849-1865
Main Character Ages: 15-18, 18-24
Written for: Adults
Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.
Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.
Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Together Forever (Orphan Train, #2)
Searching for You is the best book of the series! Perhaps this is because it is the one I just read, but I don’t think so. This story gripped my heart and wouldn’t let go. Though I do get emotionally connected to stories, I don’t often actually get teary eyed. I did with this one!
Sophie has lived such a hard life as an orphan on the streets of New York. She carries such a burden of guilt and pain for the way she has had to survive. Yet her heart is so big and she loves so well. I was so touched by her dedication and determination and strength. The author showed her struggle to not live as she had in the past in such an amazing and realistic way.
Reinhold had a burden of guilt as well. His was because of the anger he struggles to hold at bay. Fear of becoming like his father causes him to withdraw and not allow his feeling to grow, yet he never expected Sophie.
As much as I loved those two characters, Euphemia was my very favorite. Her name in the Greek means “well-spoken of” and this name is actually derived from the word that Paul uses in his letter to the Philippians when he tells us to think on things that are “of good report” or “commendable” in Philippians 4:8. She is the woman who takes Sophie into her house and her heart. And she exemplifies that name despite her difficult past.
I am so impressed with the way the author managed to clearly depict the seediness and depravity of the streets of New York and the hopelessness that Sophie was living in, making it very real and yet not dragging things down to a level that makes it depressing. And the way that she showed Sophie’s unsavory past while still showing a very lovable side that made me care about her from the beginning.
As a side note, you may want to look up the Bowery Boys in Wikipedia before you start reading to learn about them and get a picture of how they dressed. I was fascinated and appalled to learn about this gang and the Roach Guards, one of their rivals as they gave new meaning to the term “fire fighters” (as my husband cleverly pointed out when I told him what I had learned).
This is such an amazing story of trust, of grace, and forgiveness that I wholeheartedly recommend! For the best experience, though, make sure to read the other two books in the series first.