Sitting on the sofa talking to the woman who had come to this house as a refuge from her life on the streets, I questioned my ability to minister to her. To connect in a meaningful way.
I was always a good girl. Hated getting in trouble or displeasing my parents. Even before I surrendered my life and my will to the Lord. What did I know of hardship or trouble? What did I know about making choices that had dire consequences or about rebellion?
As I pondered what I should say and as I prayed, I realized that I was not so different from her. We were both sinners in need of a savior. And while my sin wasn’t as obvious as the ones committed by those around me, it was still sin.
So I shared with her the things that led me to realize I needed a change in my life. How my seventh-grade year had me filled with a loneliness I had never experienced before. How I began to make subtle changes, to begin to include words in my vocabulary that I hoped would make me more like those around me. How, if the opportunity presented itself, I might have been willing to do things I knew weren’t right, just to be accepted.
Praise God He rescued me before I did anything I would have regretted!
Today, I don’t remember if this woman listened to what I shared, or if we even connected. I think maybe she did, maybe it made a difference. But whether or not it did, that realization that I didn’t need to have a dramatic testimony was huge. God can use me regardless of my background and my choices. And the fact that He rescued me from myself before I really messed up my life is my testimony!
With You Here
by Sarah Monzon
Series: Carrington Family #4
Published by Radiant Publications
Publication Date September 23, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Germany, Holy Roman Empire Contemporary, Middle Ages - 400 to 1600
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Holy Roman Empire, 1527
In the wake of Martin Luther’s religious reforms, Princess Christyne von Heidelbraum is compelled by her sense of duty to help ease the burden of her people. When she stumbles upon a dying man in the woods, she vows to aid him—even when she discovers the arrow shot in his leg was put there by a heretic hunter. With both her physical and spiritual well-being in danger, she must choose between conscience or adhering to the laws of the Empire.
Doubting her calling to become a hospital chaplain, Amber Carrington takes time off from her theology studies to volunteer with refugees in Germany. Working with children, making a difference, reconnecting with the conviction that once drove her—these were her expectations. An instant attraction to a professional soccer player wasn’t a part of the plan…and she can’t let him distract her from her purpose.
As a new Christian, Seth Marshall is determined to put his popularity as a world-renowned footballer to good use. Unfortunately, old habits and public opinions are hard to overcome. When he falls hard and fast for Amber Carrington, his former life—and her no-dating policy—may block his perfect shot for the woman he loves.
I would like to thank Sarah Monzon for giving me a copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Freedom's Kiss
Amber Carrington had been called by God to minister as a hospital chaplain. She was so clear about this calling, she enrolled in Bible College and endured years of men questioning her right to be there. Yet, when questioned by a girl in the hospital about how she could possibly know what she was going through, she began to question everything and ran away to Germany to do some soul searching while helping children at a refugee camp.
I was able to relate quite well to Amber and her fear that because she hadn’t lived through a dramatic conversion, because she hadn’t experienced poverty or a teenage pregnancy, her testimony wasn’t enough. That she didn’t have anything to offer to a hurting world. But I believe that this is a lie the devil likes us to listen to so we don’t attempt to bring the light of the Gospel to those who are in darkness. I loved the way Sarah Monzon approached this and how she showed Amber’s thoughts on the matter and then showed the way others saw her ministry. It was quite powerful.
Seth was such a lovable guy. Not because he was a star footballer. Not because he was handsome. But because of his love for family. His commitment to follow the Lord and do the right thing. The way he still struggled with his faith as a new believer and yet turned to the Lord for help.
I loved the way Seth and Amber ministered to the refugee children and the sensitive way in which their plight was shared. The author made the pain they experienced and the ugliness of the world they escaped come alive without adding gory details. The day the children were terrified of the planes flying overhead and the way that Seth and Amber loved them through their fears was so touching!
As with the other books in the Carrington Family Romance series, With You Here has a split time-period narrative – the historical portion of this one taking place at the time of the Protestant Reformation. What a fascinating story this was! When Christyne has discovered a man who has been wounded, she had no idea that rescuing him would turn her life upside down and cause her to question everything she believed.
There is so much to love about this story, including Sarah Monzon’s unapologetic way of clearly presenting spiritual truths. While I think everyone should read this, lovers of Christian romance, both contemporary and historical, will want to include it in their library. And to read it, of course!
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