Thursday, March 19, 2015

Surviving a Prodigal

by Andrea Merrell @AndreaMerrell

Fewer things are more heartbreaking than watching your child march boldly into a life of sin and destruction—unless it’s watching both of your children take that dark path at the same time. This definitely raises the stakes and doubles the agony of being the parent of a prodigal.

This is the basis for my new book, Praying for the Prodigal. This book is an example of how God can take a devastating situation, turn it around, and work it for our good and His glory. It also shows us how God creates beauty out of ashes by taking our pain and turning it into something that will touch the hearts of hurting people.

Raised in a godly environment, my children went to Sunday school, VBS, and Christian camps. They never listen to secular music or read secular books. They could quote Scripture verses and knew all the words to the most popular Christian songs. Born again and baptized at an early age, they were good, upstanding, obedient kids. What could have possibly gone wrong?

The staggering truth: even good kids rebel—and even good parents can end up with a prodigal.

My story is a story of redemption and how God protected and delivered two rebellious young people who tried to run from His embrace. But God would not let go—of the prodigals or the parents. Even when I felt that God had turned His back on our family, He was busy working and preparing the way for a glorious homecoming—just like the biblical account of the prodigal son.

The lessons I learned during this time—things I wish I had known early-on— are gifts from the Father’s hand, to be shared with others who are in the middle of a fiery trial. And isn’t that our job as writers? To draw from our personal experiences, grow wiser and stronger through the storm, then pay it forward by extending hope, encouragement, and practical advice to help someone gain victory in their own life?

If God has called you to write—whether it’s a novel, a Bible study, or a simple devotion—I encourage you to find your passion and channel it into your writing. I’ve learned that the more open and transparent you are with your words, the more your readers can relate. Whatever you’ve gone through—sickness, divorce, abuse, abandonment, or the death of a loved one—God can take your words and apply them as a healing balm to someone’s hurting soul.

** Praying for the Prodigal will be released March 25, 2015 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Books can be pre-ordered at Amazon.

Andrea Merrell is Associate Editor for Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also a freelance editor and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is the author of Murder of a Manuscript. The Gift, and Praying for the Prodigal. For more information visit or  

1 comment:

  1. Andrea, thanks for these encouraging words. God can indeed take our pain and turn it into a blessing for others through our writing and our spoken words. I believe the Lord is going to bless this book. Hugs, Elva Cobb Martin