Thursday, June 4, 2015

Finding God's Presence ~ Through the Pain

by Nan Jones   @NanJonesAuthor

Guest blogger, Andrea Merrell   @AndreaMerrell

What a special lady I have as a guest on Morning Glory. I met Andrea Merrell about four years ago at my first writer's conference, Writer's Advance Boot Camp, held at The Cove every February. Andrea has been a cheerleader for my work ever since that first hug. She's one of those who is quiet and gracious, but everyone listens up when she speaks. I know her heart yearns to encourage those who have children who have gone astray. She wants the prodigal to know you are worthy of God's love. I join my heart with Andrea's and pray that through her words you will find hope in Christ once again.

Welcome Andrea!

Every muscle in my body tensed as the phone rang late one evening. I didn’t know how much more bad news I could take. Was it one of my children? Another prank call? Maybe this time it was the police, the hospital, or—worse yet—the morgue.

I eased the phone to my ear and heard a raspy female voice. “I know where your daughter is and she almost OD’d.”

I gasped and squeezed the receiver. My eyes closed in a feeble attempt to shut out the words and images bouncing around in my mind. My daughter—and her dad’s truck—had been missing for days.

“Who is this?” I barely recognized my own voice.

“That’s not important. Do you wanna know where she is or not? She’s okay now, but yesterday her buddies said if she died, they’d throw her in a dumpster and not think another thing about it.”

Hopefully, you’ve never gotten a phone call like this—and never will. It was certainly one I never expected, but because of a stranger’s willingness to let me know how to contact my daughter, a chain of events began that culminated in the deliverance, redemption, and restoration of both my children.

No parent, grandparent, or guardian is ever prepared for a beloved child, teen, or young adult to walk away from everything they have been taught—everything good and wholesome in their lives—but the staggering truth is: even good kids rebel—and even good parents can end up with a prodigal.

Even more important is the fact that it’s no one’s fault. We can waste a lot of time and effort pointing the finger of blame. This only creates an environment of guilt and condemnation, and makes us feel hopeless.

Through those dark days, God’s presence was always with me, even when I didn’t realize it. At times when things looked impossible and the pain was the greatest, He held me securely in His hands. He also taught me many practical lessons and how to pray His Word over my children daily. Most importantly, I learned that God is faithful, His Word is truth, and we should never give up when we are praying according to His will.

If you or someone you love is dealing with a prodigal, let me offer hope, support, and encouragement. Praying for the Prodigal is filled with practical survival tips, advice from the former prodigals, and thirty days of prayers and Scriptures. This book will strengthen you for the battle ahead and help you hold fast to God’s promises. It will remind you that there is always hope for the prodigal and help for those who wait.

A Tweetable to Encourage Others

Meet Andrea:

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  

 You can find Praying for the Prodigal  on Amazon.


  1. Powerful words and promises! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome, Karen. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings to you. :)

  2. Karen, I'm so glad you stopped by Morning Glory and found encouragement. Andrea's message resonates within the hearts of many.