Thanks for joining me again. I hope you’ll enter today’s giveaway. My husband picked out the prize, and it’s a package of Polara Self-Correcting Golf balls for all you duffers out there. He tells you all about it on the YouTube video.
CLICK THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY at the end of this post to enter. I’m also including a digital download of Shattered Guilt as part of this giveaway. I hope you win! If you’ve missed any entries. It’s not too late. Go back to each Release Week Post and enter.
CHRIS, FROM SHATTERED GUILT
As promised in the video, here’s a little excerpt from my book. The set up: Chris, Melanie’s irresponsible ex-husband, shows up in Bay Town.
Melanie bristled, and Lacey put her arms out like a referee at a prizefight. “All right, all right, don’t start already. I haven’t seen Chris in like forever.” Lacey punched his arm. “So, where have you been? The Caribbean is not that big for a year vacation.”
“Lacey, he’s your dad. You don’t call your dad by his first name,” Melanie scolded.
Lacey blurted out, “You always say that, but he’s not a dad.”
Melanie’s eyes widened, and then she glared at Chris. He looked back, exaggerating a hurt expression.
“I mean,” said Lacey, “he’s my father but not my dad. Come on, Chris, really. I don’t even remember you from when I was a kid. You don’t do dad things. Not that much, anyway. You know you’re my … my biological father.”
“Ouch.” Chris grabbed his heart and feigned a pain there. “Okay, so call me Bio-Dad? How’s that?” Dropping his arms by his sides, he smiled. “Besides, I do, too, do dad things. Just not that often. But, hey, I’m here now.” He flung out his arms as if asking for another hug.
“Bio-Dad?” Lacey tapped her lip and raised an eyebrow. “Nah, I think ‘Father Chris’ sounds good.”
“Don’t think I could handle that one, Lacey. And I don’t think your mom could either. We never could agree to disagree on religious stuff.”
Melanie shook her head and whispered under her breath, “Right on that one, Chris.”
“So, I came to take my lovely ladies to dinner.” Chris slapped his hands together, licked his lips, and smiled. “Well?”
Melanie stared at him. Chris was always charming, entertaining, good-looking, personable, generous to a point—whenever it suited him. But he was also unreliable, undependable, unpredictable, and very, very self-centered. Melanie’s eyes became glassy, and her resolve to keep him out of her life waned.
When they first met, Chris’s wild, party side attracted Melanie, and her sweet spirit attracted him. Flinging all caution aside, Melanie had fallen fast and furiously in love. A whole unfamiliar world opened for her, and her ordinarily quiet, controlled life gave way to a wild streak, much to her family’s dismay.
“Go get dressed, princess. I’ll work your mom.” Chris winked.
Lacey nodded and ran down the hallway.
Chris turned to face Melanie, his jovial self subdued and his eyes sad. “Hey, Mel, I’m really sorry I didn’t make it to the funerals. I …”
Melanie held up a hand. “Chris, that was over a year ago.”
He was always sorry after the fact. His “I’m sorry” lacked sincerity.
“Mel, I was out of town. I couldn’t get back …” He went into a lengthy explanation, and she felt her eyes glass over.
Sixteen years ago, when she found out she was pregnant with Lacey, Chris wanted to marry her, and they ran off to Las Vegas. Within a few months, sick and lonely, she knew she’d made a huge mistake. She gave Chris his freedom, and he ran.
Shaking her head, she stared at him. “Please what, Chris? You want something from me?” She jabbed her chest with her index finger.
Ruffling a hand through his hair, he stuttered. “I don’t know. Please forgive me, I guess? I should have been there.”
I actually loved writing Chris’s character. He’s alot of fun, but as in real life, sometimes our fun makes others suffer disappointments. But the good news is that there’s always a second chance with God. I hope you’ll read my book and be encouraged.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
No need to reinvent the wheel, lots of organizations are out there to help fight human trafficking. I’ve made a list of reputable non-profits, ministries, and information banks. These organizations exist to help those exploited in human trafficking. An important issue, which my friend Devonna stressed, is to be informed and be aware. Please take a look and see where God might be calling you to help.
Some of us can give financially, some of us can help physically, some of us can be trained to counsel victims. But all of us can pray. So please do so and prayerfully consider where you might be able to help further. If nothing else, let’s educate ourselves. We never know when God might use us to help rescue someone from this horrendous crime. Devonna started with one girl at a time. How will you start?
KNOWLEDGE, PRAYER, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
Please take the time to inform yourselves. Think of the children in your family. Our grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and friends. All are at risk. Knowledge equips us, prayer empowers us, and the Holy Spirit moves us to be God’s vessels.
I made a resource document, for you to download. It’s a valuable piece of information. If you’d like me to email you a copy, please contact me at [email protected]
This document has a listing of each organization’s, vision, and website. Some of the listings have a link to a short video or webpage with valuable information. I’ve tried to keep them brief. Please, contact me for the list and download the document and save it for handy reference.
A short preview is listed below. The first is a Christian organization that works locally in Southern California and nationally. I went to one of their meetings, and it has moved my heart to follow. The second is recommended by Devonna Drey, who endorses all the ones on the Resource Document. She has hands-on communication with them. I promise you’ll be encouraged at the hope these organizations are offering to those in great need.
Sometimes it appears hopeless but rescuing one person is giving hope to many others. I pray that we also will offer the hope of Christ through our prayers and actions.
*Refuge for Women – Providing a safe place of escape for sexually exploited women.
https://www.rfwsocal.org/ Southern California Chapter
Here’s a video of one young woman’s story. It’s the mind behind what led her to the industry, to despair, and finally to God. It’s a short six-minute watch.
*Operation Underground Railroad – We exist to rescue children from sex trafficking and sexual exploitation https://ourrescue.org/
This is a link to a webpage that I found especially informative. A step-by-step process.
May He defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor. Psalms 72:4
I know this is a heavy topic, and as I said before, my book has some lighter and fun moments, but it’s real life too. And my agenda isn’t Human Trafficking. Undying faith, complete trust, and dying to self through serving our Lord is. It’s hard for me to imagine a trial more difficult than a child, or adult suffering exploitation, but I know God is there. Whenever we go to Him, he’s there. And when we don’t, he’s still there. Where else can you turn? He is our salvation and our hope. Just as the innocent victims in this horrendous crime, we all have the hope of the Savior.
Tomorrow is the last day of Release Week, and I have a special giveaway, an inspiring post, and one final excerpt from Shattered Guilt. Please join me, and thank you for your support. Don’t forget to hit Rafflecopter Giveaway below to enter to win those special golf balls. My husband picked them out special for the Father’s Day Giveaway. . Scroll down and enter any days that you may have missed as well. God Bless you, and thanks so much for joining me this week.