He knows. Hope and encouragement for #csa #survivors.Β 

For anyone who’s ever been told to hush, or that no one will believe you, or that your story is too dark to be told. 

God knows your pain.

He sees your wounds–and every person who ever inflicted them.

He heals.

He restores.

And He will bring justice.



On faith in the hard.

In my newest release, Then Sings My Soul, the main character, Jakob, has lived through 94 years of tumult and suffering. As a young Jewish boy who escaped Russian pogroms of the early 20th century, he witnessed many loved ones die for or because of their faith.

As with many of that generation, Jakob grows up keeping his faith relatively quiet, stuffed within him, covered and safe by shrouds of doubt and anger, shame and fear. 

I can’t give away too much more, so you’ll have to read the book to see how that does or does not change for Jakob as he nears the end of his life.

The idea of steadfast faith in the midst of trials and persecution influenced the main storyline thread in Then Sings My Soul. The book, Mudhouse Sabbath, by Lauren Winner, influenced it as well. A former Orthodox Jew who converted to Christianity, Winner writes that she, “found that her life was indelibly marked by the rich traditions and spiritual practices of Judaism. [In Mudhouse Sabbath, she] presents eleven Jewish practices that can transform the way Christians view the world and God.”

In one scene of Then Sings My Soul, Jakob’s older brother, Peter, tries to encourage him to keep the faith in his head going, even when he doesn’t feel it in his heart. One way the Jewish people have done that is by reciting a sort of liturgy called the Kaddish during seasons of mourning. Here is what Winner says,

“Even in the pit, even in depresssion and loss and nonsense, still we respond to God with praise. This is not to say that the mourner should not feel what he feels–anger, disbelief, hatred. He can feel those things (and shout them out to God; God can take it). You do not have to feel praise in the intense moments of mourning, but the praise is still true, and insisting upon it over and over, twice a day every day, ensures that eventually you will come to remember the truth of those praises.”

Whether at the beginning, middle or end of our lives, there is always a battle going on for our hearts...a battle for truth, a battle for hope, a battle for our loyalty to God. Often, we struggle to understand what in the world about following Jesus Christ is worth it anymore.

Reciting the truth like Jewish mourners do, choosing or even writing out our own psalm of praise, and saying it whether we feel like it or not can work to bring the head and the heart back together in times of uncertainty and persecution.

Dear friends, so much of what we fight in this world is unseen.

In faithfulness we can find joy once again. 



One is the loneliest number…until…

Half the battle, you know,
is in feeling alone


until someone comes along and believes
in something
more than we can see


in ourselves, the mirror a
dull reflection, a shadow of all the grace
in our lives unnoticed


the hand of God a mystery until we look back and know
we weren’t ever alone, that


He was just stitching us up with the threads
of others,
the whole


Then Sings My Soul is a story like that, of lives discouraged and full of hurt and questions and loneliness. But the story doesn’t end there. You won’t believe what happens to Jakob and his daughter, Nel. And you won’t believe what happens to you when you read their story, too.

Then Sings My Soul. Available now wherever your favorite place is to buy books.


“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.”
Psalm 147:3 (NIV)