Please welcome JoAnn Carter to The West Corner! She’s here today with her book Detour: Destination Abiding Love.
Ex-bad-girl Sierra Sinclair has finally surrendered her life to the Lord. A hopeful future pursuing her dreams in music lies ahead. But first, she must provide restitution for those she wronged in the past.
Returning to her hometown, she offers an eloquent testimony and a series of free concerts. And then, Colton Smith, son of a prominent town leader, shows an interest in her. Sierra’s bright future looks trouble-free, but she soon finds out otherwise.
When Colton’s parents and the townsfolk won’t forgive or forget her past, will this promising romance end before it ever has the chance to begin?
Cole couldn’t take his eyes off the woman standing behind the pulpit. At first, her strange outfit intrigued him. It was some kind of wrinkly-textured blouse with puffy sleeves in a pattern of bright orange and brown. The neckline scooped down and exposed creamy skin, a bit more than usual for inside church, to say nothing of the tight, form-fitting pants he’d noticed as she made her way up to the front earlier.Her outfit may have made a bold statement and fallen a little short of appropriate, but it was nothing compared to how freely she admitted her past. Talk about bold and uncomfortable. How could he not admire the courage and determination he saw as she began her testimony? Now that he thought about it, he vaguely remembered his parents mentioning the Sinclair scandal, but he had been away at college at the time. Sitting here, he realized it wasn’t just some story. It was real. It was this woman’s life.
Her slender frame and hands moved gracefully as she continued. “I can’t say things suddenly became easy after I met Christ. In fact, it’s been hard indifferent ways, but worth every second.” She pressed her lips together for a moment. The room seemed to hold its breath. “I started drug rehab before I came to know Him, but now I realize that it has only been through His strength and power, that I’ve been clean for a little over a year.” She laced her fingers and gazed around the room.
His heart banged against his chest. What would say next? Her gaze found his, and he couldn’t look away. “Honestly though, drug withdrawal is nothing compared to the detox Christ has been doing in my heart. As the Bible says, I am a new creation in Christ.” Sierra glanced back at Pastor Bill. “It’s because of that,and the work He’s begun in me that I’ve returned to Daviston to what was once my hometown.” Her voice quivered a bit. “I’ve come back to ask your forgiveness. I want to make retribution, as far as I am able, for what I have taken.”
By the time she was done speaking, her face was pale and she looked about ready to pass out. Pastor Bill stood beside her and rested his hand on her shoulder. “Brothers and sisters, I want you to know this visit is a sacrifice for this gal. Sierra’s been given an amazing opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream of hers, to work as a professional musician.” His gaze encompassed the whole congregation. “But, she’s delayed her move to New York City for three months.Instead, she chose to come here and live among us to mend these broken fences. I encourage you to welcome her with open arms and grant her the forgiveness she’s asking, just as Christ has forgiven you.”
(From the Author) I dedicated this story to every guy and gal who, as Paul states in Scripture, wants to, throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Some days running with perseverance seems so elusive! You may carry burdens of guilt and shame…perhaps complacency and doubt is weighing you down, where it’s hard enough just to walk, let alone run.I don’t know what you may be struggling with today,but God does. Because of that, I pray that God may use this story in a special way to touch your heart–for His honor and glory.
About the Author
JoAnn Carter is married to a fantastic husband who has been in youth ministry for 26+ years. The Lord has blessed them with four children. Currently residing in Vermont, she enjoys being with her family & friends, writing, reading, exercising and cooking. For her “day job” she keeps busy working as a Licensed Practical Nurse in family practice medicine. The love of writing was something she discovered after her children were born. Her main goal in story telling is to encourage readers of all ages and to strengthen their faith in our amazing God.
Connect with JoAnn Carter online