Today’s post is by Christian author Lorilyn Roberts. I know you will enjoy her story. Be sure to check out her book, Children of Dreams, and enter to win prizes at the John 3:16 Marketing Network August Book Launch Event.
Excerpt from Children of Dreams
Although I grew up in a moral home, it was not a Christian home. As a young teen, I read the Bible in the darkness of my room under covers and was amazed at the humanity of Jesus Christ and His unrelenting love for those who hated him. It was as if I was among the masses that listened to Him on the hills of Jerusalem. I was amazed by His teachings and accepted His salvation—so I could be with Him in heaven for all eternity. I didn’t want to go to hell.
Without a Christian worldview, my choices were based on human determination and not godly wisdom. Neil Armstrong’s words when he stepped on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” resonated with my “nothing ventured, nothing gained” mentality. I believed I could “go where no man [or woman] had gone before,” as the Enterprise did in the original Star Trek series. Whether it was chasing aliens on distant planets or becoming the next Jacques Cousteau, I thought if I made straight A’s and met “Mr. Right,” my dreams would come true. They didn’t.
In the fall of 1985, I was a full-time student at the University of Florida when I returned home from school one day and discovered that my husband had packed his bags and left. I frantically called him to see where he was. Why wasn’t he coming home? Did he not love me anymore?
After working six years as a court reporter putting him through graduate and medical school, he had promised me that I could return to school when he began his residency in radiation oncology. Obtaining my college degree was another “dream” that had been taken from me. Now all that mattered was my husband had left. I withdrew from college for the semester to deal with the crisis. We had a few counseling sessions, but he wasn’t willing to work on the marriage. I continued to work on me.
The following January, I enrolled at Santa Fe College to retake the Calculus course I had dropped the previous fall. When I got to derivatives, a mental flashback to my husband abandoning me made it seem insurmountable. The professor had been covering derivatives the day I came home and discovered he was gone. Rather than dropping the course or communicating with my professor at Santa Fe College, I quit going. Despite attempts by my instructor to contact me, I never answered her calls. I received an “F” for the course on my otherwise impeccable record at Santa Fe College.
A few years later, when the divorce was final and God had given me new direction, an opportunity arose through the National Court Reporters Association to enroll in the External Degree Program at the University of Alabama. The thought of earning that elusive college degree consumed me. Without missing a beat, I called the University of Alabama to obtain more information on applying to the program.
Suddenly that “F” in Calculus looked “damning” on my record. I had no one to blame except myself. I deserved the “F.” There was nothing I could do to change it. The ink had long dried, recorded in the books for all to see, including the Registrar’s Office at the University of Alabama.
I went to the Office of Student Affairs at Santa Fe College to obtain a copy of my transcript. Thirteen “A’s” and one “F” were printed across my transcript. I shared with the counselor the circumstances surrounding the “F”, lamenting how I wished I had dealt with it and how I hated seeing it on my permanent record. It never occurred to me that they could do anything about it. I asked her if she thought it would cause my application to be rejected from the University of Alabama.
The counselor told me to wait in her office for a few minutes and she would be right back. She left and returned shortly and handed me two sheets of paper. The first sheet contained my official transcript. On the second page, in large letters written across the Calculus I course were the words, No Record.
Santa Fe College had deleted the Calculus I class from their computers. As far as they were concerned, I never took the course. There was “no record.” I looked at the transcript page, and sure enough, Calculus I was not there. I didn’t know colleges had it in their power to remove courses that students had taken and for which they received failing grades.
That day God showed me forgiveness. I left knowing I didn’t deserve that kind of mercy. I realized God had revealed to me a greater truth. I had to forgive everybody that I had any bitterness toward if I wanted to receive God’s forgiveness. The day marked a turning point in my life. I knew I was without excuse.
I couldn’t just forgive once—it had to become a way of life. How could I be a good mother if I brought all of that baggage into a “forever” family with Manisha and Joy? Forgiveness was the cornerstone of my healing and essential for God’s redemption.
It wasn’t until after my painful divorce that I understood it is God who shapes our dreams and directs our paths. It was then that I gave all of my life to Jesus Christ—including my dreams. Little did I know what wonderful plans God had in store. Not that my life has been easy; if we embrace a radical Christianity, I don’t think it will be. God took me as I was—bitter, hurt, and angry—and began a huge reconstruction project.
Children of Dreams is being showcased by the John 3:16 Marketing Network as part of their August Book Launch Event. Be sure to visit http://bit.ly/Christian_Books for a chance to win a Kindle, a $25 gift card and a $10 Starbucks card, as well as purchase Children of Dreams.
Lorilyn Roberts is a Christian author who writes children’s picture books, adult nonfiction, memoirs, and a young adult Christian fantasy series, Seventh Dimension.
Lorilyn graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama, which included international study in Israel and England. She received her Masters in Creative Writing from Perelandra College and is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature.