It was Thursday, March 3rd, that I received an email from Karen Kingsbury's office, informing me that I was chosen to receive an advanced copy of the book Leaving to review and to help promote. I had been looking forward to this new series about Bailey, who has for many series been one of my favorite characters in fiction. I feel like I’ve watched her grow up.
Later that night, I stood by my father's bedside, with my mom and sister beside me, and watched and prayed as my father traded in his earthly home for his heavenly one after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Although I my heart broke as he left us behind, my soul rejoiced that he was with Jesus and finally free from suffering!
I received my book in the mail a couple days later and began reading it the day after the funeral. It was fitting that this book about characters I've loved for so many years was about leaving and saying goodbye. Bailey leaving for New York. Cody leaving for a new job. Cole leaving his sandlot days behind. (Thank you, Karen, for not having my favorite hero Landon leave!)
Leaving is one of the hardest parts of life, whether it be leaving a childhood behind like Bailey is or leaving a frail human body behind like my dad did. The beauty of the Christian faith is that that leaving doesn't ever mean forever when we have a hope in Jesus. Leaving just means saying goodbye until Jesus brings us back together again either in this life time or in the one to come.Karen writes about difficult life situations, but the hope of Jesus is woven through each storyline.
Thanks for picking me to receive this advanced copy. God knew I would need to read it.