When we write about our hearts, we open up a door to let others in. This emotion-seat within us is the closest place we can get to one another. It is where He meets and, ultimately, changes us. Being real with each other allows for the type of relationship that fosters freedom. It is glorious when it is right. It brings blessings.
Sometimes, though, these tender parts of us hide lies and untruths which can cause the most significant damage. Our vulnerability becomes uncovered when we reveal a piece of ourselves. The armor is removed and the tender flesh is laid bare and unprotected when we witness to others.
Yet, it is right here, in the seat of our emotions and our loving, that we risk our living as we share. When we take the significant risks, there is a chance that we will find challenges and possibly loss, but it is prime ground for hope to flourish.
In this sacred space which is meant for Christ to dwell, hope has roots that foster courage and strength to tell our stories, to testify, and to shout promise in the midst of our broken moments. Here is where we find the fuel to further the quest for peace and grace in the midst of the daily living. Here is where we see heroes stand strong and warriors guarding hope with a fierce determination to contend for truth.
I have a friend who has written a story of contending, determination, and hope. She has taken a risk to tell a tale that was not easy. It explores the art of real living, the emotion of loving fully, and the heartbreak of meeting God in our brokenness.
Pure Eyes Clean Heart, A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography is a testimony of hope.
Jen and Craig Ferguson share their story of redemption and hope as they navigated the storm of dealing with addiction. Their book, Pure Eyes Clean Heart, A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography, deals with more than just the realization of a problem and the passage through it; it fills in holes that addiction leaves behind. The practical, necessary, and hope-filled words that lace the pages of each chapter bring the reader to a place where freedom is not just something to wish for, but it is something we can actually attain.
Written in sections of 3 chapters that allow Jen and Craig space to share their voice, the final chapter in each section brings us back to God’s story. Friend this is what I love about this book. They bring it all back to God and His story of saving, redeeming, and restoring each of us.
We can all identify with the reality of addiction.
I easily identified with Jen’s story. I could closely relate with a need to control the situations that were uncontrolled in my own life. I appreciated Craig’s candor and courage to tell his side of the story, honestly and heart-felt, revealing a desire to seek God and serve Him. I loved how they brought it back to the Word of God with each concluding section, including thought questions to help the reader process what they were sharing.
I literally could not put the book down once I started. It was easy to read and, with their personalities showing through, I found myself both absorbing their pain and rejoicing in their moments of triumph. The raw truth and humble reverence for the Lordship of Christ, permeated the entire theme of this couple’s retelling of going from bondage to freedom, together. I finished the book feeling inspired.
The realization that we all have idols and addictions, was heavy on my heart. What do you have weighing on you right now? Today you may think that reading this book is not for you because you may not have an issue in your marriage, or you don’t struggle with the topic of pornography. However, I would encourage you to realize that you need to read this book more than you know.
Whatever we are holding back from God becomes a stronghold in our lives and leaves us broken before the altar of grace. That is an addiction in our lives which replaces God. Craig and Jen share the power of God that fully reroutes a life submitted to truth.
Jen writes about wearing hope in the book.
“ Hope is not a destination. We don’t make it to the end of process and think, “Now, we can have hope.” Rather, hope is what gets us to our destination. It is the fuel that keeps us going even when the future looks bleak. It is what compels us to keep trying, even when the task looks insurmountable. It is that which keeps us afloat when we are drowning in a stormy sea.” ( p.107)
She clarifies that the only true source of this hope lies fully in God alone.
Jen and Craig bring us to the promise of putting on hope like a garment that is balanced upon truth. God’s promises to save us and to lift us up out of the storm, even if they are storms we create ourselves. One of my favorite sentences in the book is nestled in this chapter on hope.
“Essentially, we are wearing His hope, clinging to it as a life preserver, to keep us from drowning while enduring the storm that is porn addiction.”
Reading it, being challenged and encouraged, I want to take that statement and expand it. We are able to wear His hope as a life preserver in the storms of our lives, whatever name we call them and whatever origin is their beginning.
What an image of encouragement.. to wear His Hope.
The courage which looked a hopeless situation in the face became a beacon of hope to others who are wading, perhaps drowning, in an ocean of their own making or a sea of addiction. Whatever name it owns, pornography, control, etc., without God it will become a master over our lives. Like Craig and Jen, we each need to examine the issues that face us, taunt us, break us, under the light of Christ’s hope. We need to embrace the blessing of repentance and release everything as we come to the Cross leaving our idols, our shame, our hurt, and our strongholds there.
Jen and Craig took a big risk in sharing their story, but I can promise you that it will be nothing but an investment for you to take time to read it. What a blessing to cheer my friend on as they carry this light for Christ, bringing freedom to so many who are struggling to break out of the darkness that has enveloped them through addiction.
I have included the details on how to find the book for yourselves at the end of the post so that you too, can find the book and add it to your library or give it as a gift to someone who may need it. This week, I have the express privilege of being able to give away a book to one lucky winner. So keep reading below to find out how you can be entered in to the drawing.
Friends, I hope you will take time to read more about Jen and Craig’s story, and the hope they found as they came to the Cross seeking His grace and finding freedom.
To emter your name in the drawing for the book, please complete 1 or all of the following options.
- Leave a comment below letting me know you would like to be entered into the drawing.
- Sign up to receive Journeys In Grace in your inbox each time I post.
- Head over to the Journeys In Grace FB page and like the page.
- Send me a quick note at firstname.lastname@example.org with a though about finding hope in the storm.
A note about the authors:
Craig and Jen have been married since 2000. They love spending their time with their lovely daughters and two (rather high maintenance) dogs in Austin, Texas.
Jen Ferguson is passionate about Jesus, her husband, and her two girls. She is the facilitator of The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood and loves to encourage women to bring their true selves out into the light. She is the co-author of Pure Eyes, Clean Heart: A Couple’s Journey to Freedom from Pornography.
You can find out more about the book by visiting their new site, www.PureEyesCleanHeart.com.
If you’d like to purchase this book, here are some options:
Amazon.com will release the book soon, but you can pre-order it here. It’s available for immediate download to your Kindle here. If you are a Barnes and Noble shopper, the paperback will ship October 10th, but you can have it on your Nook immediately by ordering here. Of course, if you’d like to order the paperback immediately, you can order it from Jen’s wonderful publishing house here (it’s on sale!). If you’d like any more info on the book, come drop by the website!
Craig and Jen are giving away a date night package here:
And don’t forget! Date Night Package Giveaway here: http://www.solideogloriasisterhood.com/the-hill-the-launch-and-the-date-night-package-for-you-and-the-sdg-gathering-of-course/
Linking up with hearts who long to share truth here: