After the Locusts: Restoring Ruined Dreams, Reclaiming Wasted Years

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9780805424904: After the Locusts: Restoring Ruined Dreams, Reclaiming Wasted Years

In the Bible, they were kosher food. John the Baptist had his with honey. And who can forget when Charleton Heston as Moses cast them over Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to "let my people go?"

We might not be dealing with such biblical blights, but trials and misfortunes still invade our lives, making unwelcome visits that test everything we trust.

Jan Coleman draws a convincing parallel between the locust plagues of old and modern plagues of the heart. They come in many forms; loss of a marriage, death of a loved one, painful abuse, illness or personal failure. As she builds chapter themes around scripture verses from the Book of Joel, Jan highlights women whose lives are a testimony of God's restoration plan. It reminds us that God uses disaster and disappointment to stir people to a new sense of Himself.

Years ago, Jan faced the death of her dreams and felt like a swarm of locusts had swooped down and ruined her future. There were the creeping locusts whispering, "This isn't really happening;" the gnawing locusts whittling away her confidence; the stripping locusts exposing her deep anger. She found a promise of hope tucked in an obscure book in the Old Testament, a promise that shaped her life, the promise that God will "restore the years the locusts have eaten."

Chapter one is titled, "The Big Bug Blitz" and foreshadows the tone of the book which reads like a novel. "The locusts were at it again. I knew it the moment I saw the clouded look in her eye, by the trance-like way she kept pouring cream in her cofffee. 'I can't believe this is happening,' the stranger murmured to our prayer breakfast group. 'I don't think I can go on. I feel so alone.'"

Readers are drawn into Ginger's heart and the pain of a ruined dream. As Jan offers to mentor Ginger through her healing process, we are eyewitnesses to her struggles to trust God again. With biting honesty and wit, Jan reveals her own story of the loss of her marriage, her foolish choices and the ache of prodigal daughters. Ginger moves toward hope as Jan shares stories of other women who reveal their heartbreaks--Phyllis who lost her only child to a tragic car accident, Eileen who was nine months pregnant when her husband drown while diving, Susan whose secret affair with a pastor almost destroyed her, Lisa whose past of abuse brought a distrust for men and God, and author Liz Curtis Higgs whose "bad girl" days, her "locust years" are the heartbreak of her ministry today.

The stories in the book are different, but the feelings of damage and waste, emptiness, fear and regret are common to all. The consistent thread of hope lies in how these women partnered with God to redeem their losses in surprising and wonderful ways. Each of them found a deeper relationship with God and new purpose.

Written with a unique style of warmth and gentle humor, After the Locusts is an uplifting message for every woman; those who has known loss and those who want to offer comfort to others.

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From the Author:

I never set out to get cozy with Joel, a rather dim figure among the minor prophets of the Bible. But knowing this guy changed my life. His name, a common one in Israel means, "the Lord is God." You've got to love a guy with a name like that.

Joel's book, wedged between Hosea and Amos, deals with a locust plague, not such a big deal considering bug blitzes were quite common in those days. But this one was unique. A complete disaster, it wiped out everything. The locusts cane in successive swarms, each destroying what the others had left behind.

But God had a purpose, to use the plague to stir people to a new sense of Himself.

Along comes Joel. With vivid word pictures and powerful emotions, he pleads to the people to get the message: there are dark days ahead, yes, but God desires to bless His people who live honorably in the face of struggle and loss.

It took me some time to piece this truth together, and I took some foolish turns on my way to healing. In my painful yesterdays, I clung to the promise of Joel 2:25. I watched God not only repay me for the years but remold my life into something richer and better than before. I wouldn't have believed it years ago when the locusts of despair swooped into my life, but now, after the locusts, there is a deep valley in my soul, not a dark valley but a crevice where joy has settled in, a joy I would never have known without the storm.

About the Author:

Jan Coleman has a favorite motto: If you can laugh at it you can live with it. Though she writes on serious issues of the heart, she adds a touch of humor. A good chuckle at ourselves and the situation is good therapy, she says. It's sunshine for the mind, the pole that adds balance as we walk the tightrope of life. A veteran of loss and locust survivor, Jan lives her life on the light side, trying to view it in hopeful confidence from the eternal perspective.

A former journalist, humor columnist and legislative aide, Jan has been published in numerous magazines, is a contributing author to the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series and God Allows U-turns as well as dozens of other story collections. As a speaker, she merges her own life's lessons with Biblical insights that upift and inspire. She's known for her hunmor which tugs at the heartstrings of her audience.

For five years she served as co-leader of a large singles ministry and shared the message of the locusts with many hurting women.

Though God restored her in many other ways, he brought her a new mate who is committed wholly to her and his faith. She and Carl live in the foothills of the Sierra mountains in California. Her favorite getaway is to the high country to fish for trout.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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