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“You and Dad—your attempt to make something beautiful out of all of this destruction is amazing. Well done, Mom. I love you and am grateful to have you as mom. You and Dad keep loving each other, and don't be too tough on emotional expectations. Pick each other up and try to be encouraging. I think Satan's going to be ticked off again at our family in a whole new way, so be alert. Pray and love each other, whatever may come.

“I love you both a lot. You're great parents. J.P.”

Beneath his initials, Jason added a smiley face with two teeth because his father and I were able to successfully negotiate the notoriously merciless penal system in order to get his teeth fixed. The book has been a real gift to our family, enabling us to use our pain as a catapult to reach other suffering pilgrims.

We have also become advocates for prisoners and their families through Speak Up for Hope, an organization that ministers to the families of those who are incarcerated. As Jason serves his penalty, I, too, live out a life sentence of hope deferred. But with the loss of former expectations comes the possibility of new dreams, dreams forged by fire, heartache and suffering that are made of strong metals. For I know that true redemption comes from our Father's hand.

Read a companion devotional.


Carol Kent is a popular speaker and author. Stoneman assisted in the writing of this article.

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