Family Journey, Faith Journey

"I didn’t know that my parents were praying for me or that God was with me then..."

Posted in , Nov 27, 2013

Jo Ann Brown, author of The Lost Noel from the Secrets of Mary's Bookshop series

Jo Ann Brown is the author of The Lost Noel from Guideposts' Merry Mysteries series.

Like many of the characters I write about, family is the centerpiece of my life. And Christmas is a wonderful time to enjoy being surrounded by family.

That’s true for Mary Fisher in The Lost Noel: She must solve a Christmas mystery when her family gathers in the Cape Cod village of Ivy Bay to enjoy their church’s living nativity.

In our own church, I love the celebrations in the weeks leading up to Christmas. One stands out in memory: It was the year my son and younger daughter were taking confirmation classes and our family was asked to light the final Advent candle. The focus that year was on the journey taken by Joseph and Mary and how they came together as a family. Each week a different family lit a candle and spoke of a journey in their lives.

My younger daughter asked if she could present for our family. She wrote of the journey she had taken as an almost 2-year-old when she came from Korea to become part of our family.

“Once upon a time, not so many years ago, I went on a journey very much like Mary and Joseph’s. I knew I was going far away from everything I knew, and I didn’t know what I’d find when I got there. I simply put my trust in those who watched over me. I’m sure I was scared, and I’m sure I would have rather stayed where I was because people were taking good care of me.

“But I went. I didn’t know that my parents were praying for my safe arrival. And I didn’t know that God was with me then as he always will be. He was there in the heart of the lady on my plane from Korea who made sure I was taken care of and gave me a box of cookies. He was there in the heart of the escort who carried me to my mom’s arms. He was there in the heart of the pastor who baptized my grandfather and me together one special Sunday. He is with me and my family now.”

Her sincere words have stayed with me to remind me how important family and faith are on the journeys we all take through life.

Jo Ann Brown grew up in New England but is now transplanted in the desert southwest. A former military officer, she and her husband have three children and one very spoiled cat. She has published close to 100 books.

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