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"Messy Journey - How Grace & Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home"

This is very much a book for parents of children who have taken what the book calls an ‘unexpected detour’. In biblical terms, we would call them ‘prodigals’. The author, Lori, has 25 years experience working with parents and families on a range of issues and the focus of the book is on her relationship with her adopted daughter Courtney, who struggles with gender identity and same-sex attraction (SSA).

The book does not however just deal with the subject of children with SSA, but is far wider reaching and covers parents having to deal with their children’s confessions of premarital sex, teenage pregnancy, drug addiction and loss/rejection of the faith in which they have been raised.

What is unique about the book is that it has contributions from Courtney herself on her perspective on her SSA struggles, but also short statements from a range of parents on their feelings and responses to their own personal family situations. It also covers the impact that many of these situations have on the wider family and the tensions and relationship breakdowns which can arise.

Throughout the text there are encouraging and helpful scriptures plus prayer guidance on how to approach God with your emotions and pain as a parent in dealing with your child’s ‘detour’ in life. It is a book which is honest and realistic, but also full of hope.

The journey is still ongoing for Lori, Courtney and their wider family but I was encouraged by the message of unconditional love which runs through the pages of the book and would recommend it as a read.

Even if you’re not a parent, it is still worth reading as it is helpful to be able to understand how our actions can impact on our own parents and maybe help us in supporting other parents who are going through the emotional upheaval of having ‘prodigal’ children.

New Hope Publishers, May 2017
£8.87 paperback Kindle £9.17
192 pages