I have to go back 32 years—two years before I met my wonderful husband—to when I gave birth to a little girl. Not married at the time, I felt God urge me to relinquish her to a Christian couple unable to have children. I named my baby, Sarah, in the hope that one day I would see her again.
That crushed me, but it was best for my baby at the time, as I wanted her to have a loving dad as well as a loving mom. I had grown up with a neglectful, alcoholic dad, so I didn’t really know what a father’s love felt like, but I sure wanted my child to experience that kind of love.
I also believed that God would answer my prayers that one day when Sarah was grown, He would bring us together again, and knit our hearts in a special birth-mom and birth-daughter relationship.
God was so good to me in the years following the relinquishment of Sarah. A year after giving up Sarah, the Lord sent me my sweet husband David and gave us our three children.
David and I in November 1980
Me and Lana--the daughter God gave me to keep in 1981.
Kyle when he was little. My Sonshine.
Our youngest, Rob, a number of years later, on holidays. Rob the apple of my eye.
Now skip ahead . . . twenty years later my birth-daughter, Sarah, and I were reunited. That was wonderful and yet terrible at the same time.
The day of the reunion for Sarah and I. Wonderful and difficult. This is Mark (Sarah's fiance), Sarah, me, Lana, and Rob in front. Kyle was too shy.
Adoption reunions are not easy for anyone in the adoption triad. After the reunion I began to relive my original loss of Sarah. It just hurt so much. She was my child and yet she was not my child. To my heart-break, it didn't appear that the long desired special relationship would develop.
I was so hurt, so angry with God for disappointing me. I had prayed so long and hard, trusting that He would give me that special relationship with Sarah.
A few months after meeting Sarah, my husband caught me crying on our living room couch one day. He slipped out and returned a while later with a brand new pen and journal. He placed these items into my hands and said, “Here honey, write it.”
That was the start. My journaling turned into books as the years passed. But always beneath anything that I write, is the understanding of loss and loneliness, heartbreak, and the healing and joy that only God can bring.
One day as I was reading my Bible, a verse jumped out at me. I understood a mother’s love, but still could not fathom a father’s love. It skewed my understanding of the Heavenly Father’s love. But the verse in Isaiah 49:15, 16 showed me.
“Can a woman forget the baby at her breast, and have no compassion on the child she has borne. Though she may forget, I will not forget you. See…I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
I began to realize that none of my children, including Sarah, could fill that emptiness in my heart. As much as I desired a close relationship with all my children, I was designed for a close relationship with my Heavenly Father.
A few years later I felt the Lord encourage me to put the emotional and spiritual healing that He had given me into fictional stories to help others. The day came that my debut novel about the British Raj in India was about to be released—a story that has nothing to do with adoption.
My publisher, WhiteFire, and I were excited as we discussed the design of the cover.
Me with a group of Christian students in India, 2010
Then I noticed the model they suggested resembled my birthdaughter. On a whim I suggested Sarah for the model, and the publisher agreed. Sarah was shy at first, but she pitched in on this step of faith with me, and I was grateful at the time for this budding in our friendship.
Sarah in the sari material I bought in India.
It wasn’t until later that I realized—that without my ever planning or imagining it—God had not only inspired me to write because of my sadness over losing my first child to adoption, but He then placed the face of my beautiful muse on the front cover of my book.
Only our Heavenly Father can do something so intricately tender. But the Lord wasn't finished blessing me yet.
Sarah teaching hygiene in Africa
A few months after Shadowed in Silk was released, my birthdaughter Sarah and her husband Mark came to visit. They want to tell us that they felt called to go into fulltime missionary work with Global Aid Network. They would be working with several organizations all around the world that specifically helps widows and orphans.
Sarah and Mark as Medical Missionaries
One of the missions in their sphere of interest would be the Ramabai Mukti Mission in India.
When I heard this I nearly fell off my chair in amazement.
I had never told Sarah, but the true-life Ramabai who started the Mukti mission in India was the inspiration behind my novel.
Many years ago, I had prayed for the Lord to give Sarah and I a special relationship. It took a while, but He knit our hearts together in the respective work He gave each of us to do.
We have to remember that we serve a God who delights in working with little people and small things—a shepherd boy, a few smooth stones. A babe in a womb that rocks the world.
Sarah with the children she loves
When it came time to release Captured by Moonlight Book 2 of the Twilight of the British Raj I had to have my daughter Lana—the daughter God gave me to keep—as the model on the front cover.
Here are a few photos of that wonderful, happy day. And my joy at seeing my two daughters as bookends of joy in my life. Thanks to our Awesome tender-hearted Heavenly Father.
Both my beautiful daughters on the books God inspired.
About "Captured by Moonlight"
Prisoners to their own broken dreams…
After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.
Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him and to the tiger cub he is raising?
Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?
Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?
About the Author: Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes award-winning historical novels. In Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the endless theme of the Heavenly Father’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.
Christine Lindsay would love to connect with you on her website www.christinelindsay.com
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