House On Sand by Debby Handman

Praying Sisters

House On Sand by Debby Handman is a powerful contemporary Christian novel that looks at loss, betrayal and new beginnings. Over the whole novel is the breath of God as we witness His faithfulness to His children.

Debby Handman is not afraid to tackle the sensitive issues of adultery and betrayal. We see the pain caused and the far-reaching effects of the fall-out. “[She]was a pastor’s wife and she had her Christian pride.” We see the fear that to show weakness may affect the faith of others. “They might believe their faith in Christ was fraudulent because of [his] dual life.” Sometimes people forget their pastor is human too. They place him on a pedestal and if he falls, their foundations may shift too.

Betrayal of marriage vows shakes a character to the core. “I’m in this marriage too. Do you see me?” Self esteem is shattered. Even belief in God is questioned. “How do you pray to a God you feel has abandoned you?” God never leaves us alone. He walks beside us in our pain but we cannot always see Him. Our pain blinds us to His presence. “He’s [God] always there even in the worst storm.”

Forgiveness is the key to moving beyond our pain. Without it we risk becoming stuck in the past and growing bitter. “They are poisoned by bitterness and anger. They’ve let their own disappointments destroy any of God’s blessings.”

We need to begin to live again. There is life after divorce. God will be found if we would just seek Him. “She knew God was there… She could believe that God loved her, and she was not forgotten.” When we return to God after wandering in the wilderness, there is much rejoicing.

There is also the pain of loss. “We all feel like damaged goods… I was angry at myself, at her, at God. It’s part of the grieving process.” We may turn to all sorts to dull the pain. We need to rest in God and let Him minister to our hurting heart.

Within the novel we see the importance of godly friends. We all need friends who love us enough to tell us the truth and to help fill us with the love of God. I thought the Prayer Sisters were a wonderful group of women, each with differing skill sets. One of my favourite scenes was where the women washed the feet of a homeless man. The love of God shone from the pages. It was a very Christ-like moment that will remain with me.

Debby Handman has produced a marvellous novel. It is realistic. It is relevant. And it is full of the love of God.

House On Sand is a powerful read that I loved. I will leave you with my favourite quote:

“You can’t really recognize the light if you don’t know what the darkness looks like.”

I received a free copy from the author. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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