I work in a world where life is not always beautiful. Parents neglect and harm children. They make promises they can’t or don’t intend to keep. Children grow up thinking they are the problem…that if only they were good enough or pretty enough or nice enough, then someone will love them. And since they don’t ever feel good or pretty or nice enough, they often look for ways to medicate the pain. Self-destructive behaviors take over and the cycle often ends up repeating itself generation after generation.

On days like the one I’ve had today as I write this post, mean words and hateful acts make it seem like life is anything but beautiful. So to open a book called Life is Beautiful is a bit of a stretch some days.

Lifeisbeautiful coverLife is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God, by Sarah M. Johnson, reminded me that none of us are alone when it comes to facing trials in life. Stuff  happens. People don’t do what they are supposed to do. And sometimes you wind up in situations that you never dreamed of.

For Sarah, it was a plane crash that forced her to deal with life’s realities. Sarah grows up in a family that is at once loving and distant. Her father’s drug abuse made Sarah angry but wasn’t enough to keep her from sliding down the same slope of alcohol abuse. As families are complicated, Sarah loved and hated her father all at the same time she didn’t want to disappoint him. Feeling like she had when she failed in school, she slipped further into the addiction cycle.

God, however, has a funny way of showing up when we least expect it and when He showed up for Sarah, she kept Him in her sights even through the worst days of her life. During her father’s recovery the family travels to Guatemala on a mission trip. In a small plane with 14 passengers when it crashes, Sarah, her mom and one other passenger are the only survivors. And Sarah is left to deal with the deaths of her father and brother, and the severe injuries of her mom all alone.

Again, Sarah continues to go back towards God, even though some days she can barely function through the haze of her addiction. Sarah’s story seems hopeless at times but with God, there is always hope. Through prayer and therapy, Sarah begins to rely more and more on God and begins to so see how He is truly working to make her life beautiful again. That’s the compelling part of Sarah’s story – that she returned to God over and over again, and He answered her prayers.

Life is Beautiful will encourage you to view your life’s circumstances through a different lens. It will help you look for the ways God is working around you. It will lead you to search out the places where God is connecting with you through the story He is allowing you to live. 

Because that’s the thing about this life. God never promised it would be easy. But He did promise to show up. He did promise to never leave us. He did promise to work in all things for our good. And when you recognize that, just like Sarah, you will find that life can truly be beautiful again.


Enter to win your own copy of Life is Beautiful below!

Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful will be released on August 25, 2015. It is available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Sarah JohnsonSarah M. Johnson is currently a graduate student seeking her Marriage and Family Therapy degree. She will graduate in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. After graduating, she plans to open up a private practice office and guide those who are seeking their own self-discoveries of love and happiness.

Sarah believes that adversity is a gateway for change, and that through the difficult times of sorrow, loss, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, disease, or other mental illness, we can use this adversity to self-explore and change for the better. We must not run away from the adversity, but face it, heal, and use this particular adversity as a learning lesson.

We all have the capacity to be happy and love ourselves; but we must utilize all necessary support systems, medical professionals, mental health professionals, Religious affiliations, (and many more that I am not mentioning) to help us find the Power Within. The Power Within helps us to accept our adversity and create necessary change for a life of love and happiness.

To learn more, go to http://lifeisbeautifulbook.com/  Connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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