At 29, JAN HART was a widow with four children. She wondered where God disappeared to. She’d followed all the rules, but still the bottom fell out of her life. Where were all those promises now? she wondered. Where were the answers to prayer? Where was the good life she as a Christian was promised for her obedience? Have you ever felt that way?
A type-A personality who liked her ducks all in a row, saw others’ failures as flaws in their character, concerned about what the neighbors thought and believed that her children and job performance were direct reflections of her own competence, Jan Hart was one busy woman! Unknown to her, this was the perfect foundation to be encrusted in legalism while doing the “Christian” life. Then, life fell apart. Completely. God was nowhere to be found, or so she thought.
Now, alone she wondered, “Where were all those answers to prayer now? Where were all those promises? Where was that good life being a Christian supposedly brought about?” She heard no responses, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.
So, like the prodigal son, she ran. She made her own choices, her own decisions…her own compromises. She stepped onto the playgrounds of life without acknowledging God and definitely without the name of Jesus. She tried her very best to fit in with the other kids, denying the truths she knew should guide her life and instead choosing to turn away from the very place she actually needed to be.
Over and over and over again she denied His whispers for her to come back home. And even in the midst of her bad choices, He still protected her from things she would never be able to be healed from. Then, once again, her entire world crashed down upon her because the one in whom she had placed all her trust, all her hope and all her faith couldn’t bear the heavy load. But then, no human could. Ever.
And she, again, was all alone. Broken. Compromised. Having spent all her inheritance, given away all her relationships, lost full parts of who she used to be, empty, crushed and done with life. And there she sat in the front of her pick-up truck, on the side of a mountain in a God-forsaken place trying to decide whether to go forward, to go back or to go over, when she finally cried out at the top of her lungs to the one she had denied for so long.
And like the prodigal son, she came face-to-face with grace. In THAT moment. In THAT season. In THOSE filthy garments, covered with stain. It was THEN…when ALL was lost and doors to any future in that life were slamming shut in front of her…THEN, she felt something. Something familiar. She heard something…a whisper perhaps? And THERE it was…Amazing grace. Saving, sustaining, life-giving grace. God’s grace. Right there! Or could it be that perhaps it never left?
Jan’s story is one of a true prodigal daughter who knew God and then drifted away from Him for over a decade. She shares her homecoming story with all who will listen. In a casual, simple way, she speaks to human beings that Jesus died for. Although she knows she deserves it to be, her story is not one of guilt and shame. She is fully convinced that the unimaginable, unthinkable, undeserved grace and mercy she has experienced is available to any who would receive it. And that not only for salvation, but for the rest of their earthly days ahead. And she would cherish the opportunity to share her story with you!