Jolene, Lorriane, and Katie are all close family members in Wanda Brunstetter’s heartfelt trilogy, “Indiana Cousins”, a story about confronting tragedy when it confronts our faith.
Jolene, Lorriane, and Katie greeted about their trip to Hershey Park, Pennsylvania with great excitement. Their journey was expected to be one of the most memorable weekends and so it would be, but in an unimaginable, tragic way. The bonds of family and faith are tested as dark forces threaten to tear the cousins apart in the most difficult of struggles. Indiana Cousins reaches out to include us as extended family as we follow the trials of preserving faith in the face of abject pain and suffering.
We are shown the truth that God never promised we would be without heartache in this world, but that He will be with us and give us the strength to carry through - if we choose to endure the test of grief. Through this wonderful, poignant tale we are reminded that it is not possible to know God’s plan, we can only be faithful to it – whatever that may be.
Suffering may be a season beset upon us for growth, it may be to help save others through our example, or it could be to serve Him in ways that may never be known to us. Whatever the purpose, however deep the pain, however unjust it may seem to us, we must not question God’s motives, but instead be loyal to His promise of love and respectful of His will.
As the cousins show us, tragedy makes us vulnerable to believing in silence, to believing that God hears us, but doesn’t care or respond. Then, as so often happens, a week, a month, or even years will pass before we experience that overwhelming heart of thanksgiving. Our eyes open to why the Lord didn’t answer our prayers how we wished, and if that moment does not happen, we still know that God has His plan and that our suffering is for a divine purpose.
This is the great lesson that Wanda Brunstetter passes to us. God can take any broken heart, tragic event that has taken in place in our lives just as He did with the Indiana Cousins and turn into a message – and a journey – of hope to others.