When You Believe. Deborah Bedford. 2003/2009. Faith Words. 288 pages.
The afternoon started like any other afternoon. the first Tuesday of October was a solid, bright school day, and outside on the school steps, the sun fell across everyone's arms like a warm shawl.
Lydia Porter is a school guidance counselor. One day a student, Shelby Tatum, comes to her with a shocking story. She's being sexually abused. When Lydia asks her to name her abuser, Lydia is in for the shock of her life, because the man Shelby names is the love of Lydia's life, a man who has just asked her to marry him. Obligated in so many ways to report the abuse, Lydia does what she must. But it isn't easy. It is breaking her heart. Because she believes that Charlie, the man in question, couldn't have done this. But. She also believes that the abuse is real. Someone is abusing Shelby, even if that someone isn't Charlie. Someone needs to be Shelby's advocate. Someone needs to be there for Shelby. Someone needs to reassure Shelby that this is not her fault. That the abuse is not her fault. That she's not a bad person. But being there for Shelby--appearing to take her side--may cost her her happily ever after. Even if Charlie were to be proven innocent. Would he be able to forgive her for her role in this? Lydia is learning that some things you just have to trust God on.
When You Believe is a compelling contemporary novel. It explores what happens when accusations are made, how easy it is for a community, a school, a church family, to be torn apart by taking sides.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible