Finding Your Place
by Helen Jennings
Helen Jennings

"God alone is good. Do not settle for second best, and do not let the noise of the world keep you from hearing the voice of the Lord."

 Meg was only three years old when her mother left her and her eight siblings to go live with her aunt Daisy. Although Daisy pretended to be a caring and nurturing guardian, she was in fact, the opposite. She kept Meg and her siblings in one room, locked together all day. At times, Meg and her siblings were ignored for so long they would get very ill, including long bouts with diarrhea. Meg’s father arrived one day and took the then four-year-old girl to live with his new wife and two daughters. Although Meg had high hopes for her new life, living with her father and stepmother proved dangerous. One day, her stepmother used kerosene oil to grease Meg’s hair for braiding. Terrified, Meg ran to her grandmother, Meme. Meme cleaned Meg and forbid her from returning to her father’s house. At six years old, Meg went to school for the first time. Walking home one day a man tried to give her candy from his car. Meg ran to a stranger’s house, frightened and ashamed at having wet her pants from fright. Ms. Mary returned her to her grandmother, but Meme had become too old to take care of her. Meg was forced to move once again, this time to live with her Aunt Lyn. Soon after, Meme became gravely ill and moved into Lyn’s house as well. Needing help, Lyn hired Ms. Joyce to care for Meme. Ms. Joyce told Meg that God loved her. It was the first time Meg had been told that she was loved by anyone. Meg began attending Church, where she found sanctuary for the first time in her life.

Based on a true story, this novel is filled with anecdotes about the importance of perseverance and faith. Jennings writing is filled with heartfelt descriptions about little girl Meg’s challenging life in Jamaica. Although Meg is sent to live with one family member after another, she never feels quite safe enough with any of them. Meg tries her hardest to please each new family, but is given little love in return. It’s only when she discovers God’s love that Meg finally feels at home. Jennings inspires her readers with an underlying thread of faith, belief, trust, and action. The author offers small pieces of advice on each one of these merits, emboldening her readers to accept the promises of Jesus. This is an inspiring read.

Return to USR Home