Story Spark: Breaking Free

Guest Post by Jennifer Slattery

BreakingFree_N1664109I was a young mom and new to homeschooling. I felt perpetually insecure and unprepared. My friend, on the other hand, always appeared so calm. So… happy. So content.

Sometimes—oftentimes—what we see on the outside contradicts completely the chaos brewing within. But back then, I had no idea how deeply true this was for my friend.

Until one day, she told me: My husband’s addicted to crack.

I blinked, my mind struggling to make sense of what I’d just heard. Crack? In our circle? Our conservative Christian circle? I suppose I thought addiction happened to someone else, someone in poverty or raised in a crime-infested neighborhood. But Christian families? Marriages in the church?


Because the sad truth is, no one is immune to addiction. Watching my sweet friend, a devoted wife and mother, struggle to survive, to find God in the mess her life had become—the mess her husband had thrust her into—I saw an even more insidious force.

The force that threatens to destroy us all, if given the slightest opportunity.

I was reminded of something Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”


“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (NLT).

This thread became a central theme in Breaking Free. The novel begins with two people, a husband and a wife, who are rapidly self-destructing. But even as they slip further into self-destruction and a web of lies and deceit, we see their ever-faithful Savior beckoning them to Himself. He’s not calling them to fight but rather to surrender.

Because that’s true freedom and strength is found.

The question is, will Alice and Trent turn to the only One who can save them, and will it be in time to save their marriage?

Breaking Free:

Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.  Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?

Read a free, 33-page excerpt of Breaking Free.


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Meet Jennifer

BCheadshot2013Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, Christian living articles for, and devotions for Internet Café Devotions, the group blog, Faith-filled Friends, and her personal blog. She also does content editing for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas’ Firefly imprint, and loves working with authors who are serious about pursuing their calling. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

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7 thoughts on “Story Spark: Breaking Free

    • Patricia, that is so true. A few weeks ago–only days after my mom died–I was walking around Krogers and finding it hard to keep a smile pasted on my face. “No one here knows,” I remember thinking, “that I just lost my mom, and I’m sad, and I miss her.” But that got me thinking about the other customers. What hurts were they holding inside that we couldn’t see? So I prayed for them and for me. We don’t know, but thankfully God does.

        • Thank you for your hugs and prayers, Jennifer. Mom was very private so we still haven’t said much publicly about it. In fact, this was my first time to say anything on social media. It’s hard, but we’re thankful that she isn’t in pain anymore.

    • Yes, it was a sad story, but it has a hope-filled, beautiful ending. When my friend began to share her struggle with the body of Christ, she experienced love, help, and grace. Unfortunately, her husband refused to make the same choice and slipped further and further into his addiction until it became unsafe for her to stay with him. She had to leave the marriage, but God remained at her side, and she is now remarried to a godly man and has–I think 5–boys to love on. So God redeemed what had been stolen and placed her in the family she’d always wanted. 🙂