How Get Joy Out of Sorrow

By: Carol McClain @carol_mcclain



Sin’s not all it’s cracked up to be—but after sorrow, comes joy.


Numbers 14:18 and similar scriptures always caused me to stumble. “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” Numbers 14:18, KJV. (emphasis mine).

 Of course, it wasn’t the fact that God is longsuffering and of great mercy that give me pause.

That he forgives me, brings me joy.

But why would he hurt the offspring of the iniquitous? They didn’t cause the sin of their parents.

However, I’ve come to see in my life how this happens. My parents had been alcoholic (past tense—forgiven and forgotten). However, my siblings and I mimicked their pattern of behavior. I won’t reveal the foibles of my siblings or the specifics of my own. I had dabbled in alcohol and drugs. But praise be to God (and not a Christian platitude—genuine praise), I accepted Jesus and swore off anything bringing inebriation.

Throughout my life, though, I’ve battled the consequences of my youthful foibles

In similar patterns, we see children of abuse, abusing their children. Offspring of cheaters, cheat. Even as they despise what happened to them, these individuals repeat the process, unless something breaks the cycle (e.g., salvation and mentoring).

Recently, I moved to a county which, at one time, had the third-highest opioid use in the nation. I involved myself with mentoring and sadly watched so many fervent individuals relapse into addiction.

Why? Patterns learned enthrall us. And, sin has consequences.

Oh, aren’t you glad you’re reading this blog?

Here comes the good part.

Salvation and mentoring work.

Through my coaching, through Celebrate Recovery, and my time on the board of a drug rehabilitation organization, I heard many horror stories of those who have been conquered by hurts, hang-ups, and habits. Despite their overwhelming odds, I’ve rejoiced with many who conquered their past.

From this, Borrowed Lives was born. From this, I know the issues confronting people and the wonderful way they’ve conquered them—whether it be from drugs or human cruelty. (You’ve never faced a miserable human, have you? I didn’t think so. Although I believe most people are good-hearted, miserable humans thrive. Surprise!).

Borrowed Lives

Tragedy broke Meredith Jaynes, then she found three abandoned children.

This novel creates a world where things aren’t perfect, even for devoted Christians. As sin is overcome and as we walk in God, we may not get our “happily ever after.” With dependence on Christ and His ways, we will live happily.

So, why should you read this novel?

  1. Humor. Even when I’m not trying to be funny, I am. I can’t help it. Move over Carol Burnett. This Carol’s taking over.
  2. Spiritual truth. Even when I’m entertaining, I’m guided by Scripture. By now it’s in the very fabric of my being. If you’re battling issues, this reading-escape may point you in the direction of healing.
  3. Local color. I’m still enamored of my new home in Tennessee, so I set the book in Jacksboro—my new hometown. Hopefully, you can see Tennessee’s beauty.


Borrowed Lives will be out in late February. If you want to laugh and have a mindless romp through the pages of a comedy, The Perils of Cheryl is available now. A ditched woman knows one thing: only a man can save her—any man, so long as he’s hot.

Of course, you can peruse my other books on my webpage.

Blurb for Borrowed Lives:

God Only Lends Us Those We Love for a Season 

Distraught from recent tragedy, Meredith Jaynes takes pity on a young girl who steals from her. Meredith discovers “Bean” lives in a hovel mothering her two younger sisters. The three appear to have been abandoned. With no other homes available, Social Services will separate the siblings. To keep them together, Meredith agrees to foster them on a temporary basis.

Balancing life as a soap maker raising goats in rural Tennessee proved difficult enough before the siblings came into her care. Without Bean’s help, she’d never be able to nurture these children warped by drugs and neglect—let alone manage her goats that possess the talents of Houdini. Harder still is keeping her eccentric family at bay.

Social worker Parker Snow struggles to overcome the breakup with his fiancée. Burdened by his inability to find stable homes for so many children who need love, he believes placing the abandoned girls with Meredith Jaynes is the right decision. Though his world doesn’t promise tomorrow, he hopes Meredith’s does.

But she knows she’s too broken.



  1. vera+deford says:


  2. Tina Nord says:

    Sounds like a great read. I love how you weave your natural humor into your books. Definitely, ” move over” Carol Burnett. BTW…I love the cover, it really pulls you in .

    • Carol McClain says:

      Thank you, Tina.
      I know I’m funny because when I’m being REALLY serious, people laugh. Thank you for being such a good friend and a good support.

    • Carol McClain says:

      Thank you, Tina.
      From the day I met you, you have been my support and my plumb line. I love you bunches.

  3. Thank you for your post, Carol. I am eager to read Borrowed Lives.

  4. Blessings on your new book! I’m eager to read it!

  5. Cathie Werley says:

    Eager to read this new offering 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.