Mustard Seeds and Mountains

He replied, "Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20, NIV


Fourteen year old Danielle, devastated by the divorce of her father and stepmother, runs away from the strangers to whom her father farms her out while he seeks a new job. She contacts her stepmother, Lorena, who had taken care of her since she was seven years old.

One night, she has a vivid dream that Jesus holds out His arms for her, but He’s on the other side of a river and she is afraid. She awakens, knowing fear holds her back from His open arms. All her life she's been told she's "not good enough" or "in the way."

More complications arise when her father, Daniel, returns and offers Lorena reconciliation and remarriage. Danielle hates her father and never again wants to endure his abuse or the painful, itinerant life they had before. She does her best to thwart the reconciliation.

The direct hit of a hurricane on her new island home, Galveston, interrupt her plans and an entire city's plans and the storm separates Danielle from her parents.

She escapes to the safety of a shelter set up in a school gymnasium. There she meets Gloria, a girl her own age, who has spina bifida, which leaves her paralyzed from the waist down and confines her to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. They become close friends. Gloria is a steadfast Christian teen from a stable and loving family and becomes an oasis of peace for troubled Danielle.

Danielle's determination for a family and some stability finds ways of escaping her father's control over her life and coping with the burden and despair of her stepmother's decline into alcoholism. Her outward strength masks stubborn pride. She refuses help from Gloria and her family or asking God for help. As a consequence, she falls into deep depression leading to a suicide attempt, elopement with a man 15 years older, and risks losing the only parent who really loves her.

Only when she surrenders to God's care with a tiny bit of faith does she win the prizes of reconciliation with her stepmother and a permanent home in the town she grew to love. Her future awaits: the bright hope of true love with the high school sweetheart who waits for her -- God's choice as a husband for her.