Ivan: A Vision to a Dream Come True

In the right time, visions and dreams are given to us as a beacon of light, guiding us with spiritual hope. Before he even had a name, Ivan was my beacon of light, his first rays revealed to me twelve years ago on a wildlife reserve. As I looked upon a newborn baby giraffe lying in the grass with Mother nearby, the infant Ivan was born in my heart. Quickly, I wrote the first words of what would later become Ivan Becomes a Hero on a small napkin. Little did I know how God would use this story to encourage me, along with many children, in the future.

With a strong, underlying passion for children, I returned to school and received my master’s degree to continue teaching. However, after four short years in the classroom, that path was altered for me when I was diagnosed with cancer. Several years of chemotherapy, two transplants using my own stem cells, and the long process of restoring my health, only strengthened my reliance on God and my gratitude for His Grace. Just thankful for His Presence, He proceeded to remind me – I still had a way to minister to children – Ivan! I remembered I had a book to write! My beacon of light shone through the darkness.

As Ivan grew (on paper) and my health slowly returned, I still longed to care for children. God's promises continued to be fulfilled when my first granddaughter was placed in my arms. Oh! What a joy! And even more so when two more grandchildren followed. As God poured out His Grace, enabling me to care for them often, the story of Ivan became clearer, closer to full development. It lacked one thing: God's Word. Once Psalm 139:14 was centered into the story, it became the beautiful, bright light God wanted it to be.

Through love and trials, the story of Ivan has nurtured and been nurtured by many individuals, young and old, and is now given to countless children. May it encourage souls and stand as a symbol of God’s faithful promises. My prayer is that you will open your heart and allow God to nurture you so your beacon of light, your dream, may be realized.