Finding Hope in a Bookstore

"Finding hope in a bookstore" by Elizabeth Estrada (

Image credit: (2016), CC0/PD

My twelve-year-old son is depressed and suffers from anxiety. Sadly, we were in an abusive situation and now he is a child of divorce and has been for four years now.

I tried my very best, with Our Lord’s help, to create a domestic church even if his father wasn’t a practicing Catholic. Due to the pain we both caused my son, for the last year I could tell he was becoming detached from Our Lord.

He had questions about God, suffering and many others. I answered the best I could or found the answer. A couple of months ago he told me he was an atheist. The Holy Spirit took over because my response was calm. Basically, I said that I would respect his decision and I would expect the same respect from him as well.

He goes to Mass and participates. He’s gone to Adoration with me twice, voluntarily, so I know God is working. However, I am human and am grieving this reality.

So last Friday I took the day off and ended up at my new parish’s bookstore. I had not yet been able to visit there and was curious, so I stopped by and was immersed in the calm and beauty.

It is a small bookstore, so you can hear conversations that are taking place. My ears perked up when I heard a lady sharing about a life-changing event for teens. She was on fire explaining all the fruits of this ministry. I couldn’t help myself and crept next to her as she was sharing with the store clerk.

Once she finished, I began asking questions and had a nice hopeful conversation.

I shared what was going on with my son and she encouraged me to go and eventually gave me her contact information so that maybe I could help in some way, she was one of the coordinators.

I left the store with a leap in my step and with much peace and hope. I made the decision that my son and I would go, God willing. It is in November so much can happen between now and then.

This encounter was not a coincidence; God is not one for coincidences. I believe this was a beautiful gift from God, who knows that I needed to know there is hope for my son.

He is begging me not to give up, and I won’t, because He wants me to persevere. I know that this event, ABLAZE, is not a magical solution and may not change a thing. However, I believe God has a plan and I must trust.

And for now, that’s enough for me.

Have you heard of ABLAZE?

Copyright 2019 Elizabeth Estrada


About Author

Elizabeth Estrada, a public school teacher, is an avid reader and enjoys crafting. She serves as a Catechist and resides in the Diocese of Dallas with her son Agustin.


  1. Elizabeth,
    I was thinking of Saint Monica while reading your post and conviction to remain hopeful. Then, I noticed your son’s name on your bio. My prayers are with you two as you journey together. I have not heard of ABLAZE but am excited for you and your son.

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