After his first daughter was born, Jordan Feliz wanted her to learn how much she was loved by God, and a song was born. Now a children’s book is sharing the message with a new audience.
Feliz, a Dove Award-winning recording artist, wrote and recorded “Beloved” as a prayer.
“It is my deepest desire that you would never forget that it is in Him where your worth is found,” Feliz said he told his daughter, Jolie. “Now it is a prayer that we get to proclaim over our entire family and the world!”
Seven years later, a children’s book with the same title and based on the song has been released by Jes Woller, who said she wrote it because Feliz wanted to bring the song’s message “new life, to reinforce to his daughter and all of us that we are beloved, regardless of accomplishment or circumstance.”
“Beloved” is Woller’s second book. Though she has used writing as “a creative and emotional outlet” since she was a child — and even as a Kindergartner knew she wanted to be an author — she discovered as an adult that it wasn’t her main goal after all.
She and her husband taught English in China for two years and once hitchhiked across the border into Thailand.
“It was amazing,” Woller remembered. “It was very eye-opening. It really helped me put my worldview in perspective and appreciate other cultures and thought processes. It was good to help me think more about my life and what’s important.”
She now has four children, is a school secretary, Sunday School teacher, PTO president and evangelism volunteer, and is working on a graduate degree in clinical mental health counseling.
“I like to be busy. I like to be useful,” Woller said. “I like to allow God to work through me to help out whatever way I can.”
While staying busy and useful, God began working in a new way in her life, Woller recalled — writing.
“I have always loved writing. I have always, always loved the magic of words and the catharsis that comes along with creating a story.”
She started with blogging, then her first children’s book, “Miraculous Debut,” was published in 2019.
Woller didn’t seek out being involved with “Beloved,” she noted, but God used what she had done with blog posts and “Miraculous Debut.”
After Feliz and Kory Henkel at Centricity Music decided to turn the song into a children’s book, Henkel found a web post Woller wrote for “Holy Hen House,” a blogging group, and asked her to submit a manuscript.
“[Feliz] had written a little overview of why the song was important to him and his family, what it meant to him as a father to write it to Jolie and all of the significant elements that he wanted brought into the book,” Woller noted.
She was one of many who sent in ideas, but when months went by and she heard nothing, she assumed her idea wasn’t chosen. She got the news of her selection while on vacation.
“I was camping with my family at the time. … I was just on cloud nine. I think I was like, ‘This is it!’ I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in all of my life!”
Being chosen didn’t mean the work was over. Woller had to make changes until the manuscript was finished. The entire process took more than two years.
A lesson in patience wasn’t all she learned personally, she said. The experience also helped her overcome feelings of insecurity.
“I might not have the readers or the agent or the other published experience other than my one small book, but they were willing to work with me anyway and we came up with this beautiful book.
“It’s something that I’m very proud of that’s been a wonderful gift — to feel that God can use me even though I didn’t feel qualified,” she said.
One of Woller’s favorite Scripture passages is Ephesians 2:10, which speaks of people being God’s masterpiece, created for His work.
“That one has always been meaningful to me — that I am God’s masterpiece. We used it in the book, and it has always been a favorite.
“Jolie is God’s masterpiece, and I am God’s masterpiece, and you are God’s masterpiece. It’s such a privilege and we have work to do in this world — so let’s get to it.”
“Beloved” can be purchased at jordanfeliz.com/BelovedBook.
To learn more about Feliz’ music and his current tour visit jordanfeliz.com/.