I read this book recently as part of a bible study I participate in with two friends.
We would read a couple chapters each week and then meet via Google chat to discuss.
I thought this was a good book to do in a group setting. It is broken up into three different parts. There are worksheets throughout the book that provide you with reflection questions in a journaling format. I liked this set up because it gave you room to write how the topic applied to you and gave you guidance on things you should be thinking about or discussing.
I enjoyed this book, and it came at a time that I was still unsure of what my future held. We started reading it well before I had a job, and there were a lot of things still up in the air.
This book focuses on how each of us have different threads of our life that are woven together for God’s plan. We may not always see how they fit together initially and may seem random, but God has intentionally made you a certain way for HIS glory.
You talk about your gifts and your times of suffering. Everything is deliberate, even if we may not see the reason right now. This book was a good reminder for me that I needed to trust and know that everything happens for a reason. (Cliche but true.) If you take the questions seriously, you take a look at your fears and insecurities, and see how they have a purpose in molding you into a specific person.
I also really love the story of Joseph, and it was used as an example throughout this book. He suffered a lot, but always remained faithful to God’s plan for him.
Jennie Allen is a great writer too. She wrote with conviction and a realness. You could relate to her stories and comments, which I always find helpful when discussing my faith. I think all too often we put faith in these perfect boxes of how it should look and sometimes it is great to talk about the hard sides of it all. We aren’t always perfect especially in those times of trial, but all we can do is push forward.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book are:
“…you exist for specific purposes and no one else can live them like you.”
“God is quiet and completely wise in his timing of revealing his will.”
“Fires are lit in our lives, and they can burn to shine light or cause destruction. We get to decide which purpose they will serve.”
“We can do one of two things with suffering: we can absorb it and let it change us, or we can let it crush us.”
“God is accomplishing a thousand tiny purposes at any given moment around us.”
“We are scared that God’s dreams may not be as cool as the ones we create in our minds for ourselves.”
And some bible verses:
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Col. 3:12-15) (This was part of our wedding service, so I hold this one dear.)
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Heb. 11.1)
This was a humbling book. And as Jennie put it, “This is a book about discovering ourselves and getting over ourselves all at the same time.”
I think we often get in our own way when we are struggling or succeeding. This was a reminder to always have faith and trust in HIS plans. It was a reminder that we do have a purpose even if it may not seem glamorous or grandiose. I need to let go of my preconceived notions and my control (when I didn’t really have it in the first place).
I recommend this for any small groups or even if you want to do some self reflection on your own. I do think it is geared towards women, but I think males would enjoy the concepts too.
This review sums up my own opinions. I was not contacted by anyone associated with these works or compensated for my review. My review has not been influenced by anything other than my love for entertainment and art.
Have you read any good devotional books lately?