|Photo taken from Jennifer Rothschild website|
A sweet friend in bloggy world invited me to review a book that her mother-in-law just released TODAY!! I was honored to be asked (and lets be honest we know that I love reading!) and was more than happy to say "yes"! Before I received the book I thought that the author's name (Jennifer Rothschild) seemed familiar but with the business of the cruise, tons of travel, the trip to California & a new treatment plan, and then heading to New York to receive treatment and visit my precious grandmother I honestly didn't take the time to investigate. I was SO surprised to realize that when the book arrived and I read the back cover that this was the same author who wrote "Lessons I learned in the Dark", a book that I have read countless times throughout this journey. If you are not familiar with Jennifer than you can find out more information on her website or by clicking on this video that introduces her! I guarantee that you will be inspired!
I think for me personally this new book, "God's Just Not Fair" was something that began to have an impact the moment that I saw the cover. Whether it is a pride issue or whether this is something that I am theologically working through, I don't think that I have allowed myself to personally examine whether or not I have thought that "God's Just Not Fair" in my own life. I have had countless friends and family members say this about the struggles and trials in my life these past eight years but for some reason I have never stopped to examine this. When I received the book and saw the cover I didn't even have to open the book to begin to think and wrestle through this concept. I think that anyone who is going through a time of suffering can relate to me on this point.
For me personally as I read through the book I felt that Jennifer spoke with a profoundly simple and humble encouragement as she shared her heart and expressed things that I have been struggling with down deep. I know that I briefly mentioned in the "Notes from the Porch Ten" blog post that while this journey is physically difficult it is also extremely emotionally difficult too. I went from being a very active lady who loved loved loved loved her job teaching high school students, felt fulfilled teaching about History and a 12th grade girls Bible class, was loving her friendships, loved traveling, enjoyed ballroom dancing so much that I was beginning to compete, loved swimming and water-skiing, was pursuing my PhD, becoming fluent in sign-language, loved laughter and late night movies, loved dreaming about getting married and having kids, and loved having days that did not revolve around words like blood counts, Cancer, and Lyme. To go from a very active life that was incredibly full to where life is today has been incredibly difficult. Year one of this journey was difficult but now fully into year two (of living at home and needing help) or year eight (of a very long line) of health issues and tragedy has forced me to surrender daily to the Lord ALL of my hopes and dreams that lay shattered on the floor. I thought I knew what surrender was before this journey but I have learned I had no idea.
And learning to surrender in this way that is all-consuming (beyond the simple hymn of "I Surrender All"), I sometimes have wondered... "Is God Fair"?
While Jennifer addresses the topic of questioning whether God exists was not something that I have questioned but I have laid awake at night and wondered "why is God not answering" my prayers? Are the friends that have walked away in this journey (who have accused me of not having enough faith to be healed) right? Is God like the friends who have walked away and just wants me "to have more faith"? And most of all does my pain even matter?
This book for me was like sitting down to grab coffee with a modern-day disciple who knows and loves her precious Lord, has walked with Him for years, and has humbly paved a beautiful heroes path for others of us in suffering.
For me there have been countless times throughout the last eight years as "one thing after another" happened (broken engagement, ex-fiance' leaving me with all of the bills from the wedding, the diagnosis of heart issues to the diagnosis of Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease and then the diagnosis of Cancer, being forced to lose all of my independence when I couldn't even walk last year, to the fight for proper care and treatment this year, to the humility of asking people for money for this journey, to wondering if people really understood how hard it is to ask for the money and how scary finances are when you are desperately sick because there is no more savings, wondering if you will ever see your deepest dream of getting married and having kids (when you have had three guys tell you that it is just "too much"), the difficulty of physical pain that is to tremendous to put into words, questions of impact and "am I really doing anything for you Lord?" and the list goes on and on and on) where I have sometimes wondered if God is aware of my desperate prayers to Him?
Before reading this book I was coming to a place of realizing that the questions that I have listed above I can either keep asking or I can simply say "I don't understand" and accept with dignity and trust in my precious Lord that loves me. I loved how Jennifer said in her blog post about why she wrote this book: "I wrote this book because I'm convinced that God is just- not fair. He is just... right in all His ways. He is good, caring, present, and knows how we feel when we hurt."
Beautiful. Absolutely Beautiful. God is just. He is very much aware of His children who are suffering and hurting and is right there with us. This brought tears to my eyes and encouragement to my little heart.
If you are like me and have had a very very rough and difficult season of trials and behind the scenes have been throwing yourself at Jesus' feet and yet hoping for some encouragement I really do believe that you will find this book very encouraging. As Jennifer says many times (in a variety of different ways) in the book: "your pain matters".Sometimes that is all you need to hear.
If you are struggling (or know someone who is) this book is written from a compassionate and wise heart and will encourage you on your journey. This book might even voice the questions that you have been feeling or thinking! Hold on sweet friends. God is just. And while it may appear that He is not fair, His love for you is perfect. If you would like to purchase the book you can go to Jennifer's website or you can visit her store. Jennifer is also offering some lovely "bonus gifts" deals for a short amount of time with this book and some of her other resources that you might want to check out!
Thank you for the lovely opportunity to review this book Jennifer! It was an honor!
While I received a free book to review for this post the views expressed in this post and on my blog are your completely my own. I also do want to say that I did disagree with a sentence that is written at the end of the book (if you feel that you need to "forgive God" than do that). I do not theologically or personally agree with this statement at all. I did not sense this tone or concept in other areas of the book which is why I did not mention this in any other part of my review. For me personally and theologically we go to the Lord for our forgiveness and He and His ways are perfect.