Happy Monday! It’s a holiday in most places. I was hoping to ski but I’m still adjusting to wearing one contact lens. I’m still in and out of vertigo which – in spite of the lasik guys saying is not about the eyes – is totally about the eyes. The good news is that I’m able to read with reading glasses now. Praise be! One of my great pleasures in life has always been reading and, for almost a year, I could only read things on my Kindle with the print turned up to maximum.
I’ve written in the past about how God speaks to me through books. As an introvert, I’m not as likely to get caught up in an arms-to-the-sky, whoop-whoop church moment as I am to be captivated by a passage in a book I read. I’m much more excited about the new spring book releases than I am about the new Hillsong coming to Toronto. Although, if Selena Gomez and The Biebs show up there, I’d like to hear them sing.
When I saw the blurb for Tiffany Bluhm‘s newly released book, Never Alone: Exchanging Your Tender Hurts for God’s Healing Grace, I wanted to read it right away:
From the time we’re little girls, we long to be loved and accepted—from the playground to the lunchroom to the places where we live and work as grown women. We do our best to prove we’re lovable and to avoid being left all alone. But the truth is that it’s impossible to walk through life without experiencing the pain and loneliness of betrayal, shame, guilt, loss, judgment, or rejection. These wounds can shape our views of ourselves, others, and God and even make us question if we are worthy of love and acceptance. Whether old or new, our heartache can convince us there’s no one who understands or cares. Yet Jesus tells us a different story.
Oh, this spoke to me, so I asked Abingdon Press for a review copy.
As an Indian orphan adopted by an American family, Bluhm knows the sting of rejection that comes from being different. A broken relationship and a failed adoption reinforced her feeling that she was not quite enough. The books is about how Bluhm was able to find hope and redemption through Christ and how she is able to use her life to encourage others. She understands suffering, but also knows that, “For those of us who have been abandoned, abused, or unprotected from the enemies in our stories, we must never doubt the ability of Jesus to protect us.”
She walks though the rejecting pitfalls that often challenge our faith: shame, doubt, isolation, undesirability, exposure, jealousy, faithlessness, bitterness, hopelessness, loss, and fear. She interweaves passages from the gospel with wisdom from Brené Brown, Sarah Bessey, Christine Caine, Lysa TerKeurst, C.S. Lewis, Shauna Niequist, and Stasi Eldredge, among others, to show how we are never alone. Bluhm is not afraid to be vulnerable, documenting how she overcame her own fears and doubts.
She writes of how God’s character consistently offers us good things: “this isn’t a promise of prosperity, but one of protection, one in which our God is active to protect our soul as we listen to the call of the Good Shepherd.” She writes of the redemptive power of Christ to replace losses with something equally good and — I promise – this book will make you cry.
Bluhm shows how by pushing through our deepest fears and embracing the love of God, we can live the life God intended: “Others will see the greatness and glory or Jesus because you rose up to be the beloved and fierce woman God forged you to be.” She reminds us that “this whole kit and caboodle is a love story” and a promise that we will never be left alone.
If you are in a season of seeking, this is a beautiful and encouraging book.