Those “Can’t Put it Down” Books
For some time I’ve been in a dry spell in my reading, there’s been nothing that draws me in and keeps me glued to the page. But I do just love to get hold of a book that I can Not. Put Down. Maybe it is the low volume of books that I read in the course of a summer or a semester, or maybe I’m grabbing from the wrong shelf. I don’t know. But I do know this, Grace in the Middle is that kind of story. In late July I received “Grace in the Middle” by Wendy Duke, and once I opened it, I Could Not Put It Down.
Ever wonder how intimately God pursues us? I am in a season where everywhere I look, listen or read, a particular message with ripples in a couple of directions is being called out to me. And not only did that message call out from Grace in the Middle, but it was bound together with a sense of “I’ve been there” as I read the story of Wendy and her daughter Savannah. I have different circumstances, different timeline, but still I remember the day I stood at my kitchen sink and asked God, “Where are you?”
Grace in the Middle is Wendy Duke‘s first book, a memoir recounting the struggle she and her husband encountered as they faced the greatest crisis they had ever endured. “Heartbreaking, triumphant, this inspiring story is an authentic reflection on battling and overcoming physical illness and disability, resisting the dark doubt that plague us in the midst of tragedy, and trusting the faithfulness of God through the deep twists and turns of life.” from the back cover What an a powerful story this book is. I am particularly inspired by Wendy’s courage to tell the more personal, darker parts of her story. Once again, through her honesty, shame is blown off my shoulders and grace has overwhelmed me.
There it is. It is so important for us to share our stories with one another, even some times, the whole dark ugly truth. Because when we do, and we allow the light that redeemed us in those stories, we offer grace and redemption to those who listen. And in those stories, lessons that we are already being taught are further illustrated.
“Sometimes the decibels of hurt make even the strongest of us lose our minds, all semblance of reason and clear thinking disabled. This is why God reminds us not to stop meeting together, encouraging each other, speaking truth into each other’s lives: to tell us we are not alone in this.”
Another powerful part of this book is that Savannah, who is a young teen, wrote a chapter. Considering all the awkwardness of the early teen years and a story that is so personal and amazing, I think she must be quite a courageous and generous young woman. I love this quote by her, ” don’t know what God’s plan is yet, but that’s okay because I’ve got a while to figure it out…I’ll just have to trust him to show me, one step at a time.”
That is for all of us, we just have to trust God to show us, one step at a time.
Wendy Duke lives in South Caroline with her husband and two children. She works with her husband in internationl sports development using their backgrounds in coaching and telling their story throughout the world. When she’s not traveling, she is a Bible teacher, speaker, blogger, sports junkie and middle school chauffeur. She writes on her blog at www.wendyduke.net
I received a this book free from Ambassador International in exchange for a review.