( In exchange for my review, and being part of the Launch Team for this book, the author provided this book, for me. All opinions expressed are purely my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”)
I have been honored to be part of the book launch team for Cindee Snider Re’s new book: Discovering Hope. Cindi is someone who has traversed the maze of chronic illness, both for herself and for members of her own family. She speaks humbly about the path to finding the Hope that is available for those of us who feel alone or invisible within our own journey.
I wrote here last week about the chapter concerning Biblical Lament and how it has been opening my heart to more freedom to express my heart’s cry before the Lord. This process of being transparent in the journey of my own story has been an ongoing lesson for me.
Listening to other people’s stories? Pure joy for me, whether the person is telling me face-to-face, or I am living out the story through the latest book I am reading.
But telling my own story? Well, let’s just say I’ve been known to rush through my own details, so that I can get to the really meaty part of listening to and helping another. I have been convicted over this lately, though, as these words of the very first chapter jumped out at me:
“Sharing our stories is a vital part of doing life together. The disciples shared their stories and
changed the world, not because they were extraordinary men, but because they told about an
That same God is still at work today. It’s His story we tell, His hand at work in our lives, His love
touching hearts and changing lives every day.”
I realized that when I am reluctant to share my own stories, I may be holding back the very thing that would point to God, and give glory to Him. Ugly or sad, joyous or beautiful, each part of our story is a chapter in God’s Grace given to us. How can I hold back sharing His working in me?
One of the biggest “assignments” in the book was to begin the journey of writing out your own story. This is vital for any of us, because whether we suffer from chronic illness, or not, we each suffer from the greatest chronic condition of all: the life-long journey of being transformed into the likeness of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
I want to let Him open my heart to share as His Story is unfolding through my story, lived out day by day in this new season of life. And as I read through her book, I came to a section that spoke most deeply to me as a summary of the author’s words. She spoke of a time that God asked her this question:
“And if I don’t allow you to heal, if I never remove the pain, will you still trust Me?”
“What if illness – the stripping away of our health, our dreams, our understanding of
who we are and what our future holds – is really a gift – God offering Himself to us
unencumbered by all the noise, all the things that clutter our hearts and so easily fill
our days? Because what if that quiet, stripped-away space is where hope is found?
Where God leans in close whispering love to our weary souls until it becomes as
familiar as the beating of our own hearts? “
And suddenly I knew that God had been asking me that very question. If I did not find the healing today, or tomorrow, or next year, would I still be able to find my Hope fixed on Jesus?
If the pain flowed in and out, but never away, would I still listen to hear God’s voice?
It’s a crucial question for all of us, because we want SOMETHING to put our hope in. And we want to HOPE FOR THE BEST. But upon WHAT are we truly fixing our hope?
Seeking Christ as my treasure, finding in HIM the basis for my hope, and longing to see the goodness of the Lord being fulfilled in
His own way . . . this is where I want to rest my heart.
I am thankful that I listened to God’s whisper when He nudged me to sign up for the book launch. If He’s giving you a nudge also, won’t you respond by seeking out Cindee’s book over at Amazon?
Perhaps the journey to Discovering Hope will capture your heart as well.
I am linking this week over at these great sites: