Monday, May 16, 2016

"Wild and Free: a Hope Filled Anthem for the Woman who Feels she is Both Too Much and Never Enough" by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan

  If there is ever such a thing as being overly excited about a book, that's exactly what I was the first time I came across this title.  It sat in my amazon cart for months as I waited for it's May 3rd Release date to finally come! I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into the story of someone who understood exactly how I often feel...too much and not enough!  I had high expectations...and maybe that's just not fair considering it's only a book, the story of someone else's life.  So, even though I might have been a little disappointed when I finally had the book in my hands and had read to the last page, it's no fault of the authors.  Jess and Hayley put so much love and thought into their book!  Yes, I wanted more, but I also got a lot out of it... maybe exactly what I needed.
  Over the past few weeks, God's been doing something in me.  I can't really explain it, but there's been a bit of a shift in our relationship.  I ended my time on the missions field feeling pretty broken.  Looking back now, it's almost as if during that time God "broke up the ground" in me so that something new could be planted.  I see twinklings of what it is in the here and now, and I am encouraged, but I'm not exactly sure what it's going to be.  I can say though that I keep finding myself contemplating this idea of God as "Father"....a good father... my father... in a whole new way
  The authors of this book talk a lot about God the Father.  They way they speak it seems as if they are curled up next to him, affectionately talking about their "daddy".  I've always struggled to see my relationship with God in the same light.  It's much easier for me to consider myself His servant or "in His army", but the way Hayley and Jess speak of God the Father and His love for us, the more I long to know Him in the same way.
  As a follower of Christ, I cling to the idea that "while we were still sinners... even though (God) could foresee the full weight of how much we'd sin... He paid the price to allow us into His family" but it is that much more powerful to think that "our standing has never wavered with our Father (God).  Though the world has twisted what it means to be a daughter, His stance and His position towards us has absolutely stayed resolute.  The world cannot dictate what it means to be treasured by our Father, but the love and relationships of our Heavenly Father can heal and transcend the damage done here on earth".
  The truth is, as Hayley admits and I know to be true for myself, "I still sin, and He's still rescuing me!".  However, there is such comfort in knowing that "your freedom was won the cross and secured by your Father in your Christian Life.  It is not something you have to try to do; it is something that is simply true of you.  You are seen, you are chosen and you are free".  We can rest in " knowing that  you can never break things beyond repair" and " we never need to be afraid of failure... not when God's  grace will always be there to break our fall".
  As the writer's share, "It is the very nature of this fallen earth to let us down and leave us fractured" and "we'd rather cut our losses and preemptitively put up barriers to make sure that we never get hurt again" but "those in chains are rarely able to free themselves" and it's "at the foot of the cross, (where) we are all found out.  We are all covered in the blood of Jesus.  We are all made whole again".  This is what this book reminded me of... this is how we can live wild and free.... it's because of THIS great love of the Father... the Gospel of Christ!

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