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It’s Okay Not to be Okay – Shelia Walsh

s-l1600I have been impressed by Shelia Walsh since the first time I heard her speak at a Women of Faith Event.  I love her honesty about her life, her depression  and her deep, deep faith in the God who carries her through this life.

This latest book is a continuation on that trend.   She continues to share experiences and feelings that remind us we are not alone in our struggles. I love that in her introduction, she tells us what she would tell her 20-year-old self.  That life will not go the way we want it to go, but that if Jesus is with us, it will be fine and our “not-okayness” will lead to healing and wholeness that God will use to shape us into His image.

I have so much highlighted in this book.  I’ve made notes in the margins .  It’s an edition that I will quote when speaking with broken people.  One of the first things that resonated with me was her talking about knowing Jesus’ presence even on Mondays.  It’s so easy to leave church on Sunday being sure of that – but then Monday and all its realities show up.

Each chapter ends with real steps to knowing God’s abiding presence, in a section titled “One Step at a Time”.   Practical, reassuring and refocusing exercises  simply enhance the value of this book.

I did have a laugh-out-loud moment in this book – her description of landing in Winnipeg for a conference.  It was in the winter, and she truly experienced some Canadian cold!

Her conclusion takes one of my very favourite accounts in all of Scripture.  Jesus asks Peter if he loves him 3 times, and 3 times Peter answers.  What we miss in English, is that Peter’s yeses are 2 different words.  Jesus asks if Peter agape (full perfect love) loves him the first 2 times, and Peter answers that he philos (brotherly love) loves him.  And then on the 3 third ask, Jesus uses Peter’s word, knowing that Peter loves him with a flawed, perfect love.  But!  It’s important to remember that it’s this flawed man who Jesus promises to build his church upon.

And he loves us – just that much.  Such a beautiful book full of reminders to carry through dark and questioning times.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

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