The prosperity gospel is deep in my bones — not that I technically hold with any kind of “blab it and grab it” theology or the idea that God owes me a BMW. I do know better than that, but truly, I just want to be able to tell you that God has always answered my prayers the way I would have expected, and that I understand His ways.
Reading The Road to Becoming, I felt as if I were looking over Jenny Simmons’s shoulder as we struggled together to untangle the cause and effect of righteousness and blessing, the mystery of dreaming big dreams for God and then mourning the destruction of those dreams.
Do I trust the Storyteller when the narrative arc seems to veer off course? Jenny’s story began with singing — and a well-laid plan for a musical career. When she and her husband formed the band, Addison Road, c.d. sales, songs on the radio, and a full schedule of concert tours indicated that success and prosperity were just down the road. Who could have predicted that the road instead would be paved with set-backs, disaster, and a season of loss?
Jenny opens her heart to her readers, revealing insecurities about her role as a wife and mother, doubts in her relationship with God, and questions about her calling. I would challenge her to bring her language choices into alignment with the sweet and sincere heart that shines through in her ministry to other women, but I also applaud her skillful weaving of a broad spectrum of quotations from well-known authors in which words from Henri Nouwen, Wendell Berry, Annie Dillard, and Richard Foster (among many others!) appear like seasoning in a fragrant stew.
Jenny emerges from her season of wondering ready to embrace and to give thanks for the less-than-perfect. The truth is that on the road to becoming, mountaintops are few and far between. The landscape is varied, but often ordinary and occasionally treacherous. The challenge presented in The Road to Becoming is to stay on the road and to embrace the detours, knowing that an all-wise Guide is leading the way.
This book was provided by BakerBooks, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my review. 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.”
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