The Importance of Continuous Choosing

BlogTour700x175

There are times when we meet people, people with a story, or a past. People with lives that have been there, done that and have been shaped and moulded as a result. Among these people are those who emerge stronger, or strengthened, and their story is so full of experience and wisdom that we need to pause and listen. And learn.

Juana Mikels has such a story. Her recent book ‘Choosing Him All Over Again’ is her true narrative; an exposition of God’s lavish love and grace in her own small corner of the world in her own set of circumstances, but maybe circumstances that we aren’t altogether unfamiliar with.

If you’re going to file this book you’re probably going start with Christian. Then subsection into marriage. And already I might have lost a number of readers to a yawn because you’re either not yet married, don’t want to be married, or feel your married life is ticking along just nicely thank you.

But I’m going to keep you in mind as I review this book. Don’t stop reading here, thinking this book is for Bridget Jones’ “smug married” friends. Juana has not narrowed her audience at all to that set of Christian society who are nicely set up with spouse, child, car and house in the suburbs. Far from it.

‘Choosing Him All Over Again’ is rich with scripture, quotation and illustration, set against the backdrop of her own personal trials and triumphs. It is about love, sure, but not just that nice cosy Saturday-night-with-the-other-half-love, but God’s love. The power of its perseverance and how eagerly He pursues us, despite our darkest hours and dreariest days. It is about grace, and mercy, and redemption.

Juana Mikels, a married and successful business woman with everything (on paper) going for her, found herself moving out of the home she built with her husband. She left him and the marriage she had promised to keep and tried to forge for herself a new life, a new start. But God, in amongst all the mess and heartache, showed up with a different agenda.

Juana 1

What I love about ‘Choosing Him’ is Juana’s candid and conversational style. She is detailed in the life she had and how it fell apart, and she does not spare herself in it all, confessing her sin openly on the pages, bringing to us a raw and real woman with a true and powerful story.

And this is one of the things I love about it. As you read, you feel as though you are sitting with her, chatting over a coffee. Not idle chatter, but Godly and deeply scriptured conversation – the voice of wisdom comes across through each page. But she’s not aloof, or self-righteous. You can’t hear her shouting ‘look at me and how much I know about how you can improve your life’. Instead, you hear the honesty of a woman who has so closely and deeply experienced God’s richest graces, she cannot help but marvel at what He can do in a life surrendered to Him.

Juana 2

And it’s chock-full of little nuggets you will want to chew over and think on. While being neither verbose or circumlocutory, Juana does not fail to pop you over and over again with challenges and scriptures to consider. Being both knowledgeable in Scripture, and well read, Juana offers plenty of timeless truths for you to mull over. And this is one of the things that struck me most of all.

Whether your marriage is in trouble or not, whether you are even married or not, one of the greatest impressions this book left on me was the importance of these three things:

  1. Bible knowledge and understanding
  2. Plenty of reading from respected writers
  3. Fellowship, discipleship and accountability

Juana isn’t just full of good ideas; she is filled with Biblical truths. She knows what the Bible says and uses it as her authority, urging you to do the same.

Oswald Chambers, Hannah Whitall Smith, Martin Luther, Amy Carmichael, Elisabeth Elliot and James Dobson are just some of the people quoted in ‘Choosing Him’, reminding us of the need to learn from high quality Christian sources.

Juana actively surrounded herself with Christians who would support her with the right message. People with backbone who would point her gently in the right direction and exhort her to take action using the Bible as her authority. People who held her accountable and discipled her. She cites numerous friends who assisted her in often painful situations with God’s word at the forefront of their advice. She quotes her pastor and the important role he played in shaping her early Christian years.

Juana Mikels knows she hasn’t got it all sewn up, but she knows where to and who to go to when the going gets tough.

If you’re married, nearly married, engaged…read this book.

If your marriage is in trouble and you don’t know how or if you can save it…read this book.

If you want to be married one day, but Mr Marriage-Material isn’t quite on the horizon yet…read this book.

And if you’re there, still reading because I told you not to just yawn and scroll to a different page, read this book. You just never know when you might need it, or when you might need it for someone else.

Grace and Love

Helen x

 

Comments

  1. Wow, Helen. That blog post was worth waiting for. I absolutely loved your insights and am so very happy that you saw the value in not only the scripture (but delighted that you earmarked its foundational layer of the book) but the words of so many wise, older Christians whose words deeply challenged me that I passed on. Thank you Helen for getting the word out about Choosing Him. Sincerely, Juana

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: