Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh consistently composes works that communicate strongly the faithful love of God and His powerful commitment to coming to the aid of His beloved. In her new book, Walsh shares of a personal epiphany moment in which she stood getting ready for church and was bone weary of life when God "spoke" to her. She admits not being accustomed to "hearing" God speak audibly, but at this moment it was almost as if He were physically present and touching her as He assured her, "I will deliver you!" Questioning the "how" of being delivered, she realized it was ridiculous to try to figure that out when she knew the "who." Walsh thanked the Lord for His promise and promptly asked for the grace to trust Him when things looked particularly bleak.
So opens this book that covers 18 different subjects women continually battle to understand, deal with successfully and overcome. With her characteristic transparent style, Walsh shares much about her own past struggles with depression and the legalism that had her bound for so many years (even as a believer). Readers will value her candidness and open-hearted manner of drawing them into the emotion of difficulties and how the church frequently fails to address its people's truest needs and scars, thus complicating the pain and suffering of already hurting Christ followers.
Walsh's remedy, and one she makes clear she has difficulty swallowing herself, is forgiveness, whereupon restoration and inner healing can take place. In similar style, she invites women to walk with her (and through other women's stories) to a place beyond emotional response and where God's truth, sound and solid, will become their truest foundation. Some of the subjects Walsh discusses includes fresh-baked grace for the spiritually hungry; dead religion past its sell-by date; living restrained by the past; the trap of unforgiveness; the troubles of temptation; living in Christ's victory; shame and its effect on believers; made for this purpose; living out God's love story; living on the edge of a cliff; and the million-watt mega bulb of God's hope. Each chapter also includes a short series of questions for future contemplation and a brief but pointed prayer specific to every topic.
At the close of the book, Walsh revisits the subject of her opening chapter by disclosing the details that had her wanting to give up and for which she required God's deliverance. Readers again will value Walsh's honesty and will find fortitude and hope for their own "impossible situations" as they read of hers. Walsh's spouse, Barry, and son Christian also play significant parts throughout her text, giving an additional sense of "being real" on this imperfect faith journey. Women of faith will glean much from Walsh's always on-target work of encouragement and hope.
Reviewed by Michele Howe on November 13, 2011