The Desire: The Restoration Series, Book 3
Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley once again team up to write the third book in the Restoration series. THE DESIRE centers on Jim and Marilyn Anderson’s daughter, Michele, and her husband, Allan.
The thing Michele wants most in the world is to get pregnant. But she and Allan have been trying for a year and it just isn’t happening. It seems that everyone she knows is getting pregnant with no problem. And, as a part-time teacher, she is around kids all the time, which she loves, but it serves as a constant reminder of what she doesn’t have. In addition, she was recently asked to assist in putting together the new curriculum for the children’s ministry at church. Michele can’t help but feel disheartened, discouraged and, honestly, disappointed in God for not allowing her to be the mother she knows in her heart she’s meant to be.
"Walsh and Smalley do an excellent job of creating stories that reflect real-life issues and challenges. The ultimate takeaway is that working through relationship difficulties --- no matter how impossible they seem at the time --- can result in some of life’s greatest blessings."
Allan is a wonderful husband but just doesn’t seem to understand Michele’s dismay or her hurry to get pregnant. He is currently focused on volunteering in missions in Ethiopia. While Michele tries to be supportive and is certainly proud of Allan’s heart for ministry, she wishes he would be a little more sympathetic and supportive of her desire to start a family.
One day, while Michele is sitting at the park watching mothers with their children, she is approached by a girl named Christina who confides in her that she has a big decision to make: whether or not to keep the baby she’s carrying or give it up for adoption. A while later, Christina enters Michele’s life again when her mother informs her she is counseling the young mother-to-be at the Women’s Resource Center where her mom volunteers.
Meanwhile, Allan has come home from his latest mission trip with a heavy heart. He had witnessed poverty in a way he never had before. He also met a little girl he can’t get out of his mind. Allan is asked to become even more involved with his church’s efforts to build an orphanage in Ethiopia, and then is asked to take his pastor’s place on another trip back to Africa to finalize the plans. In spite of Michele’s reservations, he wants to do everything he can to help. And he wants more than ever to reconnect with the beautiful little girl who captured his heart.
THE DESIRE is much more than a story about longing for a baby. Yes, it’s about the disappointment and emotions experienced by people who aren’t able to conceive, but it also explores the idea that God uses our challenges and struggles in ways we don’t expect. Sometimes Michele comes across as unreasonable, particularly regarding her annoyance with Allan’s devotion to the missions to which he is called. However, her feelings are more about her need to be a priority in her husband’s life, which is justified. Michele’s emotions are authentically portrayed and tug at the reader’s heartstrings. Another beautiful emphasis of the story is on the agonizing truth of third-world poverty and need. I loved this angle, and more than once felt convicted of my own tendency to take for granted the everyday “necessities” I say I can’t live without.
Each book in the Restoration series can be enjoyed as a stand-alone, but it would benefit readers to read them in order, if for no other reason than to get a better picture of this endearing family and the ways God moves in each couple’s marriage. The first book, THE DANCE, centered on long-time married parents Jim and Marilyn Anderson. Then THE PROMISE tackled challenges in son Tom Anderson’s marriage. I suspect there will be one more book in this series, exploring a “new” romantic relationship --- first love-style --- for youngest son Doug.
Walsh and Smalley do an excellent job of creating stories that reflect real-life issues and challenges. The ultimate takeaway is that working through relationship difficulties --- no matter how impossible they seem at the time --- can result in some of life’s greatest blessings.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on October 15, 2014