For me, these are not words that naturally go together. If I was looking for a word to describe how I feel about uncertainty, I would probably go for frightening, or frustrating, or possibly frantic. But this book challenges that idea and encourages us to embrace, and see beauty in the uncertainty of life, secure in the certainty of God with us.
The subtitle to the book is “Singleness, Surrender and Stepping Out In Faith”, but it is not only relevant for people who are single. I was drawn to read the book as “Surrender” is my word for the year, and I think it will speak to anyone who wrestles with surrendering to God or who is facing a time of waiting or uncertainty.
At the beginning of 2014, Mandy Hale made just one New Year resolution: “I will seek, pursue, and fall in love with Jesus with radical abandon.”
The book contains essays and reflections on how that decision played out, both in the little decisions of everyday life and in some major moments of stepping out in faith.
Throughout the book, she points the reader back to God and the certainty we have in him: that he knows us, he loves us, he has a good plan for us and that he can work even our difficult times for good.
There is encouragement to wait for what God has for us (even if it seems different to what he has for everyone else around us) and to push ourselves out of our comfort zones in obedience to him.
“When we are willing to hand him the pen to our lives, he writes a much more beautiful story than we could ever ask or imagine.”
I was struck by the observation that “control… is the opposite of faith” and the reminder that “even when things spiral so far out of control that you can’t even see control from where you’re standing, God is there.”
The book sums up the lesson I am trying to learn this year: “how to surrender. How to trust. How to stop trying to control and plan and fix and handle and manipulate and just let go. How to relax into the sweet, sweet uncertainty of not always knowing where I was going but never doubting for a second He would be with me every step of the way.”
I would definitely recommend this book. It is entertaining and very readable. I finished the book very quickly as the chapters are short and I kept wanting to read “just one more.” At the same time there is a lot of depth- many passages that I highlighted and will come back to, and a few specific areas where I have been challenged and encouraged to push myself out of my comfort zone, to step out in faith and surrender to God, and to look at uncertainty in a more positive light.