Embrace the Detour

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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13 thoughts on “Embrace the Detour”

  1. What an intriguing book! Thanks for sharing, neighbor. Prosperity gospel scares me though, it travels so far away from the cross. God has promised to bless us but that does not mean He would give us everything we want. He gives what is best for us spiritually. Blessings to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have recently been reading a book on Spiritual Abuse and it’s very interesting what can take place in certain factions. However, this book does look like a good read, so I may have to add it to my ever-growing list!


  3. Oh how I can relate to bumps in the road and events not going as I wished or planned! Been knee-deep in disappointments mostly because I lost trust. Thankfully God is a patient teacher and now when I’m anxious about how things will unfold, He is the first I consult. Terrific review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think that instead of waiting for mountain top experiences to know God, we need to train ourselves to see God in the ordinary things of life. He promise to always be with us so it’s up to us to slow down and let Him speak to us wherever we are.


  5. Michele, This sounds like a wonderful book & one I have now added to my “to read” list. May we always remember He has said He would never leave us. That being always true means in all we go through, He is with us. Yes, even there in those very times when we question if He is, we shall find Him.


  6. I’ve been thinking about this very thing so much lately. After reading George Mueller’s biography, I have found myself puzzling over how he could say at the end of his life that God had never NOT answered him when he prayed when he had experienced so many setback and especially when he lost an eighteen-month old son. I’m still puzzling over that a bit, and it seems this book might be a good piece of my journey! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!


  7. I’ve found myself thinking a lot about this lately, especially after reading a biography of George Mueller. I had a hard time swallowing his statements toward the end of his life that God had never NOT answered a prayer of his. He went through so many setbacks and even lost his eighteen-month old son, so I’m struggling with how he could really have believed that to his core. This book looks like it should be a piece of my journey and struggle, so thanks for sharing it at Booknificent Thursday!

    Liked by 1 person

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