TODAY SEES THE LONG-OVERDUE RELAUNCH of the UKCBD Reviews section, and what a wonderful title to start the ball rolling: Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer, reviewed by Rebecca Datchler. Rebecca, like myself and Matthew Caminer, is a member of the Mrs (& Mr!) Vicarages facebook group, a group of people who are used to seeing their lives interrupted: Rebecca knows first hand what she’s talking about in her observations about this book.
My plan is to publish at least one review per week, interspersed here with the usual News Roundups and other miscellaneous features — always subject, of course, to interruptions; and on that note, it’s over to Rebecca…
Navigating the Unexpected
ISBN 9781433670459 (1433670453)
B&H, 2011 (256pp)
Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer looks at the changes unexpected, forced or painful that can arrive unbidden into our lives. Using primarily the story of Jonah, but touching on other Bible characters who struggled with God’s calling on their lives, and with personal accounts and opportunity for personal reflection along the way, Shirer addresses the issues often raised by, “realities we just don’t want to accept or live through” (p.12). The book asserts the message that, “your life and your interruptions have been superintended by the same God who intervened in the Davids and Esthers and Pauls and Jonahs of Scripture” (p.36).
The author walks the reader through the realisation of a change, the doubt, anger or rebellion it may bring, the needed repentance and surrender to God’s will, and the possibilities that God may bring the desires of your heart to bear through the interruption of personal plans. It reads like a frank but gentle chat with a close friend, in that it starts gently with a simple solid message which develops at times into a challenge of personal reflection and development if you choose to let it.
If you look hard enough you could find a hint of ‘teacher knows best’, but it is essentially a readable and soothing book. It is clearly written with women in mind (it is published under women’s issues by B&H), and as such many of the personal and life examples it talks about relate to women. However, change and moving into God’s will is a universal issue that is relevant to everyone so don’t be put off picking this up if you are not female, you will still be able to engage with the themes of the book on some level.
In busy lives it is always helpful to find a relevant and helpful Bible study pertaining to a particular situation, ready-made for you. So if you are in the midst of change, or searching for a way to move on from a certain situation, Life Interrupted is worth a read. It offers the opportunity of insight into your situation and gives a glimpse of hope that may help you to move forward. If nothing else, it is worth reading as an encouragement that you are not alone in doubts and fears, and that there is often a greater purpose in those unexpected life events.
Rebecca Datchler, August 2012
Rebecca Datchler has three young children and is a clergy wife. Having recently moved with the family to Wellington, New Zealand, she is currently re-training as a foster carer, is chief ‘gap filler’ in the life of the Church, and in spare moments reads a lot and writes a little.