I ordered the book, Within My Heart by Tamera Alexander, when I still was being coaxed by Bruce to read to him. I was also looking for books to give to older grandchildren, so I was sent the book with the agreement that I would do a review on it. But by the time it arrived in the mail Bruce was in the hospital, too sick to concentrate on a book, no matter how interesting.
I didn't want to read it. My mind was occupied with more serious matters, but I had made a promise, and anyway, I figured reading the book might get my mind off my current problems. So I halfheartedly picked it up and started.
At first I was skeptical. Was this going to be just another cheep love story with so called Christian Character's? It didn't take long for me to change my mind. Although Rachel, the main character, was a thirty something year old with her own set of problems, a large part of the focus was on an older couple who were facing a crisis. One of them was about to be called home.
The impact this book had on me surprised me. I would have understood if it had turned me into a bawling and sniffing mess, I've been that a lot lately, but it didn't effect me that way. Instead, it left me with a warm glow like I had just been given a precious gift. I think what really hit home were some of the words of wisdom spoken by the dying man.
Although I have heard it said often enough and have said it myself many times, somehow, God clarified the thought as I read: The Lord won't take my husband until his job is done, and when that is done, I want to let him go home. And another thought worked its way in at the same time. Even if Bruce's only job left is to teach me to rely on God as I struggle to deal with his confused condition, then he needs to be here for that.
I discovered part of the reason why Within My Heart was able to reach me where I was at. In "A note from the Author", Tamera Alexander told of how she had put the book on hold to spend the last few months with her dying mother. She says in the note that many of the conversations between the characters in the story had their seeds in conversations she shared with her mother in those final days. No wonder it hit me the way it did.
I couldn't honestly say I liked everything about the book. I don't encourage young people to read books where the love story has a lot of kissing in it. My own girls waited for their wedding day for their first kiss, and I highly recommend that kind of attitude. But, unfortunately, there is very little on the market any more with that type of standard. Even one of my own novels, Susie's Story, has a scene with a kiss. Since it was based on a true story, and the kiss was highly relevant to the story, I couldn't avoid it, so I guess I can't talk, can I?
Tamera Alexander is a talented writer, and I have to admit, I was blessed by her book, "Within My Heart". If you are looking for a book to give to someone who has had to face the possibility of a loved one dying, I would recommend Within My Heart.
Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections, Book 3)
For the previous post see God's Wisdom and the Love of Family