Book Review for Take Hold of the Faith You Long For by Sharon Jaynes
I feel so blessed to have had a chance to read Sharon’s book. I was asked to be part of the launch team and I went in to it looking at it from this perspective:
Can I take something away from this to strengthen my faith?
The answer, in short, is a resounding yes. As I read this book, I was very introspective. I was ponderous. I was engaged. I was also terrified about what taking hold of a bold faith and setting aside excuses might do for and to my life. My terror gave way to excitement and action. I WANT a bold faith. This book gave me ideas on how to get it.
I gave the book 5 start overall because I have genuinely been changed by reading it. Let me break it down for you, though. I have several criteria I use to review books.
How long did it take me to get into the book? 4 stars
I was busy with a lot of projects I was trying to finish and then took on one too many things. I had a great group of women reading the book with me, though, and they were encouraging. They even used quotes from Sharon’s book to help me get started. Once I started reading, though, I found Sharon’s cases compelling and her tone encouraging. I struggled some with the message, in part, because, like Moses, I want to argue with God about whether I am equipped to do what he calls me to do. I think had I set aside a larger amount of time on the first night, getting into it might have been easier. Once I really started pondering Sharon’s message, it was harder and harder to put the book down.
Can I relate to one of the characters or the example stories being told? 5 stars
Sharon’s stories had me in tears almost every time I picked up the book. They were good tears, though, healthy and cleansing. One of the stories was about being worried about what others would think of her dancing skills and how a woman and her wheelchair-bound husband danced as if they were the only ones there. A lame man can teach us all to dance.
Can I picture the world the author is trying to get me to see? 5 stars
I was looking for a book to help me in my faith journey. Sometimes I feel “stalled.” She spoke often about the need to live boldly, to TAKE HOLD of the promise God has given and to let go of the mediocre faith that keeps you in no-man’s-land. I can see that world as part of my path now. It does not glorify Him to live small.
Is the book well written? 5 stars
Sharon tells you up front that she doesn’t even spell well, but perhaps it is that exact weakness that makes this story so much more amazing. Despite what she saw as her flaws, God helped her to tell her story in writing. The entire book flows well.
Do I want to read the next book by this author? 5 stars
Yes. Absolutely. She offered me both biblical references and modern day stories that drew me in. (There is also a bible study guide at the end for further exploration of topics.) I learned a lot from reading Take Hold of the Faith You Long For. The sections on forgiving others and letting go of shame are POWERFUL. For me, they have been life changing and I am confident they will help shape your faith positively as well.
As an author, I try to give really honest book reviews. It is important. SO, yes, I am a part of Sharon’s launch team, but I hope you will find this review informative and helpful.