Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

This is my first novel read by Michele Phoenix. I love the premise of this novel and all that she opened my eyes to. We always hear of the 'calling' by missionaries. We want to go where God calls us. We want to make a difference. 

To be called by God isn't the same for every soul. We all fit differently into His plan. Our walk with Him isn't ALL we do for His name, but our relationship with Him, our intimate journey with our Savior. 

This novel is raw and transparent. For me, it was the journey of Lauren. We see that her husband feels called to work in Nepal and with the people, but we really don't read about much of his personal journey. 

Their son, Ryan, is struggling. We can see through the conversations he has with his parents that he is truly unhappy. We see the fall, but we don't really get a close glimpse into his heart. 

It is with Lauren that we journey. She feels alone and lost. Through her words we can 'feel' the pain in her heart. She is broken and a mess. We can see that she wants more of a close relationship with her husband, which is clueless to anything she or their son is going through. Nothing seems to matter to him except the call. We see his words of encouragement, but they aren't so much words to inspire his family, but his life and calling and how they fit into it. 

So, as Lauren is lost in her time alone she connects with an old friend. But their relationship grows beyond just a message here and there. They begin chatting through messages daily. She can never seem to find the time to share this with her husband and when she finally does his response is one I wasn't ready for. Their relationship is really strained and pretty much completely lies on his 'feelings' with God and how he says their life should be. 

I enjoyed the rawness and the transparent look into Lauren's life. The novel goes back and forth from her younger years when she and her husband met to present time. So much I enjoyed, but much I didn't. Although the novel took us into her life as a missionary, the missing link was faith. Not much faith being shared, but more so the 'calling' of the husband. 

I enjoyed the writing style. But the novel just kind of ends..period. For me it ended where it should have been more of the middle of the novel. It just left me pondering what life would be for these people we journeyed with through three hundred and sixty something pages. 

I would like to read more of this author. As her words are powerful and she does bring the reader into a world most only hear about as families come to church to share the need. We never really see or hear about the personal struggles of these families. 

This novel was a gift from Thomas Nelson for sharing my review with you.

Michele Phoenix born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michele Phoenix is a consultant, writer, and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for twenty years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michele travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies, and paths to healing.

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