Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy

Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Book Review: If You Only Knew

If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free by Jamie Ivey

This week I read the book If You Only Knew by the popular podcast host of The Happy Hour, Jamie Ivey. While I was familiar with Jamie from her podcast, this book was different from what I anticipated. It’s no secret that she is a Christian or that she is married to a pastor. However, I was surprised by her vulnerability and openness in sharing her testimony.

And, to that end, that is what this book is essentially. It is her testimony. Readers learn who she was before she began to follow Christ and who she is today. She reveals the secrets and hidden struggles that she was sure “if you only knew,” you would judge her for.

Jamie was highly dependent on admiration from the opposite sex, which led to her making some unwise decisions that hurt her heart. For example, she was sexually promiscuous and became pregnant while attending a Baptist college and miscarried. However, what made it even more difficult over time was the fact that she felt she had to hide this part of her story.

For those who have struggled under the weight of hidden sin or have looked for love in all the wrong ways, you may find Jamie’s testimony healing. She speaks openly and continually offers readers grace and reminds them that no one is perfect.

My one caveat in recommending this book to everyone is that is specifically geared to a Christian audience (as I’m sure it was intended). With this being said, I do not know how much of it would resonate with (or even make sense to) someone who does not go to church or has not read the Bible, as it is full of verses and Christianese. In other words, I wouldn’t necessarily give it to just anyone struggling.

And, there were several times when I highlighted things she said. For example, here are a few quotes I loved:

 “We’re either the church people that others feel too ashamed to be themselves around, or we’re the bottled-up people whose sense of failure or inadequacy makes us want to hide or maybe hate you.”

“Struggling through your faith is not an indication of lack of faith; struggling through your faith is an indication that you are fighting for your faith.”

“When we allow ourselves to be a safe place for women to confess their struggles, we are imitating Jesus.”

* I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

* It releases this Tuesday, so go ahead and order it or put it on hold at your local library!

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