I will always have the staggered memories of my conversion - you know, that moment as I sat in the pew 14 rows back in Oakwood Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN, and suddenly came to the conclusion that hell was not an option I was willing to consider or negotiate. At 7 years old my faith journey began. And then, at age 18, it began again. You might call it a "reconversion". And even if you wouldn't, Sarah Cunningham would!
In her brand new book, Picking Dandelions, Sarah gives you a window into her life as a pastor's daughter, an over-analyzing over-thinking journeyman on a quest for humility and simplicity, and a missionary with a realization that if you're going to "grow where you've been planted", sometimes you've got to pull some weeds!
With repeated echoes of Paul in Romans 7, this fantastic memoir is an honest confession of a Christ-follower who is convinced that settling for anything other than the "more to this life" Jesus promised is unthinkable and unacceptable. But with that determination comes some seriously painful introspection and - at times - some hard work! There's a reason we're told to "work out our faith...." For many of us, this isn't a one-time point in history that our relatives remember better than we do. It's a journey! And no journey - at least worth taking - is ever easy.
Sarah shares her journey with fresh honesty and humility. And while I found myself vicariously (and in some ways painfully) walking along with her words, I was laughing until it hurt. The good kind of hurt, where your face is sore!
I needed this book! I needed to laugh that hard at something...while no one else in the room knew what the heck was so funny! I needed to know that someone else was constantly failing - and yet still determined - to be the whole person that God had designed them to be. In the midst of one more bout of purging myself of all the "junk" that I convince myself I need to make my life a little bit better, I read Sarah's honest confession: "I never meant, for instance, to buy the idea that my identity is tied to my possessions. But while I was cleaning, I found it under my bed and on my shelves." We need to know that someone else is wrestling with this "old self" that continues to hide in the trenches as we walk the road of life, waiting to leap out and attack us when we're strolling along on auto-pilot. We need someone to subtly and calmly yell at us: WAKE UP!
If you've ever struggled with the confusion between your faith and your religion; if you've even thought for a moment that you just can't seem to get it right as a Christ-follower; or if you simply need someone to breathe that last word of encouragement into your life that says, "God is NOT finished with you"...you need to pick up Picking Dandelions. And prepare yourself. You won't be able to put it down!
For more on Sarah Cunningham, to read her blog, or to get your copy of Picking Dandelions, pay her a visit: www.sarahcunningham.org