Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Faith Words - Love Story by Nichole Nordeman

My faith is a constant in my life - I have tested it, doubted it, argued with it, fought against it, and it still remains. I don't fit easily into a cookie-cutter definition of a Christian. I read a lot about faith - things I agree with, things I reject, things that frustrate me, things that encourage me. Faith Words is a journal of my readings in the area of faith.

Love Story: Falling Apart in Perfect Condition, Restored by God, Perfectly Loved by Nichole Nordeman
published 8/31/12

Synopsis from publisher:

Love Story is an exquisite narrative that exposes the emotional and human underside of major biblical events, including Adam and Eve’s dramatic fall in the Garden of Eden, Sarah and Abraham’s struggle to have a child, Mary’s surprise at being pregnant with Jesus, Paul’s trauma on the road to Damascus, and concludes with a triumphant picture of the second coming of Christ. This book is a dramatic connecting point for all readers, inspiring them to grasp the poignant nature of God’s immense, all-consuming love

My thoughts:

 First Impression - 8/16/12   I first discovered Nichole Nordeman in 1998 when her first album, Wide Eyed, was released - her words immediately resonated with me. I felt like she wrote the things that were in my heart, like she was writing the songs in my own head that I couldn't quite put down on paper. Her honestly about her own doubts and struggles has always been so refreshing, and something I could completely relate to.     So I was incredibly excited to see that she had written her first book. It has honestly been a while since I've read much "contemporary christian" nonfiction - sometimes it just seems like a bunch of platitudes with no real substance behind it. I had a feeling Nordeman's book would be different, and so far I'm right. The honesty that she has shown in her music is all right there, open on the page, without pretense or pretension. I think I could read the whole book in one day, but I'm trying to slow down - savor the experience - and really find something that speaks to my soul.

Second Thoughts - 8/29/12

It's a sneaky little book - so much of it feels like sitting down and having a conversation with your girlfriend, sharing highs and lows, being a little bit honest, a little bit vulnerable. Those conversations that leave you feeling heard and understood, and then two days later you realize that you've changed the way you think about something because of it. I've enjoyed each section of the book, but the chapters about Esther, and a woman's struggle with the beauty culture; and Job, and the impossibility of understanding how a good God can allow such deep suffering, have been true standouts. Nordeman's style is quite informal, which adds to the impression that you are speaking face to face. And, as with her music, I find that she writes the thoughts in my head that I can't put down on paper.

"Heroes of the Bible. Heroes of the faith. Really? I just don't see it. I know they did heroic things when God empowered them to and when they chose God's path and not their own, but to slap the hero label on some of those foreheads feels awkward to me, if not a little far-fetched. I see profoundly flawed men and women who got caught in the net of God's mercy and were wise enough to confess the blackness of their hearts, realigning their messed-up lives with God's plan about a jillion times every month. They have moments of little-g greatness only when they are subject to big-G Greatness. Otherwise they are mostly capital-T Trainwrecks. Like us."

Last Word - 9/2/12

This was a winner in just about every way for me. I loved Nordeman's choice of characters - biblical greats whose stories we've heard a hundred times, but in her eyes suddenly vulnerable and new. Something about her words has always resonated with me, and this book was no different. Nordeman never tries to do "deep" theology - this isn't biblical exegesis. It's just one woman, sharing what she has learned over the course of a life that seemed, in many unexpected ways, so much like mine. I highlighted many times, in nearly every chapter, something that spoke especially to my heart. Highly recommended from this couch - it's a good one.

Finished: 8/31/12
Source: review copy from publisher via Netgalley - thank you!
MPAA Rating: G
My rating: 9/10


Zibilee said...

I just recently discovered Nichole Nordeman, and it was during a very painful part of my life. I find her to be one of the most sensitive and spiritual singers that is out there today, and it's lovely to hear that she has a book out there! I need to read this, and soon. Her music moves me so much. This was a fantastic review today, Elizabeth. I am so glad that this book, and Nichole's songs are nourishment to your soul.

calvaryoakville said...

Thank you for sharing this... I will research more about Nichole's songs and books...Great song!! God bless!