I was contacted a few weeks ago by Red Couch PR to review Debbie Sutton Covington's book If I...I Will. Because the author has experienced many years of infertility, I agreed to hop on the book tour as there is so little out there in actual book form when it comes to infertility.
*About the author:
Debbie Sutton Covington writes and speaks on women in the church. She is also the founder of Journey of Sisters, a ministry that encourages women in their walk in faith through weekly devotionals, monthly newsletters, and fellowship opportunities. Debbie and her husband Kenny and their dogs live in Shreveport, Louisiana.
If I…I will: simple words, but do we ever move past the “ifs” in our lives? Do we know in our hearts and minds that God indeed will help us to achieve our dreams and goals? If I…I Will is an insightful look at the healing of the suffering woman in Mark 5 whom Jesus healed. And just like that suffering woman, we must step past our suffering, the words we may hear, our own thoughts, and the crowds around us to reach for Jesus. What if we reach Jesus? Will He change our lives forever? Will He heal us? Yes, indeed! Maybe Jesus won’t follow the way we envision the healing or the change to happen, but faith in Jesus will forever change us. So, step out and reach for Jesus’ hand, and begin the adventure of a lifetime.
In this quick read, the author walks the reader through Mark 5, the familiar story of the woman with the issue of blood. Each chapter begins with a part of this story, told from the woman's perspective. Looking at this passage from the emotional vantage point of this woman does encourage you to dwell more on what it meant for a woman who would have been considered unclean for so long to have the courage to reach out and touch the hem of the Messiah's garment. While one can only speculate as to the woman's true physical condition and emotions, the embellishments are thought-provoking.
The author includes many personal experiences throughout the book, all the while encouraging the reader to look for healing in Christ and for comfort in His Word. She is honest about her struggles, and as you all know how I am about transparency (ha!), you can be assured that I applaud her courage to put herself into her book. I was a bit wary of her talk of healing at first because as we all know, some of us are never truly healed from our physical maladies. However, Covington focuses on spiritual healing rather than physical, and exhorts the reader to accept whatever type of healing that God may grant, even if it is not what one expected. I can definitely agree with Debbie's exhortation here.
While this is a short and easy read (a blessing for some of us who are drowning in our lengthy reading lists!), Debbie does sprinkle each chapter with numerous rhetorical questions for the reader's sake. I personally found them to be a bit distracting, and wonder if this would be more effectively done in a list of study questions at the end of the book if she is wishing for one to really contemplate what the answers might be in one's personal experience (and I'm sure that she does want that for her readers!). I might also add that there is a smattering of lighthearted stories and jokes woven throughout the book that, at times, are used to support the author's main points. Unfortunately, I felt that this made the book seem a bit contrived in parts.
There was not nearly as much mention of infertility as I had expected, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend the book as a primary source of comfort for someone experiencing infertility, but I will say that the author is very direct in her encouragements to study the Bible, to spend time in prayer and examination of oneself, and to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I appreciate her directness in encouraging those things! If you need a little motivation in those areas, perhaps If I...I Will can be a source of encouragement for you.
I thank Red Couch PR for the opportunity to review this book on my blog! If you're interested in reading other reviews, feel free to check out the Virtual Book Tour Page.
Also, I would be happy to pass along my copy of the book to a reader. Leave a comment if you're interested--first come, first served! :) Otherwise, you can purchase If I…I Will on Amazon at http://amzn.to/ifiiwill.
More IF blogging later....