I don’t know about you, but events in our news from shootings and hurricanes, constantly hearing about strife and conflict in the world, all these things cause anxiety in me. I purposely don’t watch the news; my heart just can’t bear it. Even so, much of it comes across my Facebook feed. It is so easy for my soul to be in a place of unrest.
I had never considered myself to be an anxious person, but in recent years I have struggled some with anxiety. I think it’s a combination of hormonal issues that started with the perimenopause phase (just before true menopause) and as I age, a more full understanding, sadly, of the state of our world today.
When I had younger kids my thoughts were so busy with them and with homeschooling I was doing good to know what day it was, much less pay much attention to world events. I’ve always had a tender heart though and tended to keep such things at a distance. I know in some ways that it isn’t good, but my husband watches enough news for both of us and keeps me informed enough, as much as I can take that is.
This new book of Katie’s, Daring to Hope came to me at just the right time. Isn’t it interesting how that seems to be?
I don’t believe in coincidence. When I “happened” to look at her blog in order to link to it in a post I was writing, I saw that she had written a 2nd book and that I could apply to be a part of the launch team, which I promptly did. I stated in my application that my blog only had a small number of readers and that I would completely understand if they needed bloggers with a larger audience to promote Katie’s book.
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Although I tend to dread checking my email, I daily and eagerly kept looking for that reply, even though I felt being chosen was unlikely. I was surprised and beyond thrilled when I was chosen and received an early launch team edition of the book.
I knew without reading it, that her book would touch my heart in an eternal way, and it has.
When I read “Kisses From Katie” (her first book) and Katie’s blog, I’ve never stopped thinking about her story. Never stopped thinking about how God is using her. Never stopped thinking about how young she is and yet how radical her obedience to God seems.
To give you a little background, Katie Davis Majors is from Tennessee but currently lives in Uganda. By the time she was 23, she was mom through fostering and adoption to 13 girls in Uganda before she married her husband, Benji, and they had a baby boy. She is founder of Amazima Ministries, an organization that cares for young and vulnerable children and families in Uganda.
All this, and she’s not even 30 years old yet.
I read all but the first 2 chapters in one day. Every time I felt like I should be doing something productive, I reminded myself that on that day I had given myself permission to read and rest for several hours. It was just what both my body and my anxious soul needed.
I find myself wrestling with anxiety about a variety of things, struggling with fears that I can’t do anything about. Do you ever find yourself feeling this way?
I worry about Jessie if something happens to me. I worry about the world my kids and future grand-kids will be living in if Jesus doesn’t come back soon. Your fears and anxieties might be different from mine, but if like mine, they are outside of your control, they are stealing our joy and possibly causing physical pain.
I can’t do one thing about any of those fears except talk to God about them and ask Him to help with the fears that threaten to overwhelm at times. I was in need of a fresh dose of hope from God.
Katie, living in Uganda has witnessed more poverty, sickness, and death up close than most of us ever will. As I read Daring to Hope, I saw how in the midst of witnessing great suffering and being unable to change those circumstances, God refreshed Katie’s hope in Him.
You see, God has brought into Katie’s life and home many people who were suffering and she was called to be with them and to love them. Sometimes she loved and served them until they were physically healed and sometimes she held their hand as her friends, “beheld the face of Jesus for the first time.”
In her time of sorrow and needing a word from God, He reminded Katie that His love is better than life.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
In your name I will lift up my hands.
Psalm 63: 3-4
As Katie tells of the ways that God has continually refreshed her hope, I find Him doing the same for me.
These verses from Psalms have been meaningful to me for a long time. They came through as a fresh dose of hope as I pondered the truth of them in my current anxious state. God’s love and his faithful, steadfast presence for this life and eternity, really is better than anything, even life.
This book is many things. It is an up close view of the ways that God is using Katie and how he is working in Uganda. It is a messy and beautiful story of how God has built her family through adoption. It is a sweet love story of how when she had given up hope of a husband God brought her Benji, who not only loves her, but is a loving father to all of her girls. It is a telling of stories of how God brings people together for their good and His glory.
Does your soul feel anxious? Does your heart need encouraging? Daring to Hope encouraged my heart and lifted my spirit.
Surprisingly, because I think of Katie as doing such BIG and meaningful things for God, one other thing God reminded me of through this book was the importance of “small” things.
“God was glorified, is glorified, when we give him our hearts, give Him ourselves, and faithfully do the thing right in front of us, no matter how small or seemingly trivial.”
“He has shown me the beauty of being attentive to one person, in the mundane, again and again.”
“He showed me that He is glorified in the small too. He is glorified in each pot of pasta faithfully put on the table for our people…..when no one saw all the noses wiped and laundry folded and toilets scrubbed, God was being glorified.”
“Small acts of love become whispers of His glory in the midst of our everydayness.”
That was a sweet reminder too. So often as moms, our daily work is the same day after day. It is good to remember that done with the right heart, even such mundane work honors God.
I know Daring to Hope will bless you too.