Thursday, November 7, 2019
When Only Faith Remains
When Only Faith Remains is a study in the life of Mary as she appears in Scripture, and her journey of faith to the cross and beyond. Alongside Mary’s story, the author shares portions of her own life story and journey of faith and draws many parallels for every believer to glean from on their own journey to the cross and beyond.
My thoughts: This is an excellent little book to pick up and go through, with the holiday season right around the corner. Thoughts of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and what it must of been like to be in her shoes are always at the forefront of my mind during the Christmas season, so I enjoyed the chance to go through this book. I like the way it is written and that the author tied it in with a lot of stories of her own struggles and walk with the Lord. I really appreciate how open she is about her struggle with bulimia and her marriage, and the blessings that have come through those struggles. This is an excellent book to pick up!
I received this book through Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review and is in no way influenced by receiving a complimentary copy.
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About the Author:
Amy C. O’Reilly has a master’s in physical therapy and co-owns Sandhills Orthotics and Prosthetics with her husband. Amy serves as a leader and teacher at her local church and Community Bible Study, and she desires to expand God’s kingdom through writing and speaking at churches and women’s groups. She enjoys running, teaching, and spending time with family at the beach. Amy and her family live in the Sandhills of North Carolina. When Only Faith Remains is her first book.
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When Only Faith Remains is the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she appears in Scripture and her unique journey of faith. The writing of this book was a journey in and of itself as God revealed many spiritual parallels in my own life events and faith journey. As I followed Mary to the cross and beyond, she became more real and relevant to me than ever before and I began to find connection and hope in my own life during the times when only faith remains.
Mary’s story is truly every believers story as Jesus calls us all to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. As I pondered Mary’s life and treasured the words she treasured, I knew it was time to take Mary and Joseph out of the boundaries of the nativity box, and help their story come alive in a way modern readers can identify and relate.
Mary’s story is heartrending, yet beautiful, and crushing, yet full of hope, and it’s replete with anticipation, insecurity, fears, doubts, grief, hope and love. Her story is one of mystery and intrigue. It is also sobering with a heavy dose of the realities involved in following Christ. And hidden just beneath the surface of Mary’s unique calling to serve as the mother of Christ lies an equally captivating story of her journey of faith. From the first time she says yes to Jesus in the presence of an angel to the day she is filled once again with the Spirit of her risen Savior at Pentecost, we witness a frightened Jewish girl transformed into a woman who overcomes the worst grief imaginable—all by faith.
As I dug past the details and circumstances of Mary’s life to unearth her core needs, fears, and desires, I found myself identifying with Mary more and more. I discovered God at work in each detail of her life and in every relationship, teaching her His ways and deepening her faith, just as He has done in my life. In Philippians 2:12, Mary is the perfect example of a believer who “works out her salvation with fear and trembling,” as God teaches her to trust His plan through the life and death of her very own Son. Thus Mary’s journey of faith becomes one in which all roads lead her back to Jesus, the Christ, the Lord and Savior of all.
Readers can expect to relate to Mary in surprising ways as they navigate through their own seasons of hardship, heartache, grief, and loss. I have also shared some of my own struggles and heartache with a transparency that is both genuine and encouraging to believers searching for an authentic faith.
I invite you to join me on this journey as I share my own life experiences in light of Mary’s journey as found in Scripture. My hope is that Mary becomes real and relevant to you in a very personal way throughout the pages of this book. My prayer is that, as you find yourself and your own journey of faith in the story of Mary, your faith in Jesus Christ will be renewed and strengthened.
For a complete list of blog stops, go here!
To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link here to enter.