A memoir about one woman’s quest to form a personal relationship with God.
Irene (My Priority, 2014, etc.) states in the introduction that “God most definitely does have a personally designed plan for each one of His beloved children,” and she shares the discovery of her own plan with the reader. Six years prior to the writing of the book, she “was not really into reading The Bible.” More recently, however, she has come to appreciate its many messages. The author describes herself as a divorced physical education teacher in Florida who has, in the past few years, attempted to more closely align herself with Christ’s teachings. As a single woman, she has become careful about whom she dates and wonders “how men of my age group will receive me in my new obedient lifestyle.” She has enjoyed giving people Bibles and consulting the teachings of pastors like Charles Stanley and Joel Osteen. She took a Christian cruise to Alaska, the details of which are scarce, though the reader is assured that there was “no gambling and no bars open for the entire cruise.” Irene conveys a positive feeling about the changes in her life and how she has adopted an “attitude of gratitude,” but endorsements of Christianity can come across as oversimplified; for example, the author states that at one point she “felt sad and lonely, but then realized God is protecting me and helping me stay free of temptation.” Aspects of the author’s secular life prove to be the most memorable, such as a near accident while boating on the Alafia River. The Bible is undoubtedly an important aspect of this memoir, but additional color about the author’s past (such as more information about her former attitude of “if in doubt let’s go for it”) would have added interest and nuance. One doesn’t question the author’s new religious commitment, but a clearer outline of how she came to have such a commitment is needed.
An intimate, if underdeveloped, image of one woman’s growing faith.