Title: Remember God
Author: Annie F. Downs
Publisher: B & H Books
Author Annie F. Downs is raw and witty in this retelling of a year in her journey to discover the answer to the question: Is God kind?
Beginning with her initial disappointment of being single in her mid-thirties, Annie sets out to embrace her friend’s prophetic word-of-the-year: Love. Over the course of the next twelve months, Annie grows closer to the God who provides for his sheep. She leans into her friend’s prayer and begins the year ready to close this chapter of singlehood.
As the year passes and Annie’s prospects are unchanging she wrestles with God and whether or not he is kind. How could a God who knows the desires of our hearts keep us in a state of wanting for so long? Can he possibly be kind?
Annie brings her readers on a journey of fasting, prayer, heartache, excitement, disappointment, and healing as she seeks out God in the process. This isn’t a book with a nice tidy ending (or overall structure for that matter), but it is one that reminds us that God is in control of the details and our understanding of kindness is so limited by a world that defines it by standards that don’t align to God’s.
In these pages I wrestled with what kindness means and how I react to God not providing in the ways I expect. As Annie lamented over her unfulfilled wishes I walked alongside her and spoke my own disappointments to God. I was also reminded that He shows up in the unexpected, and so I began to search for God everywhere. When life changes, so do our relationships with God. And each of us should remember to celebrate what we have instead of mourning what we do not.
And above all else…we remember God even when the end of the story (or year) doesn’t have the neat and tidy ending.
This was my first time reading anything by Annie F. Downs (although my husband enjoys her books a lot.) I picked this book up while walking through my own season of disappointment, and through the reading I felt as though this journey was not something I was on alone. In my most vulnerable moments I felt a connection to the honest words of the author that reminded me that what I see as the resolution to the story may not be God’s and I have to learn to accept that. What I see as provision may not be God’s plan and I need to trust Him.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a memoir like this. How refreshing it is to join in another’s human experience and to realize I’m not the only one who wrestles with these thoughts and disappointments. And at the end of it all–God is kind.
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The Ameri Brit Mom