My Review of I Know the Plans
Last week I read a story about a brokenness I can only imagine. But I’ve had the opportunity to walk alongside families that have felt so broken. Torn apart. So messy it seems hopeless. We start to ask, can anyone fix this? How can God heal my broken family?
This post was originally shared on the Real World Bible Study
This page contains affiliate links – they don’t cost you a penny, but they sure help to pay off those student loans! For more information, please see my disclosure page. Also, I received a review copy of I Know the Plans. All opinions are my own.
If that’s you, with the broken family, you should probably read I Know the Plans.
Melissa Wardwell tells a powerful story of a couple dealing with the effects of war in the form of physical injuries, memory loss, and PTSD. Throw in a history of miscarriages and friends that don’t respect your boundaries, and you’ve got Tiffany’s life. If you’ve felt like your mess is hopeless, after reading this story, I hope that instead of “how can God fix my broken family?,” you’ll start to ask “God, how will you fix my broken family?” Because the thing is, God can. And we can start to say, “God, I don’t know how you are going to make this right, I don’t know how you are going to redeem this, but I know you can. So would you show me how? Show me what I need to do to move forward with the great plans you have for my life.” Cry. But then, start to have a sense of wonder at what God might do…and where you might feel his presence in the midst of brokenness. And then cry again (or yell or run or whatever), because grief and heartache is a real thing.
This book had a slow start; it was hard for me to get into it at first. I think maybe there was too much telling, not enough showing, and I found myself tripping over some of the sentence structure. I also have a little pet peeve about the “I know the plans” verse being taken out of context, but I’m not going to get into that here. It will take away from the story. But I am starting to really enjoy these “romance after marriage” stories, because life doesn’t actually end when you get married…it’s just getting started. Eventually, I got caught up in the story of a broken family starting over, and it is a powerful story. My heart swells with hope for every broken family I know. God can heal your broken family, whether broken by war, depression, drugs, infertility, or loss. And maybe, too, we’ll experience the wholeness of being “broken together.”
I Know the Plans is on Tour with Celebrate Lit!
About the Book
Book: I Know the Plans
Author: Melissa Wardwell
Release Date: October 2018
All the plans Tiffany and Brad made for their lives as individuals were thrown to the wind the moment they met. Now, after almost a decade of marriage, they spend more time apart than together. Though plans remain unfulfilled, their hearts seek to remain steadfast and connected.
After Brad returns from his latest tour in Afghanistan, it is evident that the man Tiffany married is no longer the same. As Brad struggles with reacquainting himself with his life, Tiffany questions how it could be part of God’s plan. Have the sins of their past finally come back to haunt them? No matter how much support they have in their family and friends, the choice is still theirs. Will they continue to trust God with their lives or will they choose their own course? Can God heal this broken family?
Melissa Wardwell resides in the quaint town of Owosso, Michigan with her husband and their three teen aged children. She began her writing journey in August of 2014 with her debut novel “What God Brings Together”. She decided to give writing a try after she shared a story that nagged at her with a friend. Unsure in her own abilities to craft a story she plunged ahead anyway. After reading the first draft of that first book, she then understood that God had a much bigger plan. “God does not give his children a desire just so that it can go to waste.” Since then, she has added three more novels and taken part in two anthologies. Melissa also has a review blog and is a contributing blogger for Heart”wings” Blog.
Being a mother and wife herself, Melissa understands the importance of taking care of yourself from time to time. So, all her stories revolve around women who are mothers: single mothers, widowed mothers, young mothers, married mothers, and even women who have a mother’s heart but no children of their own.
To see the full list of her work, visit www.melissawardwell.com
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
This verse has been my “Go To” verse since the day I married. It is a constant reminder that no matter what struggles I endure, God has a plan. I may not be able to see through the fog, I may not like or understand the journey, but it is all part of a plan. All I can do is trust God’s design for my life and be willing to move when He tells me to.
Trusting the Master Author
God used the writing process of “I Know the Plans” to remind me that He has a plan for me and book and I need to just trust the process. This book has taken me over a year to complete. If it wasn’t one thing to keep me from committing to it, then it was another. I don’t begrudge the events that kept me away, but as soon as I would begin to grumble to God about not having the energy or the brain power to write, I would get this preverbal reminder that I was not the one in control. If I am going to write faith lessons in fiction, I need to trust the Master Author.
When Your Broken Family is Barely Hanging on, Hang on to Trust
In “I Know the Plans”, Sergeant Bradley Jones and his wife, Tiffany, are hit with one whopper of a plot twist that leaves them wondering if they can get through some major medical issues, PTSD, and infertility in one piece. Their family and friends do their best to support the couple but sometimes, trusting God’s plan is all they can do. Something we all try to learn to do in our own lives.
Due to the military thread in this book, I asked my veteran friends what charity they hold in high esteem. Almost every single one of them suggested “Wounded Warrior Project” and offered rave reviews of their humanitarian efforts in the military community. So, a portion of my royalties from this book will be going to “Wounded Warrior Project” in honor of their service and the service of thousands of others.
Can you have a broken family even before you have children?
There is another group of people I wanted to honor. Those who fight with infertility. I know many who have fought the battle to have children of their own. Some eventually find success, while other have not. Some have even taken the route of adoption and have saved the lives of young ones who needed all the love in the world. Then there are some that just choose to embrace the fact that children of their own was not going to happen and have given all their love to others. All of these groups of people fight a battle that is riddled with pain, confusion, endless medical procedures, and thousands of dollars. There isn’t one group or another that could support these people as much as our love, prayers, and thoughtful kindness can. So, I encourage you to embrace those around you and shower them with love. Sometimes what they need is just a friend that will listen and not try to mix the problem. Just as you have received the Father’s love, now you can give it away.
Finally, I want to thank the CelebrateLit blog team for signing up for this tour. I am honored that they choose to read this story and offer their honest opinions on this book. As always, I pray it ministers to the readers as much as it ministered to the author. “You all are amazing!”
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