Title: Of Stillness and Storm
Author: Michele Phoenix
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Before writing the review, I took time to visit the author’s site and I hope others do as well. The ministry that Michele is engaged in is very unique as I haven’t heard of anything close to what she does. I also read of a woman with a grounded faith that came through adversity, trials and good experiences too. Most of all, at least to me, she is a flesh and blood example of someone who is unashamed to speak truth about the experiences of Missionary Kids.
Of Stillness and Storm is one novel that grabs the soul of the reader and its tentacles reach so deeply into the reader that it doesn’t let up until the end of the story. Well, maybe not even then because I don’t think I will forget this novel for quite a while, if ever. Michele uses flashbacks to take readers into a single family’s experience with answering a call to go to Nepal with young child. The father, Sam, is gone for weeks at a time. His wife, Lauren, works at a school and their son, Ryan, attends a different school and loves soccer.
While in Nepal they begin to experience a slow disintegration of the family unit. The one member who carries the brunt of it is Ryan. Michele crafts a family that at times focuses on individual members. For me, Sam is someone I would love to shake till he awakes and sees how his choices have fractured his marriage and relationship with Ryan. Lauren had her part in the problems too as did Ryan. Some of these problems I think came out of Sam’s unwillingness to see what was really becoming of his family.
When Lauren finally realizes what is going in her own heart, what an awakening occurs in her heart, mind and soul. I could relate to the shame a mother feels when she hasn’t made wise choices and how they affect the family. I could also relate to the healing Presence of God when I honestly faced the issues of my heart. Some things Lauren experiences, says or does are foreign to me and some I can’t say I understand. However, Michele did a wonderful job showing readers a world view honestly without covering it up to the sometimes negative outcomes when a family doesn’t focus on their family first before their ministry outside the home.
A very raw, tough, gripping novel that I highly recommend for people to read, especially because it shows how real, loving and close God is to us. It reflects how He alone can make beauty from ashes!
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