I was actually so optimistic that I signed up with a publisher to do book reviews. While I was waiting for the first book to arrive - which took about 5 weeks - I was given the opportunity to review a book by Julie Ferwerda. It's a newly revised edition of a book that was originally published in 2004, The Perfect Fit, Piecing Together True Love.
I was excited by the opportunity, but I must confess to mixed emotions. Reading someone else's love story is not my idea of a good time. I don't even read romance novels because they just make me cranky. But I like Julie's blog, so I decided to go for it. Then all summer I felt bad because I never found the time to read the book.
Last weekend I remedied that situation and I was more than rewarded for my time. Yes, it's a love story, but while Julie tells us all about meeting and eventually marrying Steve Ferwerda, the real love story is between Julie and God. Throughout the book, Julie shares God's guidance in her life through a variety of means, from a white rose to the counsel of her sister and brother-in-law - and a variety of others who crossed Julie's path.
It's a story that affirms that God cares about the details of our lives. It's not that God is interested in micromanaging our lives, but when we lean on him, he will guide us. What's more, his timing is always perfect. As I read the book, these verses from Proverbs kept coming to mind:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Julie and Steve both trusted God and let him lead them to one another. It wasn't always easy, and there were obstructions along the way. Steve, in particular, had a preconceived image of the woman he would marry, and Julie did not fit that image. I wanted to shake Steve when he told Julie that he wasn't attracted to her. What was he thinking? Seriously, can you imagine a man saying that to this woman?
To be fair, it wasn't all about Julie's looks. Julie had been married before and had two daughters. Steve had never been married, and he had to reach a point where he could accept that he was walking into a family that had already been established. It makes sense to me that he would need a little more time than Julie did, but I could also understand her frustration over the roller-coaster of emotions.
Julie and Steve had what many would see as an old-fashioned courtship and were committed to keeping their relationship sexually pure. I appreciate how Julie handles it in the book. While it was not the biggest part of their story, Julie clearly explains why keeping their relationship pure was important to them. I think she makes a strong argument for abstaining from sex outside of marriage - one I not only agree with, but hope that more Christian singles of all ages will embrace.
The Perfect Fit is an encouraging book on many levels. It paints a vivid picture of how God speaks to us and guides our paths. It could be a path to romance, or to a job, or to a mission field, but if we trust him and lean not on our own understanding, God will stop at nothing to make our path straight.
Until next time,
The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives. ~ Psalm 37:23 (NLT)
I did not receive any compensation in exchange for this review, other than a free copy of the book.