Kathleen Fuller Affirms That God Can Heal the Most Broken of Hearts
An Unbroken Heart
by Kathleen Fuller
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An argument. A crash. In an instant, Joanna’s world is changed forever.
One minute, Joanna Schrock was arguing with her parents, and the next, her parents’ lives were claimed in a hit-and-run buggy accident. Her body is broken, but her heart is in even deeper pain— after all, how do you cope with your parents’ deaths when your last words were spoken in anger?
After an extended stint in a physical rehabilitation center, Joanna re-enters her Amish life. But nothing is the same—not even her feelings for Andrew Beiler.
Joanna has loved Andrew since the age of twelve, and her feelings have not changed throughout the years. She is thrilled when Andrew wants to get married, but she wonders whether it’s love he’s feeling, or pity. As the couple’s wedding date approaches, Joanna isn’t overcome with the deep joy she was hoping to feel; instead, she’s wracked with anxiety and guilt.
Joanna hears God whispering to her, Be strong and courageous, but she’s afraid that courage looks a lot like walking away from her dreams and into the plan of her Heavenly Father.
If Joanna takes the first step toward healing, will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? Or could God be changing the desires of her heart?
the first book in the Amish of Birch Creek series.
Lately, God’s been teaching me lessons in trust, and He’s not been subtle. He is nearly hitting me over the head, coming at me from all sides. Messages in my daily devotional readings have been aligning with ideas in my recreational reading. “Make friends with the problems in your life…I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something,” said Jesus Calling on March 5th, the very same day I finished reading An Unbroken Heart.
Kathleen Fuller begins An Unbroken Heart by referencing Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” God never promised things would be easy, but He does promise to stay by our side. And He makes sure that our suffering does not go for naught. Kathleen Fuller communicates these sentiments with beauty and feeling in An Unbroken Heart.
Having survived the buggy accident that killed her parents, Joanna finally returns home from her stay at the rehab center in Middlefield. But the girl who comes home to Birch Creek clearly isn’t the same. We suspected something was wrong in book one, and our instincts were good. Joanna is broken – physically, emotionally, even spiritually. Lest she forget, she’s got a scar to remind her. Indeed, when God whispers the words, “Rejoice in suffering” into her thoughts, Joanna can’t fathom how she could possibly find reasons for rejoicing over over her parents’ deaths or her broken heart.
As in book one of the Amish of Birch Creek series, this second book follows several characters (Joanna, Andrew, Cameron, Asa) going through seasons of adversity. Again, folks are keeping secrets for varied reasons including shame and fear. Though this is principally Joanna’s story, she’s not alone in her attempts to live according to her wishes and dreams (or sometimes those of others). Though you’d think forging her own path would make her happy, it only increases Joanna’s hurt. To help demonstrate her lesson in trust, Fuller introduces an interesting character: Asa. In his own words, Asa recounts his story of receiving a call from God and what happened when he doubted and disobeyed. Hint: It’s NOT good.
Fuller succeeds in showing how obedience to God can make our paths straighter and ultimately lead to true satisfaction. God knows even better than we what we need. And if we remember to walk with Him in trust, giving our pain and fear over, we’ll find that, even in the darkness, He never left our side. He was taking the broken pieces of our lives – our hearts – and piecing them back together, stronger and better than they began.
— Dawn Teresa
5 of 5 Hearts. Kathleen Fuller Affirms That God Can Heal the Most Broken of Hearts.
Thematically, alongside its message of courage in adversity, Kathleen Fuller’s An Unbroken Heart is a moving and instructive story of love and forgiveness, pain and healing, endings and new beginnings.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Booklook Bloggers for providing me with a copy of An Unbroken Heart in exchange for a fair and honest review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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