Day 16: Stumbling Toward Wholeness: Review

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The story of the prodigal son is a famous one in the church. It is told over and over to the point that the truth blurs and it becomes a story we think we know better than perhaps we do. But Andrew J. Bauman takes the three players, runaway son, older son, and father and brings them to life in a way that brings us back to the truth of God. The runaway son was struggling with shame and self-contempt. The older son struggled with entitlement. The father struggled with embracing grief/kindness to self and others/surrendering control. The pictures that Bauman walks us through help us connect to depths of our universal struggle to embrace resurrection—that has been freely given to us—in our lives. Stumbling Toward Wholeness is the story of each of us as we address our pain and bitterness and step out in bravery to love the way the Father loves us all. 

This book blew me away. I know I say this a lot, there have been a lot of great books this year, but this one is my favorite for multiple reasons. I have had a heart connection to the parable of the prodigal son for many years. I felt like the wayward one who took everything good given to me and wasted it on myself while letting everyone down. I didn’t deserve love, but it was given to me as I started my journey of Stumbling Toward Wholeness. But, Bauman takes this story to deeper levels that have left me in tears. His vulnerability in this book is bold and brave. Wholeness is not something we just magically find ourselves living in. We have been given wholeness in Christ but living in this world is messy and it is more like stumbling than an easy climb to experience all that God has for us in his love. By regularly returning to the arms of our kind and loving Father we will be transformed. This book is split into three sections, one for each of the characters, and contains discussion/reflection questions at the end of each chapter. I highly recommend this book to anyone struggling to live in wholeness, which I believe is everyone. We are Stumbling Toward Wholeness and this book would make a great companion on your journey of faith and a great Bible Study to do with close friends. This book is vulnerable, raw, honest, and thought provoking. I hope you enjoy it. 

- Hannah 

* I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.