In Waiting For His Heart, Joy McClain recounts the joy of her wedding day, her husband's unexpected alcohol addiction, the difficulty of a legal separation and a glorious restoration that only God could accomplish.
I first heard a snippet of Joy McClain's story as she was interviewed by a radio show host on Moody Radio. When I received the opportunity to review McClain's book, I eagerly accepted it. Reading her story was a bit different that I had expected. Rather than straight autobiography, McClain recounts certain events and times and then follows it up with a "Learning Along the Way" section in which she gives practical advice derived from her lessons learned.
Waiting For His Heart is a well-written retelling of the author's struggles within her marriage. However, I have some mixed feelings as far as recommending this book. McClain has some excellent spiritual insights and encouragement for a women with a marriage in crisis. Themes such as learning to sacrificially love someone as Christ loved us and learning that personal joy shouldn't be dependent on one's spouse are wonderful lessons for any spouse. However, I would caution women in crisis marriages about reading this book. McClain admits that she had to go to professional counseling before she could see how she had been enabling her husband's downward spiral and there is even a disclaimer at one point that neither McClain nor the publisher intend for readers to take the advice as counsel for their own situations. It seems like it would be far too easy for a struggling wife to read this and just think that she should stay in the situation and stick it out until she gets a happy ending like McClain did.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
Where do you turn when your world is crumbling around you? I hope and pray you turn to God, the only One who never changes. When we see our world spinning out of control, we are faced with a choice, do we trust God, or not? My friend Joy McClain faced such a trial, which refined her faith in God, changed her life, and eventually led to the restoration of her own marriage. Her most recent book, "Waiting for His Heart" is a poignant telling of what God did in her life, while she learned to lean on Him for everything.
Perhaps you or one of your friends is struggling in your marriage. I highly recommend you get and read Joy's book. Probably your struggles are not as great as Joy's were, but I know God can use Joy's words to give you hope and encouragement that He will never leave you.Â
Joy choose to commit to her marriage 100%, her commitment was a "No Matter What" statement. She learned that God's saving grace, His provision, and His unfailing love can carry you through when nothing else can. Joy waited 22 years for her husband to surrender his addiction to God. Her wait was long, her struggles great, but God spent the time teaching and refining Joy into the person God wanted her to be.
Often, we struggle in our marriages, not just because of what our spouse is doing or has done, but because we hold up our "ideal" as an idol. Joy shares her journey of learning how God can work in our own hearts to change us, and how that is SO vital to our relationship with Him. If our relationship with God does not come first, if we are not daily on our knees in prayer, asking Him to change us, then we have missed the point of this life. God grants us a peace that passes all understanding. But first, we must ask Him for it.
Life can be messy, relationships with our family can be strained, we can feel as though our lives are falling apart. Our choice is this: Do we turn to the Fixer of messes, the Mender of relationships, and the Healer of lives, or do we turn to our own understanding? Turn to the Healer! Allow God to do whatever work He desires in your life. Let Him lead you. Let Him work through your pain to touch and encourage the hurting world around you.
I read this book in one day because I could not put it down! The book is technically written very well and tells an almost unbelievable story of redemption. Joy is honest in this book, she doesn't lay all the blame for her broken marriage relationship at the feet of her husband. I love that she let the Lord work in her life deeply and that the Word of God became her constant companion as she walked this very difficult road. I also am very thankful that she took steps to make sure she was safe when Mark became violent. God's Word tells us that marriage is to be a picture of how Christ loves the church and Joy and Mark's story tells us that even though we all fall so short, redemption is possible. Very inspiring! May God use this to bring grace, hope and redemption to many!
This book is for anyone who wants to gorify God in difficult circumstances. It's one thing to read a novel about someone who overcomes great hardship, but another thing entirely to be able to walk with Joy McClain through her true story of sticking it out through years of darkness, hanging on to hope when most would have bailed. Throughout the story, she is seeking to overcome against great odds, and yet she is very weak, humble, and human. In her marriage to a man overcome by alcohol addiction, no one would have asked her to hope, to remain faithful--but God did, and Joy was obedient. I only hope that my life can bring God glory the way that Joy has, but I have so much to learn. This book is a great encouragement to me in my own struggle to become more like what God created me to be.