Etched... Upon My Heart: What We Learn and Why We Never Forget by Jill Kelly is a collection of personal moments illustrating some ofGod's lessons in love, significance, forgiveness, suffering, giving, prayer, faithfulness, and death. Each topic is given its own chapter, which contains several moments from Jill's past, connections as to how each moment ties into God's plans for us all, points to remember and forget, a prayer, and scripturaltruths to etch upon your heart.
I love Jill's candid honesty in telling her story through these pages, entrusting the reader to glimpses of her heart in very profound and personal moments. The stories within each chapter contain portions of her journey as a child and a young woman before accepting Jesus into her heart, as well as moments after accepting Jesus that reveal how her understanding of these truths has shifted through God's unfailing love and grace.
I had never heard ofJill Kelly before reading this book, so I knew nothing of her family's past trials. A good portion of the moments she shares are related to her son, Hunter, and his brief journey through this world. I found myself holding back tears during large portions of this book because of how strongly I could relate to it on so many levels.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to see God in the small moments and learn to recognize God's work in their life - even before they believed in Him. This book is about the past and the moments we choose to remember from it, but it's also about the miracles hiding in the darkness, waiting for us to shine the light on them and embrace them for the beauty they truly possess. 5/5 stars.
Jill Kelly, wife of professional football player Jim Kelly, writes a collection of wisdom that she has gained through coming to Christ as an adult, rocky times in their marriage, and the death of their son Hunter.
She divides the book into eight chapters that each cover a topic including love, significance, suffering, and death. She includes many personal stories as well as lots of scripture. And while she points out that she is not a Bible scholar, she is quick to point people back to God in the midst of circumstances in life that are out of our control or don't go the way we wanted. Each chapter ends with a list of scripture that pertains to that topic, a prayer, and a list of things that she wants to remember never to forget.
This is a great book filled with truth in the midst of pain and reality. I found it hard to follow in a few places because she told her story topically instead of chronologically. But overall, it has great practical advice and an overwhelming picture of hope.
What would you want your children to remember about you, should you die today? Jill writes, "This book is everything I hope my daughters eventually learn, always remember, and never forget." (x)
Jill records moments in her life and what she has learned from them. She has grouped her experiences into chapters, each one covering a topic. At the end of each chapter Jill has included a list of what to remember and never forget, a prayer, and Scripture related to the chapter's topic.
For example, she writes about a birthmark she tried to hide, likening it to a relentless longing that echoed through her soul - a longing she was able to hide from everyone but herself. She shares other experiences from which she learned lessons on love, significance, forgiveness, suffering, giving, prayer, faithfulness, and death.
Many of her lessons came from painful situations. Probably the most painful was the death of their toddler son from a rare genetic disease. Jill honestly shares her complete collapse under the weight of the grief too intense to bear. She writes, "The temptation to reject the Word of God and buy into the lie that God had abandoned me was overwhelming." (172) She came out of the experience with a deeper understanding of the power of the gospel.
Through all of these experiences, Jill concludes, "God is more concerned with who we are than what we do, more concerned with our character than our achievements. Godly character will necessarily lead to loving obedience, while its lack can still produce all kinds of good works with proud and self-righteous motives." (160)
Jill is very honest as she shares her experiences. This book is certainly an encouragement to anyone facing painful circumstances in life. Jill relates her encouragement because she has gone through similar situations herself. We'll be thankful someday for those hurts, she writes. "It may not be today, and it may not be tomorrow - but someday... For it's your sorrow that will lead you to His love, and your suffering that will bring you to His grace." (191) Wise words indeed.
I received a complimentary galley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.