Adopting while pregnant, then giving birth less than 5 months later – these lives intertwined to weave together a beautiful family. This Undeserved Life is a beautiful book of Christian faith through health problems, miscarriage, adoption, ministry, grief, faith, and the real life struggles we Christians go through. Natalie does a beautiful job unfolding her story throughout these pages that will draw you in. I could not put this book down. I cleared my weekend plans to finish it. I actually woke up thinking about it anticipating the rest of the story. Her vulnerability in sharing her deepest thoughts that most of us hide will make you feel like a familiar voice is sharing their heart with you. Her raw honesty in sharing the pains of a woman struggling with fertility problems rips the Band-Aids off my heart. I feel like I was meant to read this book. It has ministered to me in multiple ways.
My tears pushed through as she shares the painful thoughts that go through the mind of someone struggling to get pregnant. I rejoiced with her at the blessing of her two sons. I gripped my chair with the story of meeting her first son, and clenched the waves of emotion while she shared the birth story of her second son. I love the way Natalie gives acceptance to grief while hanging onto faith in Jesus. Though the storm rages, she seeks the One who calms the seas. Her faith is inspirational. All too often, we Christians try to pretend our life is picture perfect to paint the portrait of a good Christian’s life that has no struggle in Christ. Her thoughts throughout the book cut right to my heart. This is real faith. This is Christianity in the midst of troubles and the rough, deep waters of grief. This is also comfort to the aching heart. This book is a warm salve to the Christian who needs permission to feel the full range of human emotion – even our grief that takes time to process and heal. It shows permission in Christ to grieve and to heal on our unique journeys. It’s biblical. It references scripture at the perfect times in the story. This is what a genuine relationship with Jesus looks like.
In a twist I did not expect, she also shares the challenges of transracial adoption. Sadly, racism still exists. Sometimes it is packaged in hurtful comments not intended to be hateful. She addresses the issue head on. She sends a message of love and a safe place to be heard. With the heart of a doula, she nurtures respect, a listening ear, and the unfolding of the layers of grief, while at the same time pointing to the love of Christ. As a bonus, in the back of the book is a faith-based workbook for grief.
I appreciate that Natalie has invited the world into a piece of her heart and home by sharing her journey thus far. This is a book that I will look back on tucking the tokens of wisdom into my broken pieces. The official release of This Undeserved Life is September 18th. It’s on sale for its first week of publication at only $9.99. Learn more at www.NatalieBrennerWrites.com Go to Amazon to order here. Don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. You can follow Natalie’s facebook page here.
Natalie Brenner is the author of This Undeserved Life. She is also a writer, speaker, mom, and photographer.
Originally from the two-stoplight town of Harrisburg, Oregon, Brenner gave up driving tractors and moved to Corvallis where she met her now-husband. Together, they helped to plant a church, built a youth ministry out of scratch, and fundraised their entire income. After this short season, their career paths shifted entirely as did their home, and they moved to Portland, Oregon. She now writes and photographs for a living, raising two one year olds, and spurs others on to chase their dreams. Her heart beats for justice and Jesus, creating spaces for every fractured soul. Natalie is addicted to honesty and believes honesty is at the core of a full life.
Natalie's rapidly growing blog, NatalieBrennerWrites.com, has been visited by more than sixty thousand people since January 2017. Her work has been featured in Adoption.com, Pregnant Chicken, Adopting.org, Shelley Skuster Writes, Today SHOW, Parents, and more. She is a lover of life and breather of grace and hopes to always love bigger than before.
What an honor. This review is so beautiful.
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