Note: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Emotions are real. Very real.
Depression can block out our hope. Doubts can make us give up faith completely. Emotions can be intense, and in the middle of those emotionally-charged moments, it sometimes feels impossible to do the right thing.
Jen Barrick, from Hope Out Loud, knows about emotions. She also knows the God who never changes even when His children’s emotions are constantly changing.
A Little About Jen
Jen Barrick is one of my favorite authors. She has such a refreshing love for God and is extremely bold and determined. At age 15, she experienced a traumatic brain injury as the result of a horrific car accident and wasn’t expected to live. Miraculously, she came out of a 5-week coma singing praises to God. Even when she couldn’t recognize her family’s faces, she knew Jesus. She had to re-learn how to walk, read, and write. Now she has published her second book and speaks for thousands. (To learn more about Jen’s story, visit their website https://hopeoutloud.com/)
I had the privilege to meet Jen and her mother at the Revive Our Hearts conference in 2018. She is just as full of life, sincerity, and love for God in person as she is in her books.
A Little About the Book
Beyond Priceless: Who God is When I Feel… points women to look to their unchanging Creator when their changing emotions get out of control. It is a small, beautiful book. It includes all the Bible verses in the text, so all you need is a pen or pencil to journal!
Beyond Priceless is a 30-day interactive devotional, and most of the chapters have plenty of space to jot down thoughts, answers to questions, and prayers to God. Jen packed the book to the brim with Truth from God’s Word and encourages her readers to respond to it by talking to God and journaling their own feelings.
Jen covers 30 different emotions, reminding Christians of parts of God’s character that they can take hope in, even when they feel like they are falling apart. The book includes chapters like
- When I Feel Doubtful, God is FAITHFUL
- When I Feel Empty, God is ALIVE
- When I Feel Irritable, God is UNCHANGABLE
Instead of puffing her readers up by telling them their self-worth (like much of mainstream media does today), Jen points them to God’s unchanging, perfect character.
“Sometimes God lets us run out of our high view of ourselves so we can grasp a higher view of Him, but that does not mean we are ordinary. That just means we are perfectly set up for God to fill us with His love and power and attributes, making us into something extraordinary” (pg 21).
“We can run to God, stand at His side, and watch God be who He is – Victorious! The battle does not belong to us; it’s His – and He never loses! We win by running to Him” (pg 49).
Other Thoughts & Takeaways
Jen does a fantastic job of bringing a Bible verse to her readers, and then showing them how to learn from that verse and pray through it as well. For instance, she included Isaiah 61:1-2 in the book and then wrote led her readers in praise to God for how He freed us from our sin through Christ and heals our brokenness as he promised in the passage (Day 3: “When I Feel Broken, God is the Great TRANSFORMER). I sometimes wished the book provided some longer suggested passages of Scripture for diving deep, but Jen had a clear focus: taking short passages and praying from them and learning about God’s character through them. The book is a perfect starting point for women and girls looking for a way to deepen their relationship with God through prayer. There is something essential about the Word of God, read all by itself to provide us with the teaching and encouragement we need, and our relationship with God truly takes root when we respond to it in prayer. All in all, Jen did a phenomenal job of showing girls and women how to open God’s Word and talk to Him about it. Praying through Scripture forces us to think about what we are reading and then invest in our relationship with God.
Jen is an amazing author, and I know you’ll find her book to be a special one like I did. Jen’s love for God is so inspiring and unusual, and every time I read her books or hear her speak, I get a new desire to know God as well as she does.
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