This is the book I want to push into the hands of every person who works in a church, especially those who work with teens. So often, our faith is presented as an endless mountaintop experience--we will always feel God's presence and always be blessed with good things. But that's not how life works. Addie, like many of us, realized that no one had ever discussed how to proceed with faith when you feel like your prayers are only being answered with silence.
“I wish someone had told me then that eventually the fire would go out and that it would be okay. That it didn’t mean my faith was dying. I wish someone had told me that the fire doesn’t make me whole; that I am whole because of Jesus, whether I feel him or not.”
One of my favorite things about the story of Addie's trip is meeting the people along the way. Addie and her children stay with friends, family and, at least once, someone Addie only knows from her blog. It is beautiful to see people accept them exactly as they are - tired, cranky, and unsure of the sanity of their trip. These people open up their homes and feed the weary travelers without judgement. They offer whatever they have before sending them on to the next part of their journey. Wouldn't it be beautiful if that was the way we treated others all the time?
Her trip doesn't go quite the way she anticipates. When she finally reaches Florida, it rains torrentially for most of their time there. And then the second half of the book chronicles her journey home, with no more of an answer than she had when she left. It's only when she returns home that the pieces start to fall into place. "I hadn't understood, then, that love doesn't always look like romance and faith doesn't look like fire and light doesn't always look like the sun--and that this matters."
We need to hear more stories like Addie's. I am thankful that she has written this beautiful book and I hope she continues to share with readers the journey in both light and darkness.
My review of Addie's first book When We Were On Fire
Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark
By Addie Zierman
Convergent Books March 2016
Read via Netgalley