“The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” – Mother Teresa
I loved this book more than I expected to. I’m always wary when I pick up a book from an unknown author. I appreciate excellent writing and, because I read so many books, I have pretty high expectations from writers. Falling Free by Shannan Martin is absolutely excellent. Her writing style is polished yet easy to read, funny yet emotional, down to earth yet highly informative; I am truly impressed. Over and over again, while reading Falling Free, I found myself connecting with a story that is nothing like my own and feeling such a kinship to the author that it truly surprised me.
Falling free is a story about a life turned upside down and inside out. It’s a story of changed opinions, new understandings and surprising relationships that grew into family. My story is quite different from Ms. Martin’s, however there were so many of her feelings throughout her journey that echoed my own. I found myself in her words. The story is well written and compelling, but the true gold in this book is the lessons she learned along the way and so beautifully shares with her readers – lessons of love, compassion, worship, empathy, grief, fear and so very much more. Every page of this book contains wisdom that can apply to any life, any journey.
Shannan’s words have stayed with me – they affected me deeply and I sincerely pray that they will continue to stay with me and work on me so that I, like Shannan, will continue to journey towards looking and loving more like Jesus. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Some of my favorite Quotables from Falling Free by Shannan Martin (this was SO hard to narrow down – there are TONS of quotables in this book!):
“We stand in worship services and sing our hearts out about things like faith and trusting God in deep waters. We say God is all we need, but what we really mean is, ‘All we need is God, our family, the promise of safety, and money.’ … We sing like we meant it while we pray to God we’ll never find out if we really do.” (p 4-5)
“We can mend our broken places into a blanket that covers all of us and call it a family.” (p 39)
“Family was meant to live on a loop, a hazy beginning with no end in sight, the pulsing bass line that God’s kingdom on earth is alive. Right here.” (p 44)
“There’s a difference between being too scared to do hard things and doing hard things scared.” (p 82)
“Here’s a reality check: we take up precious little square footage in the scope of God’s great kingdom. Of all the facets of our faith, this might be one of the more difficult to grasp. It’s also one of the most central.” (p 89)
“Jesus way of humility doesn’t align with our self-made gospel of achievement, and we’re willing to sell our souls at the corner of trying to have both.” (p 89)
“That he came to be with us when he could have kept his post at the right hand of God should send us running breathless into every busted-up city, every barred-up shack, every cave, every cell, every pain-drenched street corner we can find in order to bring the good news.” (p 91)
“God invites us to stare long and hard at our shared ruin, knowing we’ll walk away kindred.” (p 120)
“We can either masquerade as capable earners or fall needy into the arms of a Savior who makes us free. There is no space within our souls to do both.” (p 183)
“God didn’t structure this world as a badly bent system of Haves and Have Nots. I was never meant to save a soul, and no one was purposed as a project. We were meant to be comrades, mutually passing around whatever we have to offer.” (p 199)
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