Pastor Patti's Picks

I am an avid reader and consumer of various media. Each month I will share with you that which I’ve found to be spiritually motivating and/or relevantly informative. Enjoy!  
“When God Doesn’t Fix It” by Laura Story

'…what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise…

                                                from “Blessings”

            Several weeks ago, at Church on the Island, Lisa Kisselstein shared her gift of song through Laura Story’s “Blessings,” a song written as a prayer during a particularly difficult time in the young composer’s life.  “Blessings” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart and won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. 
            Born in 1978, Laura Story married Martin Elvington in 2004.  The couple often say they went straight from the honeymoon to the ER.  Well not quite, but close.  The couple had a plan for family and the “perfect life,” but as many of us know, plans often go awry.  And that is where the book, “When God Doesn’t Fix It:  Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live Without” by Laura Story with Jennifer Schuchmann begins. 
            This book tells the story of a very personal difficult journey for Laura and Martin.  They face near death, therapy that doesn’t work, healthcare decisions, and the realization that life will never again be the same.  Through faith, prayer, support, love, and even laughter the couple has found a “new us” and their faith has deepened.  They have a family, a supportive church family, and Laura has a successful career in ministry and music. 
            “When God Doesn’t Fix It” has offered comfort and hope to many going through difficult times.  Written in 2015, Laura has learned much through her experiences, yet I find some of her reasoning and theology a bit “simplistic” and yes, evangelical and fundamental in reasoning.  Some of this may be because of her youth.  However, Laura and her husband belong to the Presbyterian Church of America - a conservative, Calvinistic, evangelical denomination whose theology is conservative and who interprets the Bible literally.  Ordination of ministers, ruling elders, and deacons are for men only and creationism and the infallibility of Scripture is followed.  So, Laura’s viewpoints and faith practices and beliefs in her book are understandable – this is how she was raised, this is what she knows and believes. 
          I admire that Ms. Story has created a special niche in music ministry and travels all over the country visiting churches with her inspirational music.  I would recommend reading “When God Doesn’t Fix It,” particularly for young adults.  Laura and Martin’s story is certainly one of hope and could offer comfort and hope to others.  However, since we are United Methodists, just realize that some of the language, beliefs, and practices may seem a little naïve, a bit uncomfortable, and lack experience that comes with age.