I selected Falling Free: Rescued From The Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin mainly because the foreword was written by Jen Hatmaker, whose books I have enjoyed. I kind of figured it would be a story similar to Jen's, and many other Christian's stories lately: leaving behind a cushy, comfortable life to move into "the scary city" to serve God in a new and different way. It seems to be the new trendy thing to do in Christianity today. The back cover reads:
"“Shannan’s story feels at once familiar and spectacular, ordinary and exceptional. You will discover that at the same time her words make you squirm, you will wish you lived next door to her. You will want her wisdom and you will want her pickles.” —Jen Hatmaker (from the foreword)
Shannan Martin had the perfect life: a cute farmhouse on six rambling acres, a loving husband, three adorable kids, money, friends, a close-knit church—a safe, happy existence.
But when the bottom dropped out through a series of shocking changes and ordinary inconveniences, the Martins followed God’s call to something radically different: a small house on the other side of the urban tracks, a shoestring income, a challenged public school, and the harshness of a county jail (where her husband is now chaplain). And yet the family’s plunge from “safety” was the best thing that could have happened to them.
Falling Free charts their pilgrimage from the self-focused wisdom of the world to the topsy-turvy life of God’s more being found in less. Martin’s practical, sweetly subversive book invites us to rethink assumptions about faith and the good life, push past insecurity and fear, and look beyond comfortable, middle-class Christianity toward a deeper, richer, and ultimately more fulfilling life."
I could appreciate Shannan's story, although I couldn't relate to much of it personally. I've always had to live in a semi-sketchy town/neighborhood, just this side of the poverty line, with my kids attending an underfunded and poorly performing public school. So although I couldn't relate to her "before" life, I've been living her "after" life most of my life. It's hard to feel sorry for the insecurity and fear she feels when that is just everyday life to me since I've never had the privilege of living in a cute farmhouse on an acreage and having plenty of money. However, there is a lot of good from this book. I appreciate that "cushy" Christians are beginning to understand the plight of the rest of us a bit better. I recommend this book to those who are interested in the new trend of urbanizing Christianity.
I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers in order to provide an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.