Sunday, December 8, 2013

Joann's Struggle

Image of J.E.B. Spredemann

It was a Saturday morning In Paradise, Pennsylvania. Spring was in the air when a young Amish girl Joanna Fisher was getting ready with her family to head off to the first mud sale of the season. The whole family was excited for this day to come especially Joanna, as she was looking forward to spending the day with her best friend Chloe Esh.

Shortly upon their arrival at the mud sale Joanna and Chloe met up, they were both anxious to start their day looking at the quilts and  having a good time, especially since Joanna was going to be staying all day with Chloe and her family. The day flew by and before Joanna and Chloe knew it Chloe's mom was calling for them so they could  be home before dark.  Joanna had told Chloe to go ahead she needed to make a quick stop and she would meet up with her and her family, but little did Joanna know or ever conceive of the fate that awaited her.

Life is often overwhelming and far too often, when it is not, we learn to look for the next wave to overtake us. In this way, we can adversely learn to live life in fear. Whether we see it coming or whether it hits us out of the blue, we come to understand that life is always going to throw us difficult - and at times, terrifying - twists and turns. Though our expectations may help us deal with things in this world, it is never the life that God wants us to lead. It is our faith in His love, His promise that becomes all the more necessary for us to stand up to the tests of our worldly toils. Without this strength, we are easily crushed in spirit and consumed in darkness.

Through Joanna, we are shown this lesson. Fear is not an emotion that God has given to us to negotiate and maneuver through life. J.e.b. Spredmann shows us through Joanna's struggle that fear leads us deeper into the void, not into the light of God's love, not into the embrace of His will. In this wonderful story of courage and faith, Ms. Spredmann serves her readers well to deliver a powerful message based on the truth of the Gospel.

This book is suited well for young teens who are more and more frequently consumed by an ever more complex and cold world. For the younger among us who are lost, who may be searching for a false light that will never shine. Written in a way that every reader can connect to the message, regardless of their state of faith (or lack thereof), we can discover this truth in this journey with Joanna as she frightfully confronts her own conflict of fear and faith. This is a powerful story not to be missed.

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