Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, by Sheila Walsh (Thomas Nelson, 2010)
I love the cover art on this book. The little girl, swinging so high, looks… free. Carefree, even. Happy.
Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God reminds us that it’s God pushing the swing—and that we can trust His heart. Trust is a choice, and the personal experiences and Scriptural examples Sheila Walsh includes are chosen to prove God’s trustworthiness. It’s up to us to take the step (daily) of trust, but in these pages we’re reminded that God knows our weakness and is incredibly patient.
I admire Sheila’s transparency with her own struggles to trust, and it’s through her stories—one human being’s vulnerability—that readers find they’re not alone, that there is hope. It’s risky to admit our frailty, and I’m sure some “upright” people will judge her and turn away. That’s their loss, and they’re missing the whole point.
The message of this book is crucial to all of us who are wounded and weary in the journey. Men need it as much as women, but Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God is clearly written for a female audience.
Perhaps because the message is so important, I was disappointed with the quality of the words themselves. This is not something I’ve noticed in the author’s previous books, and it felt to me as if the publication process had been rushed. I found myself mentally editing, tightening sentences, correcting typesetting—all of which distracted me from the subject matter.
I even noticed a couple of spots that escaped Bible fact-checking. (For example, page 217 talks about Abram building the altar to sacrifice Isaac, and how the boy asks where the sacrificial animal is. The text says, “Scripture doesn’t tell us if Abraham replies or weeps or what he is thinking.” According to Genesis 22:8, NIV, “Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.”)
The book does contain some powerful sentences, like this one: “Wherever you stand at the moment is your holy ground, and grace is available there,” (p. 175). I think I’ll be putting that one on my bulletin board.
It’s the trend for books to have perhaps 10 discussion questions at the end. Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God has 26 and they’re all worth thought. I would have preferred them to refer to the author as “Sheila” rather than “Walsh”. To me that sounds formal and faintly disapproving.
There’s also an in-depth Bible study, with a session for each chapter. If that sounds intimidating, it really isn’t. Each one is 2-3 pages long and I like the format: “Find, Feel and Follow.” Find and read selected short passages in your Bible, think through your responses, and begin to act on what you learn.
In Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, Sheila Walsh writes with an easy-to-read and at times humorous style. Despite my wishes for better editing, this is a book I’d recommend to any woman who’s in need of learning to trust (or trust more) God’s heart.
Check out the book trailer (unfortunately, the audio and video are a bit out of sync). Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God is available through your local bookstore and from chapters.indigo.ca, amazon.ca, amazon.com and Christianbook.com.
You can find Sheila Walsh on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.
Review copy provided for free by Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions I have expressed are my own.