When We Were on Fire

Addie Zierman was the perfect evangelical child of the 90s. She was almost obsessively obnoxious about wearing her faith on her sleeve and making sure everyone knew she was a Christian and they should be as well. But as she grew up–as she focused all her energies onto being the Christian she thought she should be–her energy was fading, and it eventually burned out…but not before she fell in (and out of) love with the missionary boys at her college and the romantic idea of being a missionary’s wife in some far-off land.

She eventually married one of those missionary boys and went with him to China, where she discovered that the reality was far less enchanting than the romance. Her religious energy faded, and when she and her husband returned to the United States, she decided that she was through with religion. The next several years were a struggle of trying to find a place where they could both feel like they belonged–where she could develop an adult loving relationship with God. Several times she thought they maybe had found it, but each time something failed. In the process, her marriage also almost failed, but something kept them connected. Addie gradually came to terms with the imperfections she found in Jesus’ followers and slowly found her way back to a solid marriage and to religion. The birth of her son was, in many ways, the epiphany that brought her to understand that she had never really lost her faith; it was there, waiting for her to find it in an adult way.

It’s a story told with stark honesty and humor, a story of a spiritual journey that comes across as “the real thing”…not what someone thinks the story of a spiritual journey should sound like. It’s a story that reminds us that coming to a mature spiritual relationship takes time…and it’s an ongoing–and wonderful–process.

This book was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for reviewing it.

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