Heart Wide Open by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

The subtitle of this book captures its theme: Trading mundane faith for an exuberant life with Jesus. The author accomplishes her mission of showing how to stop struggling in spending time with God and instead pursue an intimate friendship with Him based on His unrelenting love for us. She shares her own story of outgrowing a lackluster faith and learning to lean into God’s grace. She illustrates her teaching with life lessons in each chapter detailing how believers tend to settle for less than an authentic walk with Jesus. Her writing overflows with Southern humor and just the right amount of enthusiasm that kept me interested in reading from cover to cover. It’s rare that I pick up a book by an author I am unfamiliar with, but I would welcome reading more of hers. A key thread throughout each chapter is to recognize and rest in the reality that we can only love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). I was impressed at how seamlessly she wove relevant Scripture verses throughout the entire book, in fact on almost every page, and this spoke volumes of truth to my heart. It is good to be reminded that the Bible portrays a God who beckons us to come to Him only on the basis of faith in His promises, not on our ability to muster up anything good on our own. That is a real relief for those who want to love Jesus more but the feeling just isn’t always there. Heart Wide Open was written to guide us into the genuinely close connection with Him that we were created for, and I would highly recommend it for women who wish for a more fulfilling spiritual life.

untitledRequired Federal Trade Commission disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest appraisal.