Jaime Mangiafridda graciously agreed to write a review and response to Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell. We're so thankful for Jaime, for her and David's involvement in our church family, and for Jaime sharing her perspective on this great book. Trillia Newbell is the speaker for our upcoming Women's Retreat, and her book was provided to the attendees of our women's brunch in March. Here's Jaime's review!
I have a confession to make: I didn’t want to read this book. I received it at the Grace women’s event a few months ago and have been avoiding it ever since. I knew it would be convicting. I knew I needed to read it. Sometimes it’s easier to just ignore what is happening in your heart, isn’t it?
In Fear and Faith, Trillia Newbell unpacks the fears that I think all of us women face in one way or another: fear of man, fear of tragedy, fear of other women, etc. She shares her own personal fears and a few stories from other women going through various trials, which I found to be helpful and encouraging. As she puts it, “there is something comforting in knowing that you are not alone in a struggle”(pg. 127). I think we all fall into the trap of thinking we’re the only one and no one else could ever understand.
In the chapter “When your fears come true” Trillia says, “Christianity doesn’t promise ease; rather, God promises forgiveness and gives us rest, mercy, and grace. In His kindness, God warns us that trials will come. And some of these trials may indeed be your worst fears come true”(pg. 122). My husband and I have been struggling through infertility for the last few years. It has been heart-breaking and humbling. I’ve always longed to have children and never dreamed that this would be a trial He would have us go through. Couldn’t it have been something else? Will it ever happen? Are we being punished for something? So many questions and doubts run through my mind and threaten to suffocate me. We aren’t without hope (neither is our doctor), but this is not exactly the timeline I had in mind for us. I tend to compare my life to others and battle with feelings of jealousy and bitterness. Sometimes it’s easier to hide from the truth and other people and wallow in my sadness. That’s why I didn’t want to read this book - I knew it would be hard, and it was in a way. I was convicted of just how much I have been fearing the future and trying desperately to control it. My lack of faith became clear. I was also encouraged by Trillia’s words, and the reminder that because of Jesus I have been redeemed and am loved. Some days are harder than others and there will still be times of overwhelming fear, but I know that our God is good and has not left us alone.
All throughout this book Trillia brings us back to the truth and our desperate need for our Savior. We can’t do this alone and we don’t have to. She sums it up well when she says, “As we understand that God is sovereignly ruling and reigning and that He is the only God, we can begin to relinquish our control. Our fear tells us that we are in control, that we need to be in control and submit to our feelings. God’s sovereignty reminds and reassures us that He is in control and that He is wise. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways”(pg. 105).