Isn’t book mail the best? A few weeks ago, on a particularly challenging day, a surprise package arrived from me. And it was a book! Moody Publishers sent me Pierced and Embraced: 7 Life Changing Encounters with the Love of Christ by Kelli Worrall. It got an express pass to the top of my reading list. As mothers, it’s important to keep learning and growing. In the Charlotte Mason community, this is often referred to as Mother Culture. In order to teach our children, we need to take the time to learn and be refreshed. This book, by Kelli Worrall, taught me, refreshed me, and challenged me. I am so happy to be a part of the launch team!
Pierced and Embraced is a book full of inspirational ideas. The focus is on women of the New Testament, and how they interact with Jesus. His interactions with them were often so different than his interactions with men, and the author contrasted these beautifully. She describes the historical context of each Bible event. Then, she weaves it in with stories from modern culture and from her own life. Stories of how we sometimes experience the piercing sting of loss or rejection before experiencing the transforming embrace of Christ’s love.
These are situations I can relate to. Situations of heart-wrenching tragedy, while simultaneously experiencing God’s grace.
This was one of my favorite chapters. Worrall showed that the way this woman’s story intertwines with Jairus’s was not an accident. This desperate woman, bleeding for years, and this desperate man, who was used to being in a position of abundance rather than a position of need, both came to Jesus for healing. She came to him after years of being rejected by society. He came to Him after years of success and comfortable living. She experienced shame; he experienced a sudden humility. They both experienced healing. But sometimes healing doesn’t come. Worrall addressed experiences in her family, when healing came- her mother-in-law experiencing incredible emptiness and a failing marriage, and then God’s healing embrace as He drew her to him. And the time that healing didn’t come- when her mom died of cancer, but God used the precious last years of their time together to heal their relationship.
This is the story that impacted me the most. I had been pierced and embraced in this way. After years of an often-strained relationship with my dad, I got a call one Friday night saying that Dad was in the hospital in a coma. He had had a stroke, a subsequent fall, and emergency brain surgery. My mom and sisters, our husbands, aunts, and uncles all rushed to be with him and we prayed for healing. Physical healing never came. He passed away after 10 days. Pierced. But through that difficult time, God’s grace shined through in the strangest places. The strangers who brought us meals and flowers and even a baby carrier for my newborn nephew. The prayer that touched on an unspoken need. The memory of a conversation with my dad where he said, just a few months before that he was ready to go to Heaven. Embraced. Since that horrific time, I’ve experienced more and more of Christ’s embrace as He has healed my heart from some of the deeps wounds from my relationship with my dad, and the wounds from his death.
The chapter about the woman and Jairus obviously resonated deeply with me- but the final chapter, about the woman with the alabaster box of perfume, left me inspired and motivated. The chapter reflected on the acts of worship, in the Old and New Testaments, that involved using the five senses. This inspired me because teaching our children to learn to use their senses is one of the most important parts of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy in the early years. God created us to have a full life using all of our senses, not just our ears, as lectures and music often limit us to.
I am so excited to be able to offer you a 40% off discount code on this treasure of a book! Through September 30, 2017, use the code EMBRACED40 through this Moody Publishers link.