I had the honor of reading and reviewing Brush of Wings, which is the third book in the Angel Walking series by Karen Kingsbury. The first two books were beyond excellent. The concept of the book reminds me of the television show Touched by an Angel. Reading the first two books is the only way this book will make sense.
I love how Karen Kingsbury keeps Christ as the main focus of the book. You see the characters wrestle with God and strengthen their relationship with him. The reader also sees the struggles the characters encounter as well as how they cope with it as young adult Christians.
The characters come to life! Completely amazing. Mary Catherine is a young woman with a passion for serving the Lord. She is full of life.She had a medical condition, however, she refused to tell anyone. Her health spiraled out of control. Despite warnings from her doctor, she ventures to Africa on a mission trip. Her best friend is Sami..\ Marcus Dillinger, is possibly the most persistent and patient guy. He pursued her with all his heart, praying for her daily. He crosses oceans to try to save Mary Catherine when she became critically ill, on deaths door step.
I truly felt a bond with Mary Catherine because of her medical condition and her passion for mission work. She, like most of us with an illness didn’t want to be a burden or to worry those she loved. She hid it so well that it caused a tragedy. The reader sees the struggles of all the she faces due to her condition. Again, most of us with illness can relate to this, illness changes lives no matter how hard we fight it.
The four friends have been on countless adventures, but this book topped them all. There were surprises and excitement in each chapter. They assist in running a teen program for teens involved in gangs.
“The team of angels walking is busier than ever in this epic battle between life and death. A Brush of Wings is a poignant tale of love, sacrifice, and the power of faith” (Kingsbury). The team restlessly and fervently prays for each of these people and for an unborn baby who will one day impact America. He will be a modern C.S. Lewis. Each angel appears in human form to assist with the storms. In addition, the angles battle demons that the people are unaware of.
The ending was amazingly unexpected and perfectly beautiful. The biggest disappointment is that this is the last book in the series. Though the book is fiction Karen Kingsbury writes a book that does more than entertain. It also helps the reader grow in faith and in their relationship with Christ. I love how she includes scripture throughout the book as well.
I first considered going into ministry around the age of fourteen, before the chronic illness world ever crossed my mind. I had been reading the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn. I was introduced to missionaries through one of the books and instantly I wanted to be a missionary. My dream was to complete college than spend at least two full years on the missions field.
Many events continued to shape me spirituality and as a person from short-term mission work to retreats. I was given unique opportunities to serve. I also faced typical adolescent struggles.
Two years later I went on a pilgrimage to Taize France. It is a community organized by brothers who dedicate their lives to serving God. Their main focuses are teenagers and young adults assisting them in growing in their relationship with Christ. http://www.taize.fr/en
I am convinced there is nowhere in the world that possess the Godly peace offering a transforming experience. It is difficult to wrap it up into words that paint a clear picture. Taize is a community. A journey. Silence and simplicity are hallmark aspect of the three daily worship services. To an energetic young American the concept of spending seven minutes of silence while surrounded by hundreds of people was a foreign concept. To many this concept causes them to tense up it seems unnatural.
The experience was amazing beyond words. It is a unique place and experience. The silence was incorporated in each service for a few minutes. In addition, we had Bible study. Towards the end of the week, one of the brothers told us we were going to spend an hour in silence. I was beside myself. I thought it would be impossible for me to do. They had us pick a spot to spend this time. I ventured down to the source with two of my friends. I sat on a bridge. There God called me into ministry but did not provide details. I knew my life would be dedicated to serving Him in one way or another.
I shared my calling with some people in my church. Their reaction shocked me. They had said they had known I was called into ministry. Apparently I was the last to find out.
I questioned my calling and still do at times today. I wonder at times how I will serve with my illness.I have considered a number of possibilities, but God did not give me a road map. It is not important for me to know this moment how I will serve God. I have the willing heart and I know in His timing He will guide me.
An overview of my faith journey.
I’m fairly certain that I have mentioned my faith on my blog a couple of times, briefly. I have been a Christian nearly my entire life and my faith plays a big role in my life. I was saved at the early age of three years old in Sunday school. People tell me from a young age I knew a lot about the Bible. I had an extremely close walk with God. I would tell my mom that God talked to my heart. I understood that prayer was a dialogue not a monologue. I understood the meaning of communion and a lot of Bible stories. I adored going to church, Sunday School, and Vacation Bible School. With all my heart I wished that Sunday School was five days a week and actual school was one day a week. Things made more sense to me at church and I fit in much better. I counted down the years until I would be able to join the Youth Group. My favorite television shows included The Donut Man, Veggie Tales, Mrs. Charities Dinner, and other shows on the Christian station. Outside of the American Girl Doll books every book I read had a Christian aspect to it. Despite the fact I was a shy girl, I was bold and confident in my faith growing up. I wasn’t afraid to speak up about it, even if that meant I did not have many friends and that kids would tease me. It was me and Jesus and that is all that mattered to me.
Once my middle school years rolled around I overflowed with excitement because I was finally old enough to join the Youth Group. I was extremely involved in my church during my middle school and high school years. Anything and everything I could do, I did. I spent as much time as possible at church. During my middle school years in addition to Youth Group I volunteered at every function the church had, was in the bell choir, puppets, and attended every youth group meeting. I enthusiastically participated in 24 Hour Famine. Just before we broke our fast I grabbed my friend informing her I couldn’t see, then passed out. Once I woke up I wanted to know when the next famine was. Despite passing out I had a lot of fun. I did not have many friends at school so I would bring my awesome looking Revolve Bible to lunch to read. (If you are a teen girl check out the Revolve Bibles! They look like magazines, are super cool, and have lots of epic things in addition to being a Bible.)
Even though I struggled with my faith a bit in high school, it was still vital to me and I was just as involved in my church. I went on missions trips with the Youth Group and feel in love with mission work. I went on several retreats as well. I still adored reading. The Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn impacted and changed my life. During my teenage years I battled some depression. It was difficult but in the end I became closer to God. I learned many valuable lessons through that chapter. Things changed in my home church, some ministries crumbled. I was on a committee and still volunteered frequently. I also helped run a retreat for five years. When I was sixteen years old I went to Taize France with the conference through my church. It was a pilgrimage and an indescribable experience.
My dream had always been to go to a Christian college, which is what I did once I graduated high school. However that was not God’s plan for me. (Of course I was less then happy about it). The school I choose was three hours from home. I had high hopes for my health. I thought the doctors there would be the best and would help me feel better. But that was not the case. None of them wanted to help me and my health quickly declined. After finding blood in my urine over Thanksgiving break I had to stay home indefinite. Having to come home was bitter sweet. I knew I had to do it yet I wanted to prove that I could be on my own. A lot had changed in my home church, as I mentioned before. As much as I loved everyone, I wanted a fresh start. Something different. But that’s not what God had in store for me.
I have been back home for a little over a year now. Things have gotten better at my home church. The spiritual growing pains have eased and I am able to see how blessed I am to have my church family. My walk with God isn’t where I want it to be. There is always room to grow. I have learned to trust him in new ways. I know that He will guide me and provide for me everything I need. Though I don’t know what the future holds, God does. I am content where I am right now, waiting for His direction and learning.
God Bless. Sending lots of Spoons, prayers, and hugs ❤