Sunday, September 20, 2020

Self-Awareness: “The Second Time I Fell in Love with Jesus”.

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( Life is loaded with hardship, challenges, abuse, bad choices, and consequences. These things outside of having a stable foundation can ruin any soul. Being the child of a preached compounds the struggle as you live under a microscope that scrutinizes every mistake you could possibly make. The expectation is unrealistic and does not allow for the lie mistakes, and challenges, that build the character the church community expects. In church it seems so many have their whole life in order. They strut into the sanctuary holier art than thou, and address you like they never had a past. They needed the cleansing blood of Jesus and the Mercy of God poured onto their life. They never hit lower that rock bottom, so they deem themselves fit to judge others…so they think. In this same space there are those that will se you for the wonderful person you are regardless of the fact that you are a preacher’s child. You are a child of God, and while this could be a saving grace the lack of self-acknowledgement in all the confusion continues be the ball and chain holding you still in a state of internal torment.

Nodia Samuels lays her soul to bare in “The Second Time I Fell in Love with Jesus”. This sister takes us on a journey through the darkness of her life. The most profound thing about this book is the depth of her transparency not as someone who use to be in the church, but as someone that is actively involved in the church currently. She speaks of a past steeped in abuse, heartbreak, a lack of sexual control, and a battle waged with Jesus and her mother. Samuels allows the reader to walk out her pain from the streets to the sanctuary. We experience her pain over the fall-out with her mother, and it being one of the places whereby she “fell out of love with God”. The reader is also able to see the redeeming power that church culture can provide for its members when they see past the circumstances and look at this person that is God’s child. The book is powerful in its message of redemption because not only does it come through the Godly love of others, but through the acknowledgment and awareness of self. Samuels speaks at length about the power of self-awareness.

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“The presence of self-awareness is the acquisition of real power. To control one’s self is to be in control of one’s environment and once you control your surroundings you are now in place to press towards your purpose.” Though the author takes about her distress and anger she take responsibility for the decisions she makes that she knows will mean her no good. She acknowledges where she has been wronged while owning her hand where it applies. This is refreshing in a book that deals with one’s challenges in their relationship with God.

When reading this book, it is important to realize the author writes in a very conversational manner, and in a sense the Ebonics used adds authenticity to the type of transparency she is revealing. With that being said some parts of the book can be a bit distracting by basic grammatical errors, and the reader might feel she is getting away from the part of the purpose of the book that is meant to guide the reader. The purpose issue can be a matter of perspective; I believe she is guiding the reader through her own testimony, and she gives the gems of guidance in various moments within that testimony verses it being blatant stand-alone guidance. I address those points that can cause difficulty in reading to say yes, they exist but the message is greater. Very rarely would I say the errors should be overlooked for content, but this is one of those books.  This is a book you will not regret reading, and it is a testimony that can make one reflect on their own self-awareness and relationship to God, church, family and life.

The Second Time I Fell in Love with Jesus” by Nodia Samuels is available on Amazon and anywhere books are sold.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

May connect with this sister over at Facebook and also Twitter



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