I am not someone who connects quickly with most books. I love to read, and I read a wide variety of authors and genres, but it always takes me a few chapters to get invested into the story.
My Heart by Julie Manning was entirely different. From the very first page I felt instantly connected to Julie. Not because we are in the same life stage or have a shared life experience, but because I could feel her openness, sincerity, and love pouring through the pages. I felt like I was meeting a best friend for coffee and she was telling me about her life—and what a life!!
Julie has a fatal heart condition, and not one that is predictable or has a timeline. Any moment could be her last. She could be fine for years, or she could be gone tomorrow. Every moment of every day in the background is the thought that it could be the last.
If I were in her shoes and writing a book, mine would be entirely about fear. It would be a sob story about how hard my life was, a plea for sympathy, and a search for understanding. It would be an ode to my weaknesses. My Heart is anything but this. It is an ode to God’s strength. Julie tells her story honestly and without reservation. She admits to the times the thought of not seeing her boys grown up almost broke her, but it is always directed back to her faith in our almighty God.
Julie’s story will absolutely make you feel all the feels. You’ll laugh as you relate to her awkwardness, cry as she pours out her hurt, and smile as you admire the sweet love between her and her husband John.
But it does not leave you there. My Heart is about surrendering every. single. moment. to God. Your heart will break as you see that in spite of everything, Julie’s one desire is for her boys to grow up to know the Lord.
I don’t know what’s it’s like to have a heart that I don’t trust. I don’t know what it’s like have children that I don’t know how much of their lives I will see. But I absolutely know what it’s like to take the time I have for granted, and Julie has inspired me, pushed me, and showed me how to surrender every beat to my unchanging God.
It is a very good thing that this book is finally coming out February 1st, because I am quite sure that every person in my life is sick of me talking about the amazing book that I read that they have not been able to get! I seriously cannot say this enough—read My Heart! It will change the way you look at your life, helping you to see each and every moment as the gift that it is.
P.S. I still want to best friends with Julie.
Clarissa Dufresne is an Associate Publisher with B&H Publishing, a division of Lifeway. She has lived all over the country but is proud to call Nashville home. Whether in the form of books, movies, television, or theater, she is passionate about stories that entertain as well as grow the audience. And anything worth seeing is worth discussing.