When Only Faith Remains, Finding Yourself in the Life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus by author Amy C O’Reilly is a Christian Living or Personal Growth book. The author has written about how studying the life of Mary has brought her closer to God. Her personal experiences are very moving.
There are fifteen chapters in this book. Each starts with a scripture and ends with a prayer. The writing is smooth and easy to read. Author O’Reilly has researched her subject well and it is evident this is close to her heart. Her book is well organized and extremely well written.
The author is very transparent about her life. She mingles her life, Mary’s, and scripture into a lesson. Some parts of the book read like a diary or journal entry and others felt like a conversation over tea. At times I wanted to question the author about things she said.
All that being said, I am not a fan of books that take liberty with what might have happened to someone in the Bible, how they felt, or what they thought. Many people have no issue with it, but I do. The parts in this study that did just that made me cringe.
Try as I might, I could not correlate my life and Mary’s as the author did. I am a woman of faith and deeply love God, but it just did not happen for me. In her introduction the author said this was a book for anyone no matter your religious affiliation. I am a Protestant and have to wonder if that is part of the issue.
The writing is very nice. The feeling is there. I just could not engage with this book. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest thoughts.
About the Book
Book: When Only Faith Remains
Author: Amy C. O’Reilly
Genre: Christian Living/Personal Growth
Release Date: May 6, 2019
Hidden just beneath the surface of Mary’s unique calling to serve as the mother of Christ lies an equally captivating story of her journey of faith.
Sometimes when our plans are derailed or we encounter struggles, our faith is the only thing we have to draw upon. Trusting God through those hard times is the bedrock of what will keep us grounded. But what happens when fear creeps in? Perhaps that’s what it was like for the virgin Mary when Gabriel came to her with news that she was highly favored and chosen to bear the Christ child.
Drawing parallels from her own journey-of-faith life experiences and the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, Amy C. O’Reilly offers encouragement and inspiration to readers who seek to strengthen and move forward from fear to faith just as Mary did.
With Luke 2 and 1 Corinthians 13 as reference points, readers will connect their faith in ways that bind them to love and hope in the person of Jesus Christ. While your circumstance may differ from Mary’s, the similar deepening of faith through heartache and suffering and hope and triumph will inspire you in your identity, calling, and destiny in Christ.
About the Author
Amy C. O’Reilly has a master’s in physical therapy and co-owns Sandhills Orthotics and Prosthetics with her husband. Amy serves as a leader and teacher at her local church and Community Bible Study, and she desires to expand God’s kingdom through writing and speaking at churches and women’s groups. She enjoys running, teaching, and spending time with family at the beach. Amy and her family live in the Sandhills of North Carolina. When Only Faith Remains is her first book.
More from Amy
When Only Faith Remains is the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she appears in Scripture and her unique journey of faith. The writing of this book was a journey in and of itself as God revealed many spiritual parallels in my own life events and faith journey. As I followed Mary to the cross and beyond, she became more real and relevant to me than ever before and I began to find connection and hope in my own life during the times when only faith remains.
Mary’s story is truly every believers story as Jesus calls us all to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him. As I pondered Mary’s life and treasured the words she treasured, I knew it was time to take Mary and Joseph out of the boundaries of the nativity box, and help their story come alive in a way modern readers can identify and relate.
Mary’s story is heartrending, yet beautiful, and crushing, yet full of hope, and it’s replete with anticipation, insecurity, fears, doubts, grief, hope and love. Her story is one of mystery and intrigue. It is also sobering with a heavy dose of the realities involved in following Christ. And hidden just beneath the surface of Mary’s unique calling to serve as the mother of Christ lies an equally captivating story of her journey of faith. From the first time she says yes to Jesus in the presence of an angel to the day she is filled once again with the Spirit of her risen Savior at Pentecost, we witness a frightened Jewish girl transformed into a woman who overcomes the worst grief imaginable—all by faith.
As I dug past the details and circumstances of Mary’s life to unearth her core needs, fears, and desires, I found myself identifying with Mary more and more. I discovered God at work in each detail of her life and in every relationship, teaching her His ways and deepening her faith, just as He has done in my life. In Philippians 2:12, Mary is the perfect example of a believer who “works out her salvation with fear and trembling,” as God teaches her to trust His plan through the life and death of her very own Son. Thus Mary’s journey of faith becomes one in which all roads lead her back to Jesus, the Christ, the Lord and Savior of all.
Readers can expect to relate to Mary in surprising ways as they navigate through their own seasons of hardship, heartache, grief, and loss. I have also shared some of my own struggles and heartache with a transparency that is both genuine and encouraging to believers searching for an authentic faith.
I invite you to join me on this journey as I share my own life experiences in light of Mary’s journey as found in Scripture. My hope is that Mary becomes real and relevant to you in a very personal way throughout the pages of this book. My prayer is that, as you find yourself and your own journey of faith in the story of Mary, your faith in Jesus Christ will be renewed and strengthened.
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To celebrate her tour, Amy is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.