Friday, October 28, 2016

Confessions of a Transformed Heart (Nancy D Sheppard) Book Review

2016 Reading Challenge

39. Confessions of a Transformed Heart by Nancy D Sheppard

     When Mark and Nancy Sheppard began missionary service in Liberia, Nancy had no idea what God would ask of her. Their idyllic first term was followed by the Liberian Civil War and a nightmarish year working among Liberian refugees in the Ivory Coast. Conditions were difficult, expectations overwhelming and the tensions of the war at their doorstep. Fear, self-pity, resentment and depression haunted her. God used Nancy's difficult decision to follow her husband's leadership and remain in refugee work to begin an amazing spiritual journey—one that led to a clearer understanding of biblical womanhood as well as a deeper relationship with the Lord and with her husband.
    The book chronicles Nancy's journey to true peace in the midst of very difficult circumstances. As God teaches her about genuine service, submission, sincere prayer, reverence and humility, she is totally and completely transformed. The scenarios are unique to Nancy, but every seeking Christian can fully identify with the spiritual lessons.

My Review:
I felt that this book was just okay. Nancy and her husband, Mark, have been involved in missionary service for years. This book chronicles their time spent in Liberia, told from her perspective. It goes without saying that they saw things that you can't even imagine. While Mark was able to adapt quickly to their new surroundings (not saying that it was easy for him, but in that he felt called to be doing missionary work), it took Nancy longer to come around. I get that being around war (civil war for their area that they were in), violence in general, working with refugees, and other horrible things, and all the while trying to constitute change for the better, isn't easy. Change can be difficult to accept for some people (as in Liberia's case of turning against what was normal for them), and Nancy was one of them. It drove her down a path of self-pity, resentment, and depression. At times, though, it can!e across as being selfish - only thinking about what she was going through and not what anybody else was going through, including her husband. While Nancy was doing her work at home, Mark was in the middle of all of it and I imagine that it was harder for him. For a few chapters, it seemed like the same thing over and over again.

Missionary work is done in terms or installments. It means that a year of time is spent in whatever country they are needed in (for Nancy and Mark, it was Liberia and the Ivory Coast) followed by a year back home. During one of these visits home, Nancy finally confronted her demons, so to say. Faced with a tough decision to either continue being a missionary or giving it up, Nancy left it in God's hands. Mark gave her the choice and realizing that he wouldn't be happy doing anything else, she decided to stick with it. Nancy then started her spiritual journey and transformation of learning the true meaning of doing God's work and living according to His word. It was a slow process, but things can't change overnight. When she started going through that process, she was able to become closer to not only God, but her husband as well. Did I mention that Nancy went through all of this while raising a family? It was during this time that her story became more interesting. 

I definitely learned a lot more about missionary work and what it entails. I kind of wish to hear from Mark's perspective as well. I read this as an eBook and it was an interactive version. I didn't care too much for that. It was bothersome for me. My only other small complaint would be that the chapters didn't always flow freely into one another. All in all, there were some good parts and not so good parts reading this, which is why I said it was okay.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


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