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Refine and Restore: Revive Your Heart, Release Your Purpose Paperback – October 8, 2019
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About the Author
- Publisher : FaithWords (October 8, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 154601344X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1546013440
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 1 x 7.95 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,463,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I find Rachel Swanson to be an authentic and passionate author that writes in a genuine and relatable way. It’s as if you’re sharing a coffee (or chai latte) together, as she pours out her innermost secrets. I find this refreshing, engaging, and encouraging. She follows up with actionable ways to seek the answers to troubling questions and spiritual battles we face along our journey of faith. She graciously walks the reader through the arid desert of doubts and fears to the nourishing oasis of God’s vast, forgiving love for each one of us.
Rachel Swanson beautifully unearths the processes of wrestling with overwhelm and void while simultaneously believing in an abundant life in God, knowing her heart and soul should be full and overflowing. She discusses the torment, anger, sadness, dullness, stagnant and lifeless void, embarrassment, emptiness, and the lack of joy she experienced during seasons of her faith walk. I could fully relate to her honest outpouring. I, too, have felt these ways, even though I wasn’t fully aware of some of it until I read the vulnerability that is translated upon the pages of Refine & Restore. We as Christians, face similar spiritual battles to what the author shares, but we don’t often discuss or share them openly with others, ourselves, or God. I know for myself; I was afraid to put a voice to the questions that simmered deep below the surface, the cries of my soul.
Refine & Restore is about being refined, restored, and revived by faith to release the unique purpose that God has called us to. It’s about getting honest with ourselves and facing the hard questions we secretly wrestle with, or aren’t yet aware of, to experience the fullness of God and a vibrant and intimate relationship with Jesus. It’s about living an obedient, thriving, passionate faith out of our deep abiding love for Jesus as we walk sheltered in His abundance and fulfilled truths and merciful promises for His glory.
Throughout the sections of Revive, Refine, Restore, and Release I found powerful truths, me too and aha moments, and areas of conviction in my own spiritual life. Rachel Swanson bravely shares her struggles with overcoming anxiety and depression and how she felt God was disappointed in her which resonated with me on so many levels. In the Refine and Revive sections she shares; subtle sin areas, body perception, finances, idolizing, love and lust, overwhelm, and friendships. In the Restore and Release sections she discusses Who God is, and the differences in our calling and purpose, which I found profoundly insightful and powerful. The author conveys the need to expose our false beliefs and lies and the sinful areas that hold us back from experiencing the fullness and intimacy of God and how we can waiver in our beliefs, which she aptly calls “a crisis of belief”. I love that everything is rooted in Jesus and the powerful prayers at the end of each chapter. I’ve already incorporated them into my daily prayer life.
Rachel Swanson’s passion and heart to have others’ come to know Jesus fully and intimately are tangible throughout the pages of Refine & Restore. Her raw honesty about her journey of faith provides the reader with a hopeful and powerful message that needs to be heard. I’m grateful Rachel obediently stepped out of the comfort of her boat to share the tender places of her soul and to write this book to serve, honor, magnify, and glorify God. I desperately want to be the truer version of the person God created me to be and experience the fullness of His likeness.
The book is perfect for women who are wanting to go deeper with God and those who are ready to reignite their faith and step into the adventure of following Jesus. Rachel has courageously walked the road with God, and He has gifted her to come alongside readers and encourage them on the journey.
Rachel weaves stories of her struggles and experiences with the truth of God's Word to encourage and empower readers in relevant and practical ways. Powerful prayers at the end of each chapter help readers process each topic at a deeper level and connect with God at a heart level.
One of my favorite quotes from the book is from Chapter 6 (Body Wars): "Let’s stand together and embrace the woman in the reflection, accept her for who she is right now, and try on the wardrobe of His truth that gives us freedom to live wholly with a contagious confidence that comes from Him alone.”
Rachel understands that the road to freedom in Christ is intentional work: “Understanding the inner workings of our hearts is intentional work. To sort out the strands, find what they are connected to, and figure out what they all mean rehires time, energy, and the will to engage.”
She encourages readers to embrace the "Refine & Restore" process that God is working in our lives and embrace His unique purposes for us. She concludes the book by challenging readers to get out of the safety of our boats and live a life of purpose and faith-filled adventure with God: “Seeing the wonder of God is immensely satisfying when we step outside of what we can do and step into what only He can do.”
God always has a way of bringing me the right books at the right time, and I’m grateful for the words of truth and wisdom shared from the heart of a woman who is passionately pursuing Jesus.