Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If the name Laura Story sounds familiar to you, it may be because you were flipping through the radio stations in your car and happened to stop on the local Christian music station as it was playing the song “Blessings.” “Blessings” is probably what has provided Story with much of her popularity in the Christian space. The song was released in 2011 and has won awards including a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. After “Blessings” unexpected success, Story wrote her first book, What If Blessings Come Through Raindrops—then, in 2015 she published her second, When God Doesn’t Fix It.
This is the first time I have ever read a book labeled as the genre religion, so I wasn’t completely sure what I was getting into. But the book was offered to me to borrow so I decided I’d give it a try. I was intrigued by the author’s story from the start. Her personality shines right through, so I had an immediate connection to her. The book is essentially about her struggles and her relationship with God from the time she finds out that her husband has a brain tumor through the following years after his surgery and now, living and loving her husband who has a disability. The chapters are broken into smaller sections which I love. When a book is 500 pages long and only 5 chapters, I become overwhelmed and take longer to read it. But Story’s book is 284 pages and 20 chapters long with the chapters broken even smaller, so I read through it pretty quickly. A lot of the sections end somewhat dramatically in a dun, dun, dun fashion I noticed. But that also makes the reader feel the need to keep reading because something is obviously about to happen.
When God Doesn’t Fix It is written from Story’s first-person point of view about her circumstances, but she says things in a way for the reader to be able to relate to it. An example of this is on page 39. She says, “There had to be a thousand action points that kept me busy and gave me a false sense of control—even security—that things could be fixed.” She says this about her situation but it’s easy for the reader to understand and see how they do this in their own lives. Every chapter teaches the reader a little bit about how to view their relationship with God. The chapters end with a myth and a truth and they are repeated at the end of the book, so they can be easily referred back to in the future. Story uses a lot of metaphors that help to get her point across, as well as discussing stories from the Bible. It makes it easier to understand situations from other points of view rather than maybe dwelling on oneself or focusing solely on her story.
One thing I noticed about the author is that she didn’t hide anything. She and her husband were always receiving help and support, whether they asked for it or not, and they always appreciated it. People came to visit at the hospital daily and would visit at the house afterward as well. Story did not try to hide how she felt or if she was overwhelmed. If she needed help or to talk to someone about something, she would seek out a friend or family member and they always had something to say or do to help her. She didn’t try to solely live this new life on her own. Story was nervous about sharing her struggles with her fans though. But once she finally wrote the song “Blessings” she didn’t hold back any longer. Chapter 17 is a powerful chapter that is full of examples of how that song has affected so many people. When she found out how the song had helped others, she was then better able to serve and tell her story. On page 271 Story writes, “It’s just that we acknowledge God is God and we are not. Even in the midst of our unchanging circumstances, we can still give him praise and glory.” She says that we can continue to pray for things to change but also acknowledge that things may not be changing for a reason. Her story would not have reached so many people and she might not have written “Blessings” if her husband never had a brain tumor.
My perception and feelings began shifting as I read through When God Doesn’t Fix It. Laura Story’s story is powerful, and she uses her situation to help others get through their own. She can be found at http://laurastorymusic.com/.