About the Book
Book: When Only Faith Remains
Author: Amy C. OReilly
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.
I'm not quite sure I can write a review for this book without getting emotional. God knew I needed this book and he knew exactly the right time for me to read it. I felt such inner peace as I began this story and couldn't wait to see what God was wanting to share with me. I have always loved stories about Mary. She is someone who was chosen by God to give birth to the King of Kings. We don't know what she was really thinking as she obeyed and trusted God. The author mentions one of my favorite songs called, Mary, did you know?" Did Mary have any idea what was in store for her and her son? Mother's want the best for their child and Mary was no exception.
I appreciated the author sharing her struggles with eating disorders, depression and self image issues . I could so easily relate to the author as I have struggled all my life with similar problems. In a dysfunctional home, there is really no one to turn to. I knew Jesus and I did cry out to him many times. What was missing was my love, faith, trust and relationship with Him. Have you ever wondered what your purpose was in life? I asked that every day. Just like Mary, God has a plan for each of us. Whatever the calling is, it is no less important than giving birth to Jesus.
When the author talked about having friends to call she struggled with friendships with other girls. Oh how I know what that is like. Growing up I had no friends. I was very shy and because of what was happening to me at home, I didn't want anyone to get close to me. I became closed off as a child and grew into an adult not trusting anyone. But God in His grace and mercy gave me someone I trust completely. My husband is my best friend. I can tell him anything and he loves me unconditionally. Mary had a friend she was able to turn to who was Elizabeth. God knew just what Mary needed and gave her a friend she could share things with.
I loved each chapter of the book and felt ready to fully understand the life of Mary. The book is written in a way that is easy to follow as she includes scriptures to go with each chapter. I liked the prayers she places at the end of each chapter. Mary comes alive in the book and we follow her as she gives birth, rekindles a relationship with Joseph and finally comes to the realization that Jesus was going to pay the ultimate price.
It is hard to imagine having to watch your child suffer and you can't do anything to help. Mary was there as her son was on the cross and with her faith she knew that it was his destiny. She never spoke but I wonder what was going on inside her. Perhaps she was asking God for strength. The author asks the question, " Do we love and trust him enough to surrender all?" In this moment it was clear to me that Mary was surrendering all to Him. She was grieving but still knew that God was there to comfort her.
As the author concludes the book, it gave me time to search my heart and seek Him knowing that he has always been there, just like He was with Mary. I am encouraged to grow deeper in His word and "be assured that faith will lead you to the ultimate source of Hope and Love."
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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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!!