Cover Image: When You Don't Like Your Story

When You Don't Like Your Story

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Member Reviews

This is a super fun read. I really enjoyed this one!

Many thanks to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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‘When You Don’t Like Your Story’ tackles themes of personal failure, suffering, disappointment and even abuse compassionately while never being patronising or trite. It’s so refreshing to read words that don’t simply brush aside the difficult parts of our lives under the banner of ‘God uses all things for our good’ but instead empathise and encourage. Jaynes remind us clearly that we loved, that we have value, that we can be free from the dark parts of our history, and that we have hope.
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This book was a good Bible study.  I recommend it to readers who have enjoyed other Bible studies by Jaynes.  Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
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Everyone needs a friend to sit down and help you through tough spots. This book is that friend. When you don’t like your story it’s important to have someone speak truth into you. Turn your eyes upward and not on your circumstances. To turn your heart toward Jesus.
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<b>** I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**</b>

Sharon Jaynes does a great job of explaining how shame plays a major part in our lives, ever since it was introduced due to original sin. Many of us don't like our stories and are stuck on them. We constantly question or are shameful about our pasts. Jaynes explains how we can take these unwanted parts of our story, and move forward with them. The parts of our story that we want to rewrite, are just the parts God has given us to help others. 

It's about taking our challenges and grief, and using that to help others. Sharon does a great job of bringing in Biblical text to explain that, to God, we aren't the lies we tell ourselves. To God, we are <i>beautiful, holy, chosen, valuable</i> and so many other amazing things. By remembering this, and how much God loves us (after all, He gave His <b> only son</b>) we can be transformed. Jaynes also brings in so many different experiences to this book. Not only her own personal stories and how she has turned her ugly chapters into something beautiful, but how others around her have. These testimonies are very powerful, and go to show that your story can be an inspiration to others. 

I would definitely recommend this book to others, especially those struggling with their own story.
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It can be difficult going through life unhappy with your circumstances, but there is another way to look at things and this fresh perspective can make it all seem worthwhile. We are not just trudging from one circumstance to another - God is actively writing the story of our lives, and we are a participant!

When you realize that your life has been orchestrated by the greatest writer to ever exist, it is possible to see thing with new eyes. Sure, there have been some really rough events, but we are more than just a statistic. There might seem to be no way (or at least no NATURAL way) that things can turn around, but with The Good Lord on our side, we are capable of things which seem impossible.

If you're here and able to read this book, it's not too late. Get a glimpse of God's awesome transformative power and work with him to create an ending that will put your mind at ease!
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I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a few of Sharon Jaynes’ books and I really like her writing. I enjoyed this book. I think it’s important to not let our stories go to waste. I didn’t necessarily agree with everything, but overall I liked it.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This made the perfect Bible study for me. I needed these words. I needed this reminder of how much God is in control. Each chapter unfolds another story that is so relatable. Highly recommend!
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When You Don’t Like Your Story by Sharon Jaynes
I always enjoy reading books by Sharon Jaynes and this book is no exception. She writes in a way that is clear and easy to read whilst grounding everything she writes in biblical truth.

For many of us, there are parts of our own story we just don’t like. It may because of something awful that was done to us, or because of a difficult period in our life, such as relationship breakdown or ill health, or because of the mistakes and mess we have made along the way.

In her book, Sharon reminds us that our story is not over:
“There is more to be written, and God is even now dipping his pen into the inkwell of wholeness, writing your story and mine into his larger story. God turns broken stories into beautiful prose and unwanted pages into stunning narratives of victory.”

Don’t you just love that? I know I do!

God can redeem our past and our stories and can help us to share them with others. Others need to hear our stories, how God has brought beauty out of the brokenness. It helps others to know they are not on their own regarding their own stories and our stories can bring them hope. In telling our stories to others, people see God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness and healing power.

In her book, Sharon shares with honesty about the difficult and painful parts of her own story and she also shares the stories of others who have endured the difficult and painful parts of their story and how they have all come through them and now have amazing stories to share with others. Never does she deny or dismiss the pain experienced by herself or others, but she does show how God works in them and can bring good from them and will use the pain for a purpose.

“How can your worst chapters become your greatest victories? One way is to use the ways God has healed you to give hope to others – to show that you’ve traversed the same or similar rocky soil and made it to level ground.”

Sharon writes about the importance of forgiveness, accepting God’s forgiveness of us, learning to forgive others and learning to forgive ourselves so we are able to move out from under that place of shame. Chapter 6: Leaving the Shame Place is a great chapter on the subject of shame, helping us to understand what it is and where it comes from and how to move away from shame.
It is through these painful parts of our story, though the parts we don’t like, that God is able to give us a greater sense of compassion for others and the pain they are going through. It enables us to give comfort to others because we have first been comforted by God.

Sharon explains that by sharing our stories we are setting ourselves free from being trapped by them and when we tell our story it can set others free too.

Chapter 10: Disqualified? Says Who? is another great chapter. Within it, Sharon looks at why parts of our story may make us feel that we are disqualified from being used by God, but this just isn’t true, it’s a lie that comes from the devil. She tells us how to recognise those thoughts which come from the devil, that they are lies and how we can replace them with the truth of knowing who we are in Christ.

At the end of her book, Sharon provides a study guide, which explores in more depth the themes she has written about within the book and she also takes the reader further into the Bible. This study guide is useful for both individuals and small groups.

I recommend this book for anyone, male or female, young or old. It is relevant to us all because each one of us has a story to tell and each one of us has painful parts within our story and Sharon’s book helps us to learn how to go beyond these painful parts rather than being stuck in them.

“Will you trust God to write your story? Even when you feel he’s surely dropped the pen and walked away, will you trust that he hasn’t? Even when you feel that he’s made a mistake in the writing, will you trust that his plan is still intact? Even when the story seems anything but good, will you trust that he is good? A good ending is more than the resolution to a conflict. A good ending is one of redemption.”
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I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  Sharon Jaynes uses scripture to walk through some frank and heart-wrenching real-life experiences that beg for a different ending. 

As I age, I realize that my emotional interpretation of events is what creates the story I tell myself. The event is simply that- an event. Although not easy subject matter or light reading, this is a beautiful book that eases our stories. 

I’ve found myself thinking back on it quite a bit. A lovely and helpful book!
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Oh boy what an amazing book., I couldn't put it down.  The reminder while I struggling that God is busy  with other things .... meanwhile.... so often seen in the Bible, as God continues preparing things for my life.  The pain I feel is turned around and I need to see what God is using. My biggest challenge is telling my story as I walk on, without causing pain to those who hurt me. God will show me how and keep me learning.
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I am certainly not a scholar and have not attended seminary, but recognized multiple instances where Sharon told a story from the Bible in her own words and it did not line up with the Scripture. I wanted to give it a higher rating, but was disappointed by the inaccuracy when the back cover copy says Bible teacher. On a much smaller scale, there's no need to put the tagline in every other chapter. By the fourth time of 'your worst chapter can become your greatest victory" I couldn't help but think "I get it. You've said that several times. Can you say it another way?" Again, I wanted to like it more. It needed an editor and someone to research the stories shared from Scripture.
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“Yes, I’d like a different story, please.”  But “God turns broken stories into beautiful prose and unwanted pages into stunning narratives of victory.”

Author Sharon Jaymes writes in a personable, relatable style. She’s quite open about sharing the difficult times in her own life; yet she does so in a way that’s encouraging, convicting, and comforting.  She uses accounts of Biblical characters to enable readers to glean wisdom and hope by facing difficult times through a lens of faith.  She also shares stories of other woman whose own stories are ones that include heartaches, but have allowed God to work through their own pain.  Their stories are an encouragement that God can take our own stories and make them a testimony of His redemption and grace.

Please note:  Some of these stories mention difficult experiences such a sexual and physical abuse; loss of a child and spouse; and abortion. Although these women’s stories are ultimately ones of recovery and faith, they are sometimes still heart-rending. I’m mentioning this because these things could be an emotional trigger for some women. 

I thought this was an excellent book.  I learned much from this author that will help me going forward in life.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
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What an encouraging book!  I have read most of Sharon Jaynes books and love her writing style.  This book didn't disappoint as it was easy to read, thoughtful, encouraging with sound biblical knowledge. 
I highly recommend this read.  

*Thank you to the publishers for a free copy in exchange for an honest review*
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I requested this book to review thinking it wasn't going to be that hard of a book to get through. You see, I've done A LOT of work on healing from my past. A LOT, just ask my poor husband about it.

However, this book really shook me to my core. It wasn't the read I was expecting (though, I can't really put what I was expecting into words exactly...) I thought I had healed enough (I'm millions of miles away from where I was and who I used to be), but this book threw me back into dealing with it all again. Like, so discombobulated as I was thinking things through, I did regress quite a bit, to the point my husband noticed and grilled me on what in the world was going on in my mind and the thoughts of returning for another round of therapy were discussed.

I do suggest reading this book when you can tackle the story of your past (no matter what it is) and you have time to work on healing. This book can be a mighty tool for you to use. Just prepare yourself for it and know that it isn't going to be one of those feel good, affirmational reads that are so prevalent today. This book will make you examine yourself and deal with the hidden secrets you hold. No matter if you were abused or just have made some wrong decisions that you wish you could undo.
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When I was invited to be part of this book launch I was very excited. The title of the book, "When You Don't Like Your Story" by Sharon Jaynes, especially appealed to me because right now (at the time I started reading), I don't like my story. I was hoping this book would "speak to me" as if it was written for me and I was not disappointed! Do you ever listen to a sermon or read a book and it is as if the pastor is speaking directly to you, or the author was in your head as they were putting pen to paper? Well this book will not disappoint! 

Ask yourself, "Do you love your story?" What if you could transform a no answer into "I love my story!" If you could transform from question to exclamation it would be worth your time right?!  Sharon explains, "He (the evil one) capitalizes on every hurt, magnifies every mistake, and punctuates every promise with a question mark." Let's get rid of those question marks and have more exclamation marks in our lives!!! 

This book is the tool for you. And guess what? Sharon has a bible study coming out to accompany this book! I would be remiss if I did not tell you this book is about hard work. It's a good thing I am not afraid of working hard to navigate what God has in store for me. What about you? Does hard work scare you or do you like a challenge? I am glad to get rid of those question marks! 

Sharon utilizes various real life stories to reach each of us. There is something for everyone here. No matter what your past was like, your future is bright and is in God's hands. Believe that, feel that, live audaciously the life God has paved for you! Don't give up or give in! I almost did and I am glad Sharon has taken the talents God gifted her with to share with all of us.
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Perhaps THE best book I have read in a very LONG a time!   No matter your age or present circumstances; whether the tough times are due to your choices or someone else’s; this book provides perspective, encouragement and most of all, HOPE that things CAN and WILL get better.  It introduces the concept of“ “Meanwhile” , whe God seems to have forgotten you or appears absent, and assures that “when the situation is out of my control, it’s not out of God’s hands.”  No matter how dire your circumstances, God still has the pen in His hand, and He’s still on the throne.  “When You Don’t Like Your Story” provides many examples of trauma, chaos, “bad chapters” , and assures us our worst chapters can be changed into our greatest victories!  This book is a MUST a read for our present times.  I intend to reread it, this time following the Bible Study Guide in the back of the book.
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It was an amazing book that has helped me through my life. This book helped me be able to forgive myself and others.  Let me see of how much God loves and cares for ous as well.  We are wonderful for who we are and our story will help others as well.
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Sharon Jaynes offers us hope. She shows us that we are not our past. That God knows our story and wants to use it for His Glory. He can use us to help others and give them hope...if we let Him. 
Bible stories we have read all our lives but never felt like they applied to us...she shows us that just because Jesus walked the earth then doesn't make the stories or the people any less applicable to us today. 
We have to stop listening to Satan's lies that we will never be good enough and turn our attention to the only true voice that matters. God loves us and wants to use us. Bring our lives into the light and find out that we are not alone.
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I really enjoyed When You Don't Like Your Story  by Sharon Jaynes. It is about moving past and letting go of the parts of your story you wish were different and wish you could change. Sharon uses parts of her story, the stories of friends and acquaintances, and the lives of Biblical people to show how God can use our story, even the dark or ugly parts, for His purposes. In seeing the title of the book I thought the book was going to be only about Sharon's life and personal experiences and how she came to move forward, coming to grips with the hard, ugly, painful parts of her life. By including the experience and examples of other people and Biblical people I see how we realize that this is not just about one person moving forward from the parts of her life that she doesn't like but it is applicable and available to everyone's struggles with their lives and the parts they wish were different. Sharon writes in her book, " We cannot delete, discard, or amend the past, but we can repurpose and reclaim the present."
The writing flows easily and the stories are inspiring to read. This book is much needed encouragement as we go through our lives trying to overcome, hide, understand and even like the struggles and messes of our past. In the book Sharon shows how God can use even the most difficult experiences of our lives for good and to comfort others. We learn not to look to the world or others for our worth and value but to look to God for our value. Sharon provides steps  in overcoming the parts of our story we don't like and look through a different lens. It is about reclaiming our lives and becoming the child of God we are created to be in life. It is about not dwelling on our hurts, pain, shame, guilt, and brokenness but moving forward allowing God to redeem the mess and ashes in our lives. Sharon provides a Bible Study Guide to use as you read through the chapters along with a list of verses showing our Identity in Christ and Prayers on forgiveness in the back of the book. 
I received an advanced copy of this book fir my hosest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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