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If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free

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What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story.   It’s exhausting, this guarding of our stories and struggles. Fear of being found out had caused me to hide—but I What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story.   It’s exhausting, this guarding of our stories and struggles. Fear of being found out had caused me to hide—but I wasn’t just covering my flaws, I was unintentionally blocking the beauty of God’s grace. My journey to real freedom began when I quit running from my mess and started trusting Jesus to make something beautiful of it.    This book is that story. It’s stepping out of shame and insecurity into gospel freedom. It’s letting God turn our failures and frailties into testimonies of His faithfulness. I’ve discovered that when we quit hiding, God gets the glory and we are able to fully embrace not only our relationship with Him, but also with one another.  Transparency brings freedom, and in every moment, we'll find that God can absolutely be trusted. 


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What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story.   It’s exhausting, this guarding of our stories and struggles. Fear of being found out had caused me to hide—but I What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story.   It’s exhausting, this guarding of our stories and struggles. Fear of being found out had caused me to hide—but I wasn’t just covering my flaws, I was unintentionally blocking the beauty of God’s grace. My journey to real freedom began when I quit running from my mess and started trusting Jesus to make something beautiful of it.    This book is that story. It’s stepping out of shame and insecurity into gospel freedom. It’s letting God turn our failures and frailties into testimonies of His faithfulness. I’ve discovered that when we quit hiding, God gets the glory and we are able to fully embrace not only our relationship with Him, but also with one another.  Transparency brings freedom, and in every moment, we'll find that God can absolutely be trusted. 

30 review for If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    This is a tricky book for me to review. Based on the message and heart of this story and the author's testimony, I'd give it 5 stars! So many truths and freeing ideas put into an easy to read conversational style. But. If I'm rating on the writing, it's a 3 star review. Hear me out - it's not that a person needs to be an accomplished writer to produce a good book, but they should have an accomplished editor. Honestly, there were just so many words. First, acknowledgments in the beginning of the This is a tricky book for me to review. Based on the message and heart of this story and the author's testimony, I'd give it 5 stars! So many truths and freeing ideas put into an easy to read conversational style. But. If I'm rating on the writing, it's a 3 star review. Hear me out - it's not that a person needs to be an accomplished writer to produce a good book, but they should have an accomplished editor. Honestly, there were just so many words. First, acknowledgments in the beginning of the book, then an introduction, then a forward, then a first chapter that read like a forward . . .then FINALLY getting into the actual book by chapter 2. All of that coupled with a lot of repetition throughout the book made a wonderful, easy, but deep read much more difficult to get through than needed. BUT!!! The heart of this book - it still showed through. see? hard for me to review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    The writing isn't spectacular, but her goal in her writing as she states in the beginning is to tell her story as if you are both sitting at the table in her back yard. She intends the book to be very casual. I really appreciated her honesty about her past and how God used difficult and shameful circumstances to draw her back to him. I am even more encouraged by her confession of how her past shapes her current sin and heart struggles and how she presses into a gospel centered community in those The writing isn't spectacular, but her goal in her writing as she states in the beginning is to tell her story as if you are both sitting at the table in her back yard. She intends the book to be very casual. I really appreciated her honesty about her past and how God used difficult and shameful circumstances to draw her back to him. I am even more encouraged by her confession of how her past shapes her current sin and heart struggles and how she presses into a gospel centered community in those moments. I love her charge for women in the church to be in open and vulnerable community where the messy and unfavorable aspects of life are discussed and confessed so Jesus can be glorified and seen as better.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Whitehead

    Unlike many reviewers, I had no idea who Jamie Ivey was prior to receiving this book for review and had never listened to her podcast. I feel that I got a chance to get to know her through reading "If You Only Knew" and appreciated the book for its vulnerability and Gospel-centered message—I mean truly Gospel-centered, as in she tied the work of Christ back into every mistake she's made and lesson she's learned—and for that reason alone I would recommend this book because I believe that God can Unlike many reviewers, I had no idea who Jamie Ivey was prior to receiving this book for review and had never listened to her podcast. I feel that I got a chance to get to know her through reading "If You Only Knew" and appreciated the book for its vulnerability and Gospel-centered message—I mean truly Gospel-centered, as in she tied the work of Christ back into every mistake she's made and lesson she's learned—and for that reason alone I would recommend this book because I believe that God can use it to help free many people. She was truly preaching in a lot of sections. However, my appreciation for the work is not because it was well-written (I thought the writing style was quite flat), but an acknowledgement of the value of her story and her willingness to tell it. Many people need to read it and find that they're not alone, and now countless people will because of the author's faithfulness. *This review is based on a free digital advance copy provided by the publisher. The book will be released on January 30, 2018. The opinions expressed are my own. Let's connect: Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

  4. 5 out of 5

    Allie Thomas

    The introduction says it all: Stories are important. When we see our stories not as "obstacles to freedom, but rather as the key to unlocking it," a book like If You Only Knew becomes a MUST READ. In her first book, Jamie Ivey does just this - shares her beautiful, broken, and redeemed story - to encourage her readers to remove the labels they put on their own journeys and to own how the gospel can truly work in our lives. She reminds her readers that "our stories are not really as unique as we The introduction says it all: Stories are important. When we see our stories not as "obstacles to freedom, but rather as the key to unlocking it," a book like If You Only Knew becomes a MUST READ. In her first book, Jamie Ivey does just this - shares her beautiful, broken, and redeemed story - to encourage her readers to remove the labels they put on their own journeys and to own how the gospel can truly work in our lives. She reminds her readers that "our stories are not really as unique as we think" and gently challenges us to find the common ground with others and banish the lies that say we aren't "good" enough to do good in God's kingdom. If you've ever listened to Jamie's podcast, enjoy reading memoir, or love the encouragement that comes from knowing someone else a little better, this book is for you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Espinoza

    I read this book in one day, because it was that compelling. This book surprised me, because it isn’t the precious commonplace story I’ve come to expect from Christian women writers. Jamie Ivey sets up the reader sharing about other sinners from the Bible, then she dives into her own story of how Jesus rescues her. Along the way she steps on various soap boxes. She encourages women to be vulnerable. She urges Christians to stop being shocked by sin. Finally, she encourages the reader to seek out I read this book in one day, because it was that compelling. This book surprised me, because it isn’t the precious commonplace story I’ve come to expect from Christian women writers. Jamie Ivey sets up the reader sharing about other sinners from the Bible, then she dives into her own story of how Jesus rescues her. Along the way she steps on various soap boxes. She encourages women to be vulnerable. She urges Christians to stop being shocked by sin. Finally, she encourages the reader to seek out community even if it’s difficult to find. This book can be read by any woman at any stage of life. She focuses on the gospel and church instead relying on tales of parenting. I would feel comfortable giving this book to a single woman. I was already a fan of Jamie Ivey and now I’m even bigger fan.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Megan Wright

    “The pages of this book are drenched with ‘me too’ tears, poured out over a so-far lifetime of failing and following, failing and following. Yet God has forgiven me, just as God has forgiven you. And even on days where we may see more losing than winning, His faithfulness and forgiveness will hold us together. For as bad as it’s been and as bad as it can get, Jesus is better. Let us all be women who believe that to be true.” I really enjoyed this book. It’s very convicting as Jamie sheds light on “The pages of this book are drenched with ‘me too’ tears, poured out over a so-far lifetime of failing and following, failing and following. Yet God has forgiven me, just as God has forgiven you. And even on days where we may see more losing than winning, His faithfulness and forgiveness will hold us together. For as bad as it’s been and as bad as it can get, Jesus is better. Let us all be women who believe that to be true.” I really enjoyed this book. It’s very convicting as Jamie sheds light on what being vulnerable and living in community looks like.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    I bought this book because I love her podcast! This is her story to finding freedom from the bondage of sin. She is incredibly vulnerable in these pages and encourages others to be the same because walking around like we have it all together doesn't help anyone. She talks about the importance of having a fight club; friends that you can open up to and they will speak truth in your life, point you to Jesus and pray with you and for you. She speaks truth in this book and talks about the importance I bought this book because I love her podcast! This is her story to finding freedom from the bondage of sin. She is incredibly vulnerable in these pages and encourages others to be the same because walking around like we have it all together doesn't help anyone. She talks about the importance of having a fight club; friends that you can open up to and they will speak truth in your life, point you to Jesus and pray with you and for you. She speaks truth in this book and talks about the importance of dragging our sins and struggles into the light because the darkness is where the enemy plays and the light is where freedom is found and God can be glorified through us.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Houle

    I think everyone’s got a skeleton or two in their closet. I know I certainly do. This isn’t the time or place to really talk about the bad I’ve done in my life, but, suffice to say, it’s enough that I was curious about Jamie Ivey’s If You Only Knew. The book — while aimed more so at women readers — is about all those sordid mistakes you’ve made in the past, and how you might be able to come through them to a place of peace. Given that the author is a conservative Christian from Texas, you know t I think everyone’s got a skeleton or two in their closet. I know I certainly do. This isn’t the time or place to really talk about the bad I’ve done in my life, but, suffice to say, it’s enough that I was curious about Jamie Ivey’s If You Only Knew. The book — while aimed more so at women readers — is about all those sordid mistakes you’ve made in the past, and how you might be able to come through them to a place of peace. Given that the author is a conservative Christian from Texas, you know the answer to the predicament: Jesus. I’m not going to admonish the author for her beliefs, because that’s not how I roll. But after reading John Shelby Spong’s upcoming book Unbelievable, I had a hard time reconciling God and/or Jesus as a supernatural person living in the clouds up in the sky. This version of God is sort of what Ivey presents to us, so, whether you like it or not, that aspect of the book is something you’re going to have to sit with. That said, there are still parts of If You Only Knew that are relevant to everyone, no matter what your leanings are in the culture wars. Take away the atonement theology and doctrine of sin that Ivey believes in, and you’d have a book that liberals like myself wouldn’t have too much of a hard time swallowing. (That said, I think this is a book best suited for conservative evangelicals.) Read the rest here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    The easiest thing to think that the way things are is the way they are supposed to be. That we have no choice in how things in our lives will go. Though I do believe in some destiny I also believe that we can make choices to direct what that destiny will be. I believe we must listen the to guidance in our hearts. Reading through Jamie's story made me realize how much hiding we do in this world. We hide the feelings we have about what we really want, really believe. We hide the way we feel about The easiest thing to think that the way things are is the way they are supposed to be. That we have no choice in how things in our lives will go. Though I do believe in some destiny I also believe that we can make choices to direct what that destiny will be. I believe we must listen the to guidance in our hearts. Reading through Jamie's story made me realize how much hiding we do in this world. We hide the feelings we have about what we really want, really believe. We hide the way we feel about ourselves. Jamie gets real in telling her story. She has opened her heart to see that others need to read what she has gone through and still goes through and that we can all make a difference and be there for someone going through something. Life should never be done alone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alana/MiaTheReader

    This is a truthful, gospel-centered memoir, that doesn't hit on the tired themes of "girl power" and "follow your dreams" or "woe is me, I'm so wounded" but tells a story with a purpose and goes back to Biblical truth throughout. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, or learn from it as much as I did! My history is not at all like Jamie Ivey's, but that didn't matter, as truth is truth no matter what and what she gives in this book is just that. I wasn't expecting to like If You Only K This is a truthful, gospel-centered memoir, that doesn't hit on the tired themes of "girl power" and "follow your dreams" or "woe is me, I'm so wounded" but tells a story with a purpose and goes back to Biblical truth throughout. I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, or learn from it as much as I did! My history is not at all like Jamie Ivey's, but that didn't matter, as truth is truth no matter what and what she gives in this book is just that. I wasn't expecting to like If You Only Knew as much as I did, but it was an enjoyable read and there are parts of it that I think will actually change how I treat myself and the people around me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    **I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley. My review and opinions are my own.** Many of us have, at some point, thought "if this person knew who I really was, they wouldn't speak to me again." This book is for us. Jamie Ivey writes about her past openly and honestly, and follows every part of her story with how the the gospel frees us to be honest, vulnerable people. It's a gospel-soaked book and a joy to read. I don't tend to like books that rely heavily on the author's **I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley. My review and opinions are my own.** Many of us have, at some point, thought "if this person knew who I really was, they wouldn't speak to me again." This book is for us. Jamie Ivey writes about her past openly and honestly, and follows every part of her story with how the the gospel frees us to be honest, vulnerable people. It's a gospel-soaked book and a joy to read. I don't tend to like books that rely heavily on the author's life to talk about Jesus, but the way this book is written makes it different from other story-heavy books. The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that I wish it had been written to a broader audience. Yes, Ivey is a woman - but that doesn't mean her book has to be written directly to women. Men can also identify with feeling this way, and while a woman's specific sins and struggles may not directly relate, men should be able to work out situations in their lives where they have struggled with something similar (just like women who have struggled with completely different things will have to do).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Davina

    A wonderful book for the woman who suffers from the shame of past sins about forgiveness and our new identity in Christ. Ivey is vulnerable and honest in her account of her struggles and gives you a fresh understanding of things we already know or should know = Christ has forgiven us and we are a new creation in him - our sins do not define us. She puts a lot of emphasis on community in Christ too - finding friends you feel safe with and who will hold you accountable. Another important point is A wonderful book for the woman who suffers from the shame of past sins about forgiveness and our new identity in Christ. Ivey is vulnerable and honest in her account of her struggles and gives you a fresh understanding of things we already know or should know = Christ has forgiven us and we are a new creation in him - our sins do not define us. She puts a lot of emphasis on community in Christ too - finding friends you feel safe with and who will hold you accountable. Another important point is how we should forgive each other in the church and not reproach others when they are willing to confess their sins to us. It was easy to read. I finished it in a day.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Jack

    Talk about being an open book! This memoir, while simply written is of a woman growing up in the church who has failed, many times before she came to know Christ and struggled even after coming to know him, and about the freedom and fullness of grace experienced in confession and repentance. One of the most relatable books I have read in a while.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hannah H.

    I recently discovered Jamie’s podcast and was excited to see that she’d written a book as well. While the writing isn’t stellar (is it ever really that good in biographies by non-writers?), the story is clear and compelling. Jamie does a great job of speaking truth from her life, coupled with truth from the Word. And when so many of her experiences of imperfection and fear resonate with all of us, that makes for a really encouraging and faith-building book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jen Anderson

    I appreciate Jamie’s honesty and vulnerability! She makes you feel heard and understood while still telling her own story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christina DeVane

    This is basically the author’s testimony in how she lived a very immoral life for many years before getting serious about her Christianity. She has a different perspective on shame, guilt, and God’s forgiveness because of all that. She is now a pastor’s wife which is pretty amazing. This book would be good for anyone with a heavy past or struggling with being free from the scars of sin. I liked how this book made me think and analyze how I’m relating to others and I loved her chapter on Jesus is This is basically the author’s testimony in how she lived a very immoral life for many years before getting serious about her Christianity. She has a different perspective on shame, guilt, and God’s forgiveness because of all that. She is now a pastor’s wife which is pretty amazing. This book would be good for anyone with a heavy past or struggling with being free from the scars of sin. I liked how this book made me think and analyze how I’m relating to others and I loved her chapter on Jesus is better. He IS better than ANYTHING!❤️

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mary Rachel Fenrick

    Loved reading Jamie’s story of redemption, which reminds me so much of my own. She writes exactly as she talks in her podcast and is careful to bring all glory back to Christ in both her struggles and her victories. This book emboldened me to share my own “story of rescue” with others. A quick, challenging read. Only negative thing for me (though very minor) is that her themes started to feel somewhat repetitive toward the end.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angie Pace

    I don’t think this book will win any awards for writing prose, but I sure enjoyed & gleaned from it. Her honesty & transparency were at times shocking, yet refreshing. As a fellow pastor’s wife, I can relate to many of her experiences & struggles with not always feeling enough. I’m super thankful that Jamie Ivey shared her life with me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    For someone who has spent most my adult life avoiding people of my youth because I was ashamed of who I was back then, this was an empowering read. Jamie is one of the most courageous women I know right now for not holding anything back and putting herself out there.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brenna

    Ooooooh, Jamie. I just love her complete honesty. Beautiful story. Humble honesty. God is in every word. "Shame never brings freedom, but Christ came to purify our conscience." Yes and amen. (Audiobook read by Jamie= GOLD) Ooooooh, Jamie. I just love her complete honesty. Beautiful story. Humble honesty. God is in every word. "Shame never brings freedom, but Christ came to purify our conscience." Yes and amen. (Audiobook read by Jamie= GOLD)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    I love Jamie Ivey's podcast The Happy Hour. She interviews amazing women who are doing wonderful things! I love following her on social media too. She is so uplifting and fun. I was super excited to read her first book. This is most definitely a book about Christianity by a Christian writer. It was 90% preaching and 10% the author's personal experiences. It was heavy on the preaching/sermon side. I am a church goer and I found myself thinking...wow...this is a lot. I wanted more of her own story. I love Jamie Ivey's podcast The Happy Hour. She interviews amazing women who are doing wonderful things! I love following her on social media too. She is so uplifting and fun. I was super excited to read her first book. This is most definitely a book about Christianity by a Christian writer. It was 90% preaching and 10% the author's personal experiences. It was heavy on the preaching/sermon side. I am a church goer and I found myself thinking...wow...this is a lot. I wanted more of her own story. When she tells her life story and then ties it into the gospel it's wonderful. I just wish there was more of that. Her podcast isn't this way...it is definitely a Christian podcast...but she speaks with so many amazing women that it doesn't seem heavy handed at all...but this book did. Don't get me wrong. I love Jamie Ivey. She is an incredible human being and her bravery and vulnerability are amazing. I appreciate her message of love, forgiveness, and redemption. It is a message so needed in the world today. I will also read anything that she writes because I love her. I just wish there was more of her personality in this book. I loved that she encourages women to be vulnerable and to share our stories even the really hard ones and to not live in shame. All of our experiences help us to grow and by sharing our experiences we help others to learn and grow as well. I truly believe that connection comes from vulnerability. We do no one any favors...least of all ourselves... by pretending to be perfect. I also really appreciated her thoughts that the Christian community needs to get over "Sin-Shock". I 100% agree. This is huge and it is a stumbling block for many trying to find their way back to God. We are all sinners. We all stand in need of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We cannot act shocked and horrified when people share with us what they are going through...this is the antithesis of Christ like love. Nowhere in the scriptures is Jesus "shocked and horrified" by sin. Not once. I see both of these concepts as real issues in my faith. People have a hard time returning to church when they feel like they are shameful and unworthy to attend church with *perfect* people who are shocked and horrified by the things they have done. This is something I REALLY want the world and my children to understand. Church is where we go to be healed...not to be judged by impossible standards. I once was in a church class that discussed this... our teacher handed out white stickers...and we had to write all of the things that we are on them and stick them on our bodies: mother, teacher, daughter, wife, child of God etc. Then she talked about what if we had stickers that we wore representing our sins...liar, gossip, jealous, addict, mean, judging, lazy, back-stabber, frenemy, greedy, cheater, hypocrite, untrustworthy, unlawful, etc. She talked about how we would all be covered with stickers because we are ALL sinners...we all fall short and need the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We would be surprised by the number of stickers we wore if all of our sins were made visible as well as those of everyone around us. But also how much more understanding we would be of others when we read their stickers that were the same as ours and how powerful the words "me too" would be. We would be so much more compassionate, empathetic, encouraging, supportive, and loving. We do ourselves no favors by pretending...and it is pretending...to be perfect. That message really resonates with me. Jamie Ivey's message is a powerful one and a courageous one. I look forward to reading more from her. I just want more of her endearing personality to shine through next time. My Rating: Good...but lots of sermonizing. Although the message is beautiful, empowering, and needed. Listen to her podcast. It is amazing!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    3.5 stars. I feel almost guilty not rating it higher because I don't want to disparage the message of the book -- my issues with it were mainly stylistic. The conversational tone that is so prevalent in Christian women's books gets old to me over a whole book, and I would have probably enjoyed it more in blog posts. Also, the author spends the introduction and the whole first chapter building up to her story so that by the time you finally reach what she's been building up to (over 1/4 through t 3.5 stars. I feel almost guilty not rating it higher because I don't want to disparage the message of the book -- my issues with it were mainly stylistic. The conversational tone that is so prevalent in Christian women's books gets old to me over a whole book, and I would have probably enjoyed it more in blog posts. Also, the author spends the introduction and the whole first chapter building up to her story so that by the time you finally reach what she's been building up to (over 1/4 through the book) the story felt a little deflated. Those personal preferences aside, I do believe the message of the book is important. My main takeaway was that living in shame -- hiding our faults from others -- hinders the fullness of grace in our lives. The author stresses that authentic Christian community needs to get over "sin-shock" and differentiate between "worldly guilt" and "godly guilt". I keep seeing in my reading the importance of community in our lives for growth, and this book champions this as well. It doesn't give specifics of how to build that community, but the starting point is transparency about our failings among invested friends.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Words With Rach)

    Read this book. Just read it. You will not regret it. I love to read. I read many books and especially love books that point me to Jesus and remind me of truth. This is one of those books. Through sharing her own story Jamie Ivey talks about the freedom that comes with sharing our stories. We all have them. She talks about the importance of vulnerability and community. Above all she shows us that Jesus is Better and points us to Him. Beautiful, honest, encouraging, uplifting and convicting. This b Read this book. Just read it. You will not regret it. I love to read. I read many books and especially love books that point me to Jesus and remind me of truth. This is one of those books. Through sharing her own story Jamie Ivey talks about the freedom that comes with sharing our stories. We all have them. She talks about the importance of vulnerability and community. Above all she shows us that Jesus is Better and points us to Him. Beautiful, honest, encouraging, uplifting and convicting. This book is worth a read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    katie

    As much as I like her podcast and the message she is trying to convey here, this one was a little hard to get through.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather Wooten

    I’ve read many Christian women authors and sadly this is the first one to actually acknowledge REAL, CURRENT struggles and mistakes made as a Christian. Most talk only about struggles prior to becoming a Christian, selling a lie that once you follow Christ your life will be easy and struggle free. So thankful that Jamie Ivey was brave enough to write her real story. It’s good to hear someone talk about how we do screw up as Christians and there is grace for that and we don’t have to hide from it I’ve read many Christian women authors and sadly this is the first one to actually acknowledge REAL, CURRENT struggles and mistakes made as a Christian. Most talk only about struggles prior to becoming a Christian, selling a lie that once you follow Christ your life will be easy and struggle free. So thankful that Jamie Ivey was brave enough to write her real story. It’s good to hear someone talk about how we do screw up as Christians and there is grace for that and we don’t have to hide from it. She also doesn’t try to give pointless “life hacks” and “advice “ disguised as biblical truth. She only points to Christ and not herself, as unfortunately so many female Christian authors do. Great book. I’m also a big fan of her podcast- The Happy Hour!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Talia

    Rarely do I read a non fiction, Christian book all the way to the end. This book was so full of little gems that inspired me and broke me down that I couldn’t stop reading and rereading Jamie’s words. A must read for all women. A couple of my favourite excerpts: “We’re either the church people that others feel too ashamed to be themselves around, or we’re the bottled-up people whose sense of failure or inadequacy makes us want to hide and maybe hate you.” “Who am I to think I have the right to hol Rarely do I read a non fiction, Christian book all the way to the end. This book was so full of little gems that inspired me and broke me down that I couldn’t stop reading and rereading Jamie’s words. A must read for all women. A couple of my favourite excerpts: “We’re either the church people that others feel too ashamed to be themselves around, or we’re the bottled-up people whose sense of failure or inadequacy makes us want to hide and maybe hate you.” “Who am I to think I have the right to hold that stone in my hand, ready to throw it, even when the target is no more than 2 feet away from my breaking heart? I still must drop my stone and admit I’m the same as them. Desperately in need of Jesus.” Also, chapter 8: Sin Shock. What a eye opening and humbling read. Go pick up this book!!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karla Osorno

    Each Wednesday, I look forward to sanctioned eavesdropping on conversations between Jamie Ivey and an invited friend on her podcast THE HAPPY HOUR WITH JAMIE IVEY. I love that Jamie is authentic and funny. Her voice makes me happy and her guests are always insightful and real too. So when I learned of her book "If You Only Knew", I was just as excited to get my hands on it. Jamie did not disappoint. I read an electronic copy of her book but felt as if Jamie herself were sitting across from me at Each Wednesday, I look forward to sanctioned eavesdropping on conversations between Jamie Ivey and an invited friend on her podcast THE HAPPY HOUR WITH JAMIE IVEY. I love that Jamie is authentic and funny. Her voice makes me happy and her guests are always insightful and real too. So when I learned of her book "If You Only Knew", I was just as excited to get my hands on it. Jamie did not disappoint. I read an electronic copy of her book but felt as if Jamie herself were sitting across from me at a happy hour and sharing her story. Jamie is vulnerable, honest, and truth giving in the retelling of how she has come to know true freedom in Christ. Her stories are incredibly personal and also relatable. Reading Jamie's book you can't help but be changed. Because "vulnerability invites vulnerability" I want to up my game in sharing my own story and being known. And I want to be a woman who listens without "sin shock" speaking truth in love. Jamie rightly shares that no matter our choices, when we are in Christ, our identity is secure and God's character is unchanging. Knowing "Jesus is better" is true freedom. Jamie Ivey offers us perspective, real life examples, an invitation to know Jesus, a call to remember and more in this book. She does it all in her unique and inspiring voice. Jamie weaves her own personal story with God's truths helping us to see our own stories more clearly. Highly recommend this book for women who are shackled by their past (which is all of us in one way or another) and want to live in the freedom that is already available in Jesus.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    While this book is not a "super theological" read and I have seen some disappointed reviews that obviously expected as much, I really enjoyed it. Jamie speaks of truths that seem simple on the outside, but can be hard to actually accept as truth in the midst of battling our flesh. This book is an easy read and speaks a lot on where our identity lies and how to deal with the shame and guilt we face as believers due to past and current sins. Because of the simplicity, I think this is going to be a While this book is not a "super theological" read and I have seen some disappointed reviews that obviously expected as much, I really enjoyed it. Jamie speaks of truths that seem simple on the outside, but can be hard to actually accept as truth in the midst of battling our flesh. This book is an easy read and speaks a lot on where our identity lies and how to deal with the shame and guilt we face as believers due to past and current sins. Because of the simplicity, I think this is going to be a great resource for the teenage girls that I work with on a daily basis. I would definitely recommend it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nika

    Like many of the other reviewers, I read this book in about 1 week. It is a very quick read but nonetheless an important message. It is written in the same voice and style that Jamie uses on her podcast -conversational and candid. Her vulnerability and honesty about the lifestyle choices she made at a young age and the heartbreaking consequences that resulted, are so desperately needed. I think it is especially appropriate for young high school and college aged women who are asking those questio Like many of the other reviewers, I read this book in about 1 week. It is a very quick read but nonetheless an important message. It is written in the same voice and style that Jamie uses on her podcast -conversational and candid. Her vulnerability and honesty about the lifestyle choices she made at a young age and the heartbreaking consequences that resulted, are so desperately needed. I think it is especially appropriate for young high school and college aged women who are asking those questions about whether or not to have sex, and why that decision is such a big deal. But the beautiful part is that Jamie’s story is full of redemption and healing - which will bless even the most seasoned readers.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Patti Whitson Stephenson She Lives to Read

    This book is compelling because of the author’s openness in telling her story; but also for her compassion for others that permeates the whole book. She knows what it’s like to have sinned; grieved over her sin; and to have received the overwhelming love and forgiveness that Jesus offers to all of us. This book is a call to the church to have a renewed sense of compassion for those who are hurting because of sinful choices. I am glad to have read her story. It’s developed that renewed sense of c This book is compelling because of the author’s openness in telling her story; but also for her compassion for others that permeates the whole book. She knows what it’s like to have sinned; grieved over her sin; and to have received the overwhelming love and forgiveness that Jesus offers to all of us. This book is a call to the church to have a renewed sense of compassion for those who are hurting because of sinful choices. I am glad to have read her story. It’s developed that renewed sense of compassion in me. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review. This is my honest opinion about this book.

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