Afraid of All the Things by Scarlet Hiltibidal

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis: What does the gospel say about your fears? What does it say about the irrational ones, like sinkholes in the Target parking lot? How does it speak to the rational ones, like pet scan predictions? And does the gospel have a word for the fears you feel you’ll have for life, like the possibility of losing the one you love most?

Growing up in the green room of SNL, being born to a fire-eater and adopted by a SWAT cop, having internal organs explode, and adopting a deaf girl from China, Scarlet Hiltibidal has been given some strange life experiences—and lived in fear through most of them.

But life changed for Scarlet when she learned to hold the gospel up to her fears. She realized that though she can’t fix herself or protect herself, Jesus walked into this broken, sad, scary place to rescue, love, and cast out her—and your—fear.

Seeing life in light of the cross will help you avoid fear, overcome fear when you can’t avoid it, and live beyond fear when you don’t overcome it. You don’t have to be afraid of all the things.

Trigger Warning:
This book talks about miscarriages and eating disorders.

Afraid of All the Things is about Scarlet’s life full fear and anxiety, and how the gospel helps overcome even the worst fears.

“The Jesus who had only felt like the answer for my salvation became the answer for everything.”

This book is broken up into three parts. Part one is titled “My Fears Do Not Define Me”. In this part, Scarlet talks about things like her hypochondriac collapse in a grocery store and her fear of flying. In the second part, “My Fears Will Not Defeat Me”, Scarlet tells the story of the time she slept through hurricane Andrew, when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and her health. The third part is titled “My Fears Aren’t Forever” and is about her Matron of Honor Toast, and adopting her deaf daughter from China.

Throughout all her stories (some funny, some heartbreaking… all totally relatable), Scarlet constantly points back to the gospel and how Jesus defeated everything at the cross. She reminds the reader that God is more powerful than the evils we see here on earth, and that we need to meditate on God’s Word day and night because His Word is living and active.

“When the Holy Spirit gave me the grace to see God as my Good Father and Comforter in this world broke by sin, I stopped running away from Him and started running to Him. When the gospel made clear that God has already given me His own Son, I stopped being afraid of the ‘scary’ situations that bring me close to Him.”

The one potential issue I found is on pages 22 and 23. Scarlet suffered from an eating disorder and begged God for healing… Rather than healing her instantly, God kept directing her to Proverbs 28:13, “The one who conceals his sin will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” She then says:

“I didn’t want to confess because it was such an ugly sin, but that verse kept coming after me until I did it. It’s been a decade now since I confessed and He healed me that very day and it went away instantly. His Word led me to the greatest moment of freedom I’ve never known.”

As someone who suffered from an eating disorder, I think this can be very dangerous for sensitive readers struggling with an ED. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book, and recommend it. I’m glad to have a new author on my radar.

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