Connect with us

Articles

A Promise in Pieces: A Review

Read our review of Emily Wierenga’s novel, “A Promise in Pieces.”

Published

on

“Hold my hand!” I admonish one of my children. 

“Don’t skip in the parking lot!” I chide another. 

“Hey, stop running! Those cars might be reversing!” I exclaim to a third, pulse thumping in my throat. 

“Fine, you can check the mail, but walk, don’t run, and look both ways!”

The engrained paranoia that bubbles up in my beating heart when my kids are anywhere near a moving car is unhealthy, I know, and is instilling in them an unhealthy (and unnecessary) fear, as well. I can see it happening, and yet I can’t seem to keep the “be careful’s” from escaping my lips whenever my kids are in a parking lot or about to cross a street.

If I’m not careful, if I don’t earnestly seek the Lord’s help to change my lack of faith into a firm trust in His sovereignty over all things, including moving vehicles, the tightness of my grip may just suffocate the very treasures I am trying to protect. Like grains of sand clenched in a white-knuckled fist, the trust of my kids might just slip through my grasp if I don’t turn my palms upward, cupped in open, reverent trust toward the Almighty.

In the novel, A Promise in Pieces by Emily Wierenga, that’s what happens to main character Clara’s parents at the helm of World War II. Though, I should add, they had far better reason to wrap their trembling hands so tightly around their only living daughter. Nevertheless, valid reason or not, she slipped out the window and through their fingers one night, bound and determined to serve as a nurse in the war.

Clara had absolutely no idea how lasting the ramifications of her decision would be.

Throughout the story, Clara shares her life story in a Dodge Caravan full of relatives on a road trip across the country, to an audience which includes the captive attention of her grandson, Noah. She recounts the horrors of the war, the pain she was unable to take away, and the lives she was unable to save, no matter how hard she tried. She tells of the fear she felt when she returned home — the fear of loving anyone, for the risk that they might one day be lost to her.

As if boycotting marriage and motherhood would serve as an immunization to prevent her from ever getting the chicken pox scars of a broken heart, Clara steels herself against the contagious airborne pull of love.

Through various circumstances, Clara gradually realizes that deciding not to get married or not to have kids wasn’t the solution, either. God made sure she heard that one, loud and clear.

Through Clara’s tale of love in spite of risk, of serving in spite of the pain, of remembering in spite of the lingering ache, I was personally reminded that God alone can bind up the brokenhearted, and He can move amidst the scars.

A Promise in Pieces is not only a beautifully written book — it also challenged me to consider ways in which I am clinging too tightly to those I love, as if I have the power to protect or save. Clara’s story made me realize afresh that not only does God hold the key to every car in the parking lot and on the road, but He alone holds the key to life and death — and despite our valiant efforts, only He can save.

Kate Motaung grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan before spending ten years in Cape Town, South Africa. She is married to a South African and together they have three children. Kate is the author of the e-book, Letters to Grief, hosts the Five Minute Friday blog link-up, and has contributed to several other online publications. She blogs at Heading Home and can be found on Twitter @k8motaung.

Welcome to Ungrind!

Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?

If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.

So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!

Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor

Get Our Free Ebook!

Sign up to receive weekly emails from Ungrind and you’ll get the free ebook, Better Together. Be encouraged by stories of hope from women just like you!

Latest Articles

What Women Are Saying

"I'm in love with the conversations happening at Ungrind. The editors and writers have taken such care to develop a welcoming and authentic place on the internet for 20 and 30-somethings. When I click through the articles, a sense of connection overcomes me as I feel like the author is speaking straight to my needs as a 30-something and this makes me want to come back and interact more often. Thank you, Ungrind, for dedicating your time to encourage and lift up this generation.

-- Sarah Martin, author of Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties in a Decade of Drama

Featured Resource

"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"

-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages

Disclosure

We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.

Trending

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!

A Promise in Pieces: A Review

by Kate Motaung time to read: 2 min