Review by: Lee Ann B. Marino
Review of: Big Valley (A positive guide for getting through the tough times in life based on wisdom gained through personal experiences and drawing on the wisdom unlocked from Psalm 84)
Author: Julie Harvey
Publisher: ETA Publishing House (May 3, 2013)
Summary (from back cover): Come on a journey of discovery in order to find out the spiritual riches that God has waiting for you! Learn to rejoice in hard times, seeing them as your training ground – necessary places that help us mature into the people God wants and needs us to be! Learn to endure the parched places in your life, to ultimately uncover God’s fruitful land! This book will show you that you can survive your valley experiences and learn to enjoy them, too! Why? Because in them, God is preparing you for your Mountain Tops!
I have known the author of Big Valley for quite a few years and I must say how excited we all were when she successfully published this, her first book. Having watched her blog, “Called and Purpose ‘Full’” (http://calledandpurposefull.blogspot.com/) develop and expand, it was a great thrill to see her become a published author.
The idea behind Big Valley reminded me a lot of the Christian classic, Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard, because the whole concept of the Big Valley is based on an allegory for our own lives. Even better, however, than the entire context of the book being written as a fictional allegory (as is Hinds Feet on High Places), Julie Harvey’s Big Valley is written in an everyday, non-fiction, easy-to-read style that relates real life experiences and examples that every one of us can identify with and relate to. The concept of the valley represents the dry, difficult, and hard times that each of us goes through as we persevere to hold on to faith even though we do not see anything ahead and we do not understand why we are going through what we are going through. The author of the book takes us through possible reasons for our valley experiences, the need for discipline and focus on our journey, the process of transformation, the process to our purpose, endurance, knowing God is with us, and many, many more exciting parallels between natural peaks and valleys and our own walk with God.
The reader of Big Valley walks away with a true sense of encouragement and hope, and knows they must press forward, no matter what they see or how difficult the process may be. I believe the author has learned, both from study and personal experience, that as we all go through our own valleys and rough, difficult terrain, a promise awaits us on the other side. It is definitely recommended reading for anyone who is on their journey and seeks to better understand how they got where they are, understand where they are, and see the promise of where they are going.