When Emily Wierenga left home at the age of 18, she figured she would never return. Growing up in a strict religious home and battling every day to not fall into the eating disorder that almost took her life at the age of 13, she was desperate to find God on her own terms, in a new place. And so Emily set out across the world, through Canada, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and Central America as a student, missionary, and teacher. But it wasn’t until her mother’s brain tumour brought her home that she discovered God was waiting for her there all of the time.
Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look is a deeply personal, poignant story that will touch you right from the start. Emily Wierenga’s memoir of faith and forgiveness will resonate with every reader. With all of the brokenness in the world, it is easy to close yourself off from all of it and from God, but Wierenga’s story will bring you hope in the darkness and inspiration for your journey.
Emily starts by sharing about her childhood in the Congo and how her father’s call to missions and later to the pulpit affected the family dynamic, especially for her mother who never felt the same calling. She shares about heading to the other side of Canada to attend school and questioning her faith when she was supposed to be teaching others about it. She talks about dating her husband, going to the Middle East as a missionary, her friends and family.
But the deepest and most introspective moments come in two places. First, when she talks about battling anorexia that started at the age of 9 and within a few years had her hospitalized. And second and most importantly, when she returns home as an adult to care for her mother who is suffering from a brain tumour. It is here where she reconciles her childhood with her understanding of God as she cares for her mother the way a mother cares for a daughter.
Her story is strong enough to move you - to faith, to tears, to forgiveness, to God. But what makes this book so moving and beautiful is Emily’s writing style. It is poetic and lyrical. It is introspective, full of grace and mercy. She isn’t telling you about her life, she is inviting you into it. Rarely, do people give so much of their hearts and souls on paper as Emily does in this book.
About the Author
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including "Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look" (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books , a division of Baker Publishing Group