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Walking Through Fire: A Memoir of Loss and Redemption

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The astonishing, Job-like story of how an existence filled with loss, suffering, questioning, and anger became a life filled with shocking and incomprehensible peace and joy. Vaneetha Risner contracted polio as an infant, was misdiagnosed, and lived with widespread paralysis. She lived in and out of the hospital for ten years and, after each stay, would return to a life fil The astonishing, Job-like story of how an existence filled with loss, suffering, questioning, and anger became a life filled with shocking and incomprehensible peace and joy. Vaneetha Risner contracted polio as an infant, was misdiagnosed, and lived with widespread paralysis. She lived in and out of the hospital for ten years and, after each stay, would return to a life filled with bullying. When she became a Christian, though, she thought things would get easier, and they did: carefree college days, a dream job in Boston, and an MBA from Stanford where she met and married a classmate. But life unraveled. Again. She had four miscarriages. Her son died because of a doctor's mistake. And Vaneetha was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, meaning she would likely become a quadriplegic. And then her husband betrayed her and moved out, leaving her to raise two adolescent daughters alone. This was not the abundant life she thought God had promised her. But, as Vaneetha discovered, everything she experienced was designed to draw her closer to Christ as she discovered "that intimacy with God in suffering can be breathtakingly beautiful."


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The astonishing, Job-like story of how an existence filled with loss, suffering, questioning, and anger became a life filled with shocking and incomprehensible peace and joy. Vaneetha Risner contracted polio as an infant, was misdiagnosed, and lived with widespread paralysis. She lived in and out of the hospital for ten years and, after each stay, would return to a life fil The astonishing, Job-like story of how an existence filled with loss, suffering, questioning, and anger became a life filled with shocking and incomprehensible peace and joy. Vaneetha Risner contracted polio as an infant, was misdiagnosed, and lived with widespread paralysis. She lived in and out of the hospital for ten years and, after each stay, would return to a life filled with bullying. When she became a Christian, though, she thought things would get easier, and they did: carefree college days, a dream job in Boston, and an MBA from Stanford where she met and married a classmate. But life unraveled. Again. She had four miscarriages. Her son died because of a doctor's mistake. And Vaneetha was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, meaning she would likely become a quadriplegic. And then her husband betrayed her and moved out, leaving her to raise two adolescent daughters alone. This was not the abundant life she thought God had promised her. But, as Vaneetha discovered, everything she experienced was designed to draw her closer to Christ as she discovered "that intimacy with God in suffering can be breathtakingly beautiful."

30 review for Walking Through Fire: A Memoir of Loss and Redemption

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    This book is remarkable. It is honest and raw, yet filled with hope and joy. I laughed and I cried. Vaneetha's story is at times heartbreaking, but her joy and amazing sense of humor are palpable throughout the book. Vaneetha's memoir will provide inspiration and hope to all who read it, but throughout you'll be aware that she is a real woman with real struggles. I particularly appreciated that she was forthright with her struggles as a parent of teenage daughters. Vaneetha doesn't set herself u This book is remarkable. It is honest and raw, yet filled with hope and joy. I laughed and I cried. Vaneetha's story is at times heartbreaking, but her joy and amazing sense of humor are palpable throughout the book. Vaneetha's memoir will provide inspiration and hope to all who read it, but throughout you'll be aware that she is a real woman with real struggles. I particularly appreciated that she was forthright with her struggles as a parent of teenage daughters. Vaneetha doesn't set herself up as a mentor or teacher or expert, she shares real struggles and failures, raw conversations, and honest questions. Read this book. Be encouraged. Be inspired. Be reminded that God loves you and will never leave you.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    What a powerful memoir. Risner leans heavily in her faith. She has needed that conviction to carry her through very dark times. Debilitating health issues, death of a child, a cheating spouse, and angry daughters, she survived it all. I read this book after having a frustrating day, but nothing compared to what she has endured. Although physically weak, she has been very strong. I think she was too kind To forgive her lout of an ex husband, but that's her business. If anyone thinks they have it What a powerful memoir. Risner leans heavily in her faith. She has needed that conviction to carry her through very dark times. Debilitating health issues, death of a child, a cheating spouse, and angry daughters, she survived it all. I read this book after having a frustrating day, but nothing compared to what she has endured. Although physically weak, she has been very strong. I think she was too kind To forgive her lout of an ex husband, but that's her business. If anyone thinks they have it horrible, read this book, you'll be hard pressed to beat what the author has experienced. Thanks to Edelweiss and Thomas Nelson for the early read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    Finished in one day. Highly recommend this memoir.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This book is a compulsive read that had me lamenting and praising in turn. I started the book at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, and other than a break to refill my coffee cup, I didn't move from my chair until I turned the last page around 3 in the afternoon. This is a story of how God gives and takes away and gives again in the author's life, and it's a story of the goodness and glory of God himself through every step of her journey. Preorder a copy today and add it to your TBR pile! (Note: My rev This book is a compulsive read that had me lamenting and praising in turn. I started the book at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, and other than a break to refill my coffee cup, I didn't move from my chair until I turned the last page around 3 in the afternoon. This is a story of how God gives and takes away and gives again in the author's life, and it's a story of the goodness and glory of God himself through every step of her journey. Preorder a copy today and add it to your TBR pile! (Note: My review is based on an advance copy of the proofs that I received from the publisher. I received no remuneration of any kind for this review.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alanna Linden

    Part way thru and love that a book this easy to read has so much depth. This is a true story and great memoir.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Excellent book. Very heartfelt and and truthful.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    A super honest, relatable, and inspiring memoir from a woman who has experienced suffering in a myriad of ways, but has chosen to look to God for her hope and help. I related to her story on so many levels: her loss of a child, the heartache in her marriage, and the loneliness of raising kids unsupported. She's so honest with the good, bad, and the ugly that you just feel as if she is a kindred spirit. Her beautiful heart...and faith...shine through on every page. A super honest, relatable, and inspiring memoir from a woman who has experienced suffering in a myriad of ways, but has chosen to look to God for her hope and help. I related to her story on so many levels: her loss of a child, the heartache in her marriage, and the loneliness of raising kids unsupported. She's so honest with the good, bad, and the ugly that you just feel as if she is a kindred spirit. Her beautiful heart...and faith...shine through on every page.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Skip Sanders

    This one came out of nowhere and hit me like a sledgehammer. The premise is simple it starts as a young girl and her life is one painful trial after another. A true modern day Job, this is about a God who seemingly slays her, yet , somehow, she learn to trust. She’s written such a raw memoir mixed with hope. She allows you to walk alongside her through her perils and let’s you look inside her heart. And your heart will truly ache. The inner struggles she shares are some we never imagine pushing This one came out of nowhere and hit me like a sledgehammer. The premise is simple it starts as a young girl and her life is one painful trial after another. A true modern day Job, this is about a God who seemingly slays her, yet , somehow, she learn to trust. She’s written such a raw memoir mixed with hope. She allows you to walk alongside her through her perils and let’s you look inside her heart. And your heart will truly ache. The inner struggles she shares are some we never imagine pushing through. All the while trying to hold it together and love the people around her. There are poignant scenes and daily struggles she shares and her writing is smoothe and effortless. This is one you can’t put down, almost like you can’t look away, but again it is mixed with hope and community and love. And her words have power because you can’t deny what she’s walked through is fire. 4.5/5 stars

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Captivating, Encouraging, and Challenging Just finished listening to the audio version of this book, read by the author, as I await my pre-ordered hard copy of the title. What a privilege to be drawn into this compelling and transparent journey of Vaneetha’s life, as she walks her readers through the deep physical, emotional, and spiritual valleys she has experienced. And what joy can be found in the faithful and sovereign God who meets her in her suffering, walks with her, carries her, and gives Captivating, Encouraging, and Challenging Just finished listening to the audio version of this book, read by the author, as I await my pre-ordered hard copy of the title. What a privilege to be drawn into this compelling and transparent journey of Vaneetha’s life, as she walks her readers through the deep physical, emotional, and spiritual valleys she has experienced. And what joy can be found in the faithful and sovereign God who meets her in her suffering, walks with her, carries her, and gives her strength, perseverance, and hope in the midst of her pain and sorrow. This work is raw, vulnerable, and poignant, yet offers great encouragement to fellow sufferers as well as those who come alongside those who are suffering. A helpful book to keep on hand, and buy a few extra to give to those in your life who are hurting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ashlyn

    Highly recommend this book. Full of honesty and vulnerability. Vaneetha’s story really tugged on my heart and made me cry at times. I was especially touched by how she grieved honestly through all of the pain and heartbreak she’s experienced. Such a strong testimony of the Lord's work in her life. I learned so much from her story. What it looks like to be honest and raw with emotions, how to lament, the importance of scripture memory, and what forgiveness practically looks like. Highly recommend this book. Full of honesty and vulnerability. Vaneetha’s story really tugged on my heart and made me cry at times. I was especially touched by how she grieved honestly through all of the pain and heartbreak she’s experienced. Such a strong testimony of the Lord's work in her life. I learned so much from her story. What it looks like to be honest and raw with emotions, how to lament, the importance of scripture memory, and what forgiveness practically looks like.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Tsipouras

    We often hear "Your suffering is small compared to..." and don't draw any comfort from it. In this case it's true. I can not imagine going through all Vaneesha went through and still be happy and still trust in God. It's an impressive and honest memoir that makes you feel for her and makes you see our own problems in a different light. We often hear "Your suffering is small compared to..." and don't draw any comfort from it. In this case it's true. I can not imagine going through all Vaneesha went through and still be happy and still trust in God. It's an impressive and honest memoir that makes you feel for her and makes you see our own problems in a different light.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    Loved this book. So thankful to read very similar questions I have also asked about suffering. That could only happen with an authentic author. This book is wonderful and shows depth of sorrow, hard questions, raw emotions, but it brings you face to face with hope. It’s beautiful and I highly recommend it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Burton

    Although she lived a life that was full of trials and suffering, Vaneetha shows us what it means to grieve with hope. Invaluable to anyone who is walking through a difficult time or knows someone who is.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Vaneetha is a very strong woman. I am glad that she moved on from her first husband. I appreciate her ability to keep her faith and deal with all the heartbreak in her life.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    "It is purposelessness, not sorrow, that squelches joy." "It is purposelessness, not sorrow, that squelches joy."

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lena Morrison

    I’d been wanting to read this book for quite some time. And now that I did, I will honestly recommend it to everyone, especially to Christian people. Vaneetha is so unflinchingly honest. Not only does she detail the circumstances that occurred to her (her polio and post-polio syndrome, the death of her infant son and all her miscarriages, and the horrible double unfaithfulness of her husband) but she also acknowledges the wounds she inflicted on her two beloved daughters. It is this honesty that I’d been wanting to read this book for quite some time. And now that I did, I will honestly recommend it to everyone, especially to Christian people. Vaneetha is so unflinchingly honest. Not only does she detail the circumstances that occurred to her (her polio and post-polio syndrome, the death of her infant son and all her miscarriages, and the horrible double unfaithfulness of her husband) but she also acknowledges the wounds she inflicted on her two beloved daughters. It is this honesty that prompts me to recommend this book. She doesn’t offer a sanitized view of reality. Her own story only gets a partial “happy ending” (on this side of the new heavens and new earth). But she shares how lament brought her closer to God and eventually enabled her to forgive others and trust God’s love for her. There is no answer for suffering. But there is God with us, comforting us and bringing good out of evil. If there is anything I learned from Vaneetha’s wonderful story, it is that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    This profoundly moving memoir tells the story of Vaneetha Rendall Risner's life, and how God has been with her in the midst of excruciating loss, physical suffering, and emotional pain. Because of the heavy topics that this book covers, people with similar trauma stories should be aware of the ways that this book might be triggering for them, but Risner writes about her life in a way that is deeply engaging for anyone, making it very difficult to put this book down. When I first picked this up, This profoundly moving memoir tells the story of Vaneetha Rendall Risner's life, and how God has been with her in the midst of excruciating loss, physical suffering, and emotional pain. Because of the heavy topics that this book covers, people with similar trauma stories should be aware of the ways that this book might be triggering for them, but Risner writes about her life in a way that is deeply engaging for anyone, making it very difficult to put this book down. When I first picked this up, I thought that I was just going to read a chapter or two, but I read the book all the way through in one night, going to bed in the wee hours. An Unforgettable Story This is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Risner writes with tremendous pathos and honesty about her polio disability, her miscarriages, her husband's adultery, the loss of her son to medical mismanagement, chronic pain and fears for the future, the dissolution of her marriage, and the parenting challenges that she faced after her husband abandoned their family. Throughout the book, she weaves in different elements of her life story while keeping the chronology of events clear, and she writes with precise and vivid detail, bringing people to life on the page. For example, it is obvious how deeply she and her sister love each other, because in addition to telling us how much this relationship means to her, she shows us their bond and their dynamic through vivid, dramatized scenes from the past. This book is full of personal details that bring the story to life, and Risner selected her emphases carefully. She never wastes a detail, and each element that she draws into the story has an impact on how it unfolds. I am very impressed with how well she structured this memoir, and she also made me laugh multiple times with her clever observations, humorous stories, and ability to see the funny side of life even in the midst of suffering. Despite how heavy this book is at times, it is an enjoyable and rewarding reading experience, and Risner's vivid writing brings her story to life in an unforgettable way. Raw, Unfiltered Honesty Risner writes about her life and family with unfiltered detail, but she does this with other people's permission. According to the disclaimer at the beginning of the book, she changed some names and identifying details to protect others' privacy, and in the acknowledgements, she thanks her ex-husband and daughters for supporting her in telling her story. With their blessing, she is incredibly honest and forthright about raw details from their personal struggles, and that gives this book power to change people's lives. I was particularly touched by the elements of the story related to parenting challenges, since she dramatizes on the page what other authors might only vaguely refer to. She gives a sense of the trauma that her daughters dealt with as their father left the family, and she writes about both typical and unique ways that her relationship with her girls suffered during their teenage years. Because Risner is honest about her own sins and failings, she is able to write about other people's wrongdoing without blaming them or seeming unfair, and this realistic, honest portrait of her family can be incredibly helpful to people who are walking through similar trials. Although I deeply appreciated what she wrote about her infant son's death in the late nineties, I have read other books about the loss of a child, and recognized many similar elements and themes. What she wrote about dynamics with her teenage children was incredibly different from anything that I have read before, and I greatly admire her daughters' willingness to give up this element of their privacy, letting their mother minister to others by writing with such specificity about their interactions and struggles. A Must-Read I found this entire book profoundly moving, and could not put it down. Risner writes beautifully about how God has sustained her through the fire of suffering, and she is honest about her spiritual doubts and struggles without oversimplifying life or seeming preachy. She also writes about her church experiences in a balanced, nuanced way. I found the details of how her church leadership supported her very encouraging and inspiring, but she is also honest about the struggles that she faced with feeling like other people couldn't understand her, and with having to overcome people-pleasing tendencies that made her feel overwhelmed and inadequate in the face of conflicting advice from well-meaning people. Because Walking Through Fire is so raw, authentic, and personal, I believe that people can connect with it regardless of their faith background. I would recommend this to Christians, first and foremost, but I would also encourage people who don't share the author's faith to give this a try, if they are curious about her story or have gone through something similar. This is a wonderful book for fellow sufferers, whether they have walked a similar path or struggled in different ways, and this book can also be life-changing for people who have never suffered in an extreme way, but who still need to process how God can allow suffering and still be good. This book can help people find greater peace within heartbreaking circumstances, and can help them become more understanding and caring to sufferers in their lives.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Reyna

    What a life. If you are suffering from any kind of illness, pain, or loss, the best I can do for you is to encourage you to meet other christian people who suffer, but the ones who suffer well, with faith, founded on the Rock, Christ and His Word. Otherwise you may pass out and you will want to quit, thinking that you are "the only person in the world" who has so many "problems" or pain. Vaneetha has been a lovely example for me from through the distance and even when she doesn´t know me I feel What a life. If you are suffering from any kind of illness, pain, or loss, the best I can do for you is to encourage you to meet other christian people who suffer, but the ones who suffer well, with faith, founded on the Rock, Christ and His Word. Otherwise you may pass out and you will want to quit, thinking that you are "the only person in the world" who has so many "problems" or pain. Vaneetha has been a lovely example for me from through the distance and even when she doesn´t know me I feel that I love her. Since her book "The scars that have shaped me" I have felt her as a friend living in another country so far away, and I´m the one who prays for her through the distance. This book is a bit different because it is like an autobiography, you will find more details of how it got to where it stands today. Personally, I enjoyed "The scars that have shaped me" a lot and this one helped me to understand how that process and what lead her to where she is today. I am grateful to God for Vaneetha's life and everything she shares encourages me to think that her existence has an eternal and glorious purpose, even in the lives of people like me, whom she will never meet, and she has encouraged and shared hope in the middle of chaos. Her pain has a purpose, at least for me, and her fidelity in the midst of tears, valleys, and loneliness too. I would love to meet her one day and give her a very strong hug, and simply say: thank you, for being with me in my room, in bed, in the midst of my own tears, illness, heartbreak, and pain. Thanks for writing, for being there. Allowing God to break you will bear fruit. This book is a gift for people who love Christ and want to remain faithful even though everything seems to collapse around them. Consider getting this book even if you are not walking through fire right now, because someday the most certain thing is that you will. I hope they will translate it into Spanish soon, one of my dreams is to help translate some of the books that I review in English first and that I like, inspire or encourage.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Charis

    After contracting polio as a child, living in and out of the hospital for ten years, suffering bullying throughout school, going through four miscarriages and the death of her son, being diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, and being betrayed and left by her husband, many would wonder how Vaneetha Risner has a heart so full of joy. In a Job-like narrative, Risner shares her life and testimony, living proof that suffering can lead to a beautiful place full of God’s abundance for the ones he treasu After contracting polio as a child, living in and out of the hospital for ten years, suffering bullying throughout school, going through four miscarriages and the death of her son, being diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, and being betrayed and left by her husband, many would wonder how Vaneetha Risner has a heart so full of joy. In a Job-like narrative, Risner shares her life and testimony, living proof that suffering can lead to a beautiful place full of God’s abundance for the ones he treasures. Through storytelling and reflection, Risner brings light to eternity, and that this life’s suffering is only for a time. Risner’s path to intimacy with Christ proved to be full of pain and trials, but every time she asked God for the strength to persist, she became filled with his unfathomable peace. This memoir is a stunning piece of writing that beautifully tells of God’s ultimate design and unfailing faithfulness. In Risner’s words, “Life is a journey, yes, but only if there’s a destination. I’m on my way to my father’s house, and I absolutely cannot wait for the party. When I get there, I will jog, run, sprint, race, and finally leap into the arms of my savior.” Anyone going through trials of their own, those seeking what true intimacy with God looks like, and those looking for an all-around inspiring story of a sister in Christ would enjoy this memoir. In the end, Risner always makes sure that her story centers around God, and not herself. Risner’s life is a wonderful picture on how God uses suffering to draw the ones he loves closer to him. Speckled throughout with Risner’s journal entries, prayers, and verses she found precious, Walking Through Fire is a masterpiece of beauty that shows what joys can ultimately be found in this life through Christ’s redemption.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    I read Vaneetha’s previous book a few years ago, and still recommend that for those walking through suffering. I appreciate her honesty in her writing, and willingness to be open, even when it reflects negatively on her. She says the quiet thoughts out loud, but makes it clear that God can handle our doubts, anger, frustrations when He continues to allow suffering. Vaneetha uses her own experiences to show this, but she doesn’t leave the reader in a state of despair- she highlights Psalms and ot I read Vaneetha’s previous book a few years ago, and still recommend that for those walking through suffering. I appreciate her honesty in her writing, and willingness to be open, even when it reflects negatively on her. She says the quiet thoughts out loud, but makes it clear that God can handle our doubts, anger, frustrations when He continues to allow suffering. Vaneetha uses her own experiences to show this, but she doesn’t leave the reader in a state of despair- she highlights Psalms and other verses to come back to God’s promises, so she shares the Hope that can be found in the midst of these unbearable circumstances- or her 3 Ds (Divorce, Disability, Death.) This book is written for the person suffering, and not just in the area of the 3 Ds-could be anything, and this is why it appealed to me, it’s been a difficult year. Some quotes I thought were good- -“Suffering- not suffering itself, but turning to God in suffering—gave me an experience of God that was transformative. And breathtakingly beautiful.” -“Even if the worst happens, God will not change. God’s Grace will be sufficient. God will carry us. And he will never leave us.” -“Giving my cruelest suffering to God has softened me. It has worn off the sharp edges of my critical and judgmental spirit and drawn me to the Lord. I don’t need to prove myself to others, to measure up to their expectations, or to define myself by their words. My identity is in Christ.” And the verse she shared that I love so much- Isaiah 43:2-“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Kidwell

    Walking Through Fire A Memoir of Loss and Redemption by Vaneetha Rendall Risner Nelson Books Thomas Nelson Biographies & Memoirs | Christian | Religion & Spirituality Pub Date 19 Jan 2021 I am reviewing a copy of Walking Through Fire via Nelson Books and Netgalley: Vaneetha Risner contacted Polio as an infant, she was misdiagnosed and lived with widespread paralysis. She was in and out of the hospital for ten years and after each stay she would endure a life filled with bullying. After she became a Chri Walking Through Fire A Memoir of Loss and Redemption by Vaneetha Rendall Risner Nelson Books Thomas Nelson Biographies & Memoirs | Christian | Religion & Spirituality Pub Date 19 Jan 2021 I am reviewing a copy of Walking Through Fire via Nelson Books and Netgalley: Vaneetha Risner contacted Polio as an infant, she was misdiagnosed and lived with widespread paralysis. She was in and out of the hospital for ten years and after each stay she would endure a life filled with bullying. After she became a Christian she thought things would get easier, and they did: carefree college days, a dream job in Boston, and an MBA from Stanford where she met and married a classmate. Sadly her life unraveled once more, she had four miscarriages, her son died due to a doctors mistake. And Vaneetha herself was diagnosed with Post Polio Syndrome that would likely become a quadriplegic. After that her husband betrayed her and moved out, leaving her to raise two adolescent daughters alone. Vaneetha was not experiencing the abundant life she thought God had promised her. But Vaneetha discovered, everything she experienced was designed to draw her closer to Christ as she discovered “that intimacy with God in suffering can be breathtakingly beautiful.” If you are looking for a powerful biography about praising God in the midst of the storm. I highly recommend Walking Through Fire. I give Walking Through Fire five out of five stars! Happy Reading!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    It did not take long to get into the book. Once that happened I had to keep reading. Vaneetha has experienced loss beginning with polio as a child. She continues to live with the effects of polio. She experienced the death of her infant son from a heart defect. Then the hurt of betrayal in her marriage. In this book, she shares the losses that she has experienced but also the joy and blessings from the Lord. She shares her struggles. She does not write as a victim but as a victor. She admits to It did not take long to get into the book. Once that happened I had to keep reading. Vaneetha has experienced loss beginning with polio as a child. She continues to live with the effects of polio. She experienced the death of her infant son from a heart defect. Then the hurt of betrayal in her marriage. In this book, she shares the losses that she has experienced but also the joy and blessings from the Lord. She shares her struggles. She does not write as a victim but as a victor. She admits to times when she reacted and needed to apologize. She learned to lament and take the pain to God. I found this book so encouraging for me personally. My pain and loss is different but seeing how she trusts God and praises him encourages me to do the same. Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book to review. The review and opinion is all my own.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve been following Vaneetha for many years. I think I first discovered her on Desiring God and then I would read her blog. Her writings have helped me through some very tough times with my marriage. I’ve been married 10 years, and it’s been hard since the beginning. What Vaneetha had to go through... wow... what a testimony. And what a wonderful story of God at work and His redemptive power. I have 2 girls, ages 3 and 5, and I’m encouraged to read how she trained up her children. It wasn’t perf I’ve been following Vaneetha for many years. I think I first discovered her on Desiring God and then I would read her blog. Her writings have helped me through some very tough times with my marriage. I’ve been married 10 years, and it’s been hard since the beginning. What Vaneetha had to go through... wow... what a testimony. And what a wonderful story of God at work and His redemptive power. I have 2 girls, ages 3 and 5, and I’m encouraged to read how she trained up her children. It wasn’t perfect and it didn’t need to be. God covered them, and her children did not depart from what their mother taught them. They grew to love the Lord! I loved every part of the book, especially when she found someone who loved her like Christ. So much heartache and so much joy. I’m praying for a breakthrough for my story too. This book was such a blessing to me.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Smith

    Wow! What a raw and vulnerable story of great suffering and betrayal, but not without hope or joy! I finished this in a day. I will admit many parts of the story felt so exposed that I was wondering if it was wrong for me to read! Vaneetha was so real and didn’t just bring a scriptural response for all her suffering. She was real and her words allowed me to not feel like I have to suffer perfectly to seek God, but surprisingly quite the opposite! This did feel very heavy to read and times I could Wow! What a raw and vulnerable story of great suffering and betrayal, but not without hope or joy! I finished this in a day. I will admit many parts of the story felt so exposed that I was wondering if it was wrong for me to read! Vaneetha was so real and didn’t just bring a scriptural response for all her suffering. She was real and her words allowed me to not feel like I have to suffer perfectly to seek God, but surprisingly quite the opposite! This did feel very heavy to read and times I could relate so well that I had to put the book down and didn’t want to be challenged. But kept going and now have such a softer heart towards my own suffering and how to draw near to the Lord who is already near to me. I was definitely not expecting this book to have as much impact on me as it did!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was a tough book to read. Vaneetha Rendall Risner has faced disability, the death of a child, abandonment by her husband, chronic pain, and struggles with her children. In “Walking Through Fire,” she shares honestly about each of these hardships. But she also shares the “reason for the hope” that is in her (1 Peter 3:15), reminding all of us that God is with us in our hard times and He does have a purpose for our suffering. “Many spend their lives worrying, endlessly asking, what if the wors This was a tough book to read. Vaneetha Rendall Risner has faced disability, the death of a child, abandonment by her husband, chronic pain, and struggles with her children. In “Walking Through Fire,” she shares honestly about each of these hardships. But she also shares the “reason for the hope” that is in her (1 Peter 3:15), reminding all of us that God is with us in our hard times and He does have a purpose for our suffering. “Many spend their lives worrying, endlessly asking, what if the worst happens? That question only breeds fear. Rather than asking unanswerable questions, we should turn our doubts into declarations. Even if the worst happens, God will not change. God’s grace will be sufficient. God will carry us. And He will never leave us.”

  26. 5 out of 5

    Georgia Herod

    Risner vulnerably and candidly shares her life story that has been full of suffering, pain and loss, but also deep joy and redemption, as she has submitted herself to her loving Father God. In spite of having walked through the death of an infant son, disease (polio and post-polio syndrome), and divorce, she not only emerges through each, but she does so triumphantly--and makes it her goal to encourage others and give hope in the midst of whatever trials they may face. I first encountered Vanee Risner vulnerably and candidly shares her life story that has been full of suffering, pain and loss, but also deep joy and redemption, as she has submitted herself to her loving Father God. In spite of having walked through the death of an infant son, disease (polio and post-polio syndrome), and divorce, she not only emerges through each, but she does so triumphantly--and makes it her goal to encourage others and give hope in the midst of whatever trials they may face. I first encountered Vaneetha Risner through her blog, “Dancin’ in the Rain,” and eagerly read her memoir. I finished reading with renewed faith in the God who loves and heals His broken children.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I read this book in one sitting, alternating between laughter and pouring tears. I had read Vaneetha's other book and was excited to get this one as well. I'm so thankful Vaneetha found her vulnerability and shared it with all who would stop to hear. I'm thankful for her tenacious faith. Mostly I'm thankful for who she is and who Jesus has made her to be and that she shares with the world. I wondered if my pain was too small to matter compared with Vanessa's, but her kindness and faith level the g I read this book in one sitting, alternating between laughter and pouring tears. I had read Vaneetha's other book and was excited to get this one as well. I'm so thankful Vaneetha found her vulnerability and shared it with all who would stop to hear. I'm thankful for her tenacious faith. Mostly I'm thankful for who she is and who Jesus has made her to be and that she shares with the world. I wondered if my pain was too small to matter compared with Vanessa's, but her kindness and faith level the ground because she stands at the feet of the cross (where the level ground makes us all equal and means anyone can access it).

  28. 5 out of 5

    BrontëKas

    “I am convinced that suffering is inevitable but despair is not.” Walking Through Fire was very well written. At one point in the book, Vaneetha Rendall Risner admits that her first writing class, as an adult, was a disaster. Reading this, however, you’d never know there was a day she couldn’t write! I was captivated, hanging on every gospel-filled word. I was encouraged by her honesty. As she pulled me into her story of suffering and joy (yes, joy!) I felt like she was a companion in my own suf “I am convinced that suffering is inevitable but despair is not.” Walking Through Fire was very well written. At one point in the book, Vaneetha Rendall Risner admits that her first writing class, as an adult, was a disaster. Reading this, however, you’d never know there was a day she couldn’t write! I was captivated, hanging on every gospel-filled word. I was encouraged by her honesty. As she pulled me into her story of suffering and joy (yes, joy!) I felt like she was a companion in my own suffering and joy (yes, joy!) as we trust in the same God to hold us. I believe this book would be an encouragement to anyone!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sue-Lin Toussaint

    incredibly powerful read My first instinct is to buy this book for two people I know. I might buy 5 copies and just give them out. My sister has already finished it. This is an unpopular message. It’s for those willing to find the resurrected Christ through death. This book is for those who want to “know Christ in His suffering” as Paul did. And yet, it’s the most hopeful book I’ve read in a long time. I feel set free reading about the depths of love Vaneetha experienced because of her willingne incredibly powerful read My first instinct is to buy this book for two people I know. I might buy 5 copies and just give them out. My sister has already finished it. This is an unpopular message. It’s for those willing to find the resurrected Christ through death. This book is for those who want to “know Christ in His suffering” as Paul did. And yet, it’s the most hopeful book I’ve read in a long time. I feel set free reading about the depths of love Vaneetha experienced because of her willingness to seek God in the pain. I stayed up late to finish it, and I’m not sorry I did!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Moriah Groves

    “He’s the courage in your veins, the drumbeat of the brave in your heart, and the resilient grit in your every rising and your every step forward.” In a story of hope, resilience, and faith, Vaneetha points to how God walks faithfully beside her in every heartbreak, pain, and triumph. Her memoir, written amidst substantial hardship, acts as an encouragement and reminder that what we suffer in this life is not without gain - it is an opportunity to witness the presence of our loving Father. This b “He’s the courage in your veins, the drumbeat of the brave in your heart, and the resilient grit in your every rising and your every step forward.” In a story of hope, resilience, and faith, Vaneetha points to how God walks faithfully beside her in every heartbreak, pain, and triumph. Her memoir, written amidst substantial hardship, acts as an encouragement and reminder that what we suffer in this life is not without gain - it is an opportunity to witness the presence of our loving Father. This book is for anyone who feels weighed down by the suffering of a world scarred by sin. It is for the one who seeks hope in a God who comforts His children.

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