Jamie Ivey’s “If You Only Knew”

book-3dI discovered Jamie Ivey about a year ago through Instagram. Someone I follow liked one of Jamie’s posts, and it popped up in my feed. Being the Instalurker I am, I scrolled through her photos and quickly discovered that she is a podcaster.

“A podcast. Huh, that’s interesting,” I thought. “Who even listens to those anymore?”

As it turns out, a lot of people listen to podcasts. In fact, millions of women (and men!) tune in to Jamie’s podcast, “The Happy Hour With Jamie Ivey” every week. I decided to download an episode and I was immediately hooked.

I’ve listened to nearly every episode of Jamie’s podcast now, and sometimes I feel like we’re real-life friends. (We’re not, and I’m sane enough to realize that. However, we’re sisters in Christ, so that’s better, right?) She and her guests have been a weekly encouragement to me. When Stephen and I started the adoption process, I went back and listened to every episode that covered adoption or foster care. (I tried convincing our adoption counselor to let me count those episodes toward my required education hours, but I was unsuccessful!) I’ve listened to Jamie speak truth and gospel week after week, and I’m constantly encouraged. I’m so thankful for Jamie and her podcast.

So, imagine my excitement when I learned that she was writing a book. I could not wait to get my hands on this book, so when I heard she was starting a launch team, I knew I had to be on it. I preordered the book, submitted the request for the launch team, and waited—impatiently—for confirmation that I was in.

One of the perks of being on the launch team is the opportunity to read the book early. Y’all, you will not want to miss this book when it’s released in January 2018. I highly recommend preordering the book so that it arrives on your doorstep (or electronically on your Kindle) on release day.

In If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free, Jamie practically shouts this message from the rooftop: Jesus is better.

That’s the theme of her book. In this memoir, Jamie recounts her struggles with sin and shame and invites her readers in to her life’s story. She writes with the same authenticity that you hear in her podcast. She’s real and honest. She urges her readers to strip away the labels they place on their own journeys (failure, cheater, addict, depressed, you fill in the blank) and reminds readers that our stories are not as unique as we think. And those labels we place on our stories? They aren’t labels from God.

When you look at your own story, maybe all you can see are the goof-ups, the mess-ups, the things you’re afraid of ever bringing up, even the parts that happened this week or this morning or five minutes before you started reading this chapter today. But if you’d turn your head to look at your story just a little bit differently, you’d see it’s actually the record of a faithful God, willing His unwilling child to return to him, loving you through all your unloveliness. — Jamie Ivey

Jamie weaves her own personal story together with truths from God’s Word. She vulnerably and beautifully shares her struggles, and by reading it, we see a clear picture of Jesus and the grace of God.

Being vulnerable—sharing our need for a Savior—points people to Jesus and not ourselves. — Jamie Ivey

Jamie reminds her readers that no one is too far gone to be rescued by God’s love and grace. She urges her readers to find their identity in Christ, not their sin or the false labels they wear.

As believers and followers of God, here’s our identity: We are women who are being cleansed, changed, and “conformed to the image of his Son” so that we look more like Him every day. We are daughters of the living God, covered in Christ’s righteousness, set apart for His own wise and merciful purposes. — Jamie Ivey

Um, can I get an Amen? Though written for women, I would encourage both women and men to read this book. Through sharing her story, Jamie gives a beautiful picture of the gospel and how God’s love, mercy and grace is better than anything else.

To pre-order If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey, visit http://ifyouonlyknewbook.net. Pre-order now and receive 20 percent off from Waterloo Style and five entries to win a 2-day getaway for two to Green Acres with travel included, a dinner with the Iveys, and a basket of Jamie’s favorite things.

Want to listen to the HAPPY HOUR but don’t know where to start? I recommend these:

Episode #66 with Amanda Jones

Episode #82 with Shay Shull

Episode #88 with Amy from the Bobby Bones Show

Episode #108 with Beth Moore (yes, *the* Beth Moore)

Episode #132 with Heather Avis

Episode #155 with Sara Hagerty

Episode #157 with Catherine Lowe

Episode #162 with Ellie Holcomb

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