Five very personal testimonies of faith are given in But He Calls Me Blessed: When the Unbelievable Happens to Believers by Sarah Udoh. Women that stayed faithful to God or rediscovered His faithfulness, despite being vulnerable and exposed. Stories of rape, rejection, forced marriage, and barren wombs that would render the average woman bitter, depressed and strayed away from God as a loving Father who wants the best for His children.
Set in Austria these women told their story to Sarah Udoh who interviewed them and penned their narrative in relatable first-person memoirs. Unbelievable things happened, dreams turned into miracles, despite cruel circumstances. Although this may comfort the (female) audience, alarm bells went off during my reading sessions. Why wasn’t professional help sought? Why was the police not alarmed in case of rape or domestic violence? Should you simply endure everything from abusive, bullying or violent husbands, just because you uphold Christian marriage principles?
The women so desperately seeking ways to become pregnant, including all kinds of IVF treatments, medicine, etc. ‘suddenly’ hold onto a prophecy claimed to be from God directly. Numerous affirmative and inspiring Bible verses are quoted, exactly the ones that originate from a very different context than these 21st-century testimonies, and the same that can wound Christians all over the globe for being too easy answers to life’s complexities and the broken world we live in.
About the author
Sarah Udoh-Grossfurthner is a Nigerian-born writer and poet whose work covers the highs and lows of the human heart, as seen in her many writings. A writer of both poetry and prose, her writings include Pathways of Life, her 2008 book of poetry, and numerous features in TIME magazine, Genevieve, Leadership & Life Style monthly, and many other publications. Born in Southern Nigeria, her poem Mirror Image was converted into the theme song for a Nigerian breast cancer awareness concert in 2005. She holds a bachelor’s in diplomatic studies and a master’s in professional writing from the University College Falmouth, Cornwall. She is blessed with two children and currently lives and writes in Vienna.
I received a free review copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my personal, unbiased review upon reading.