Now and Not Yet: Pressing in When You’re Waiting, Wanting, and Restless for More – Ruth Chou Simons

Now and Not Yet: Pressing in When You’re Waiting, Wanting, and Restless for More by Ruth Chou Simons
Also by this author: When Strivings Cease: Replacing the Gospel of Self-Improvement with the Gospel of Life-Transforming Grace
Published by Thomas Nelson on April 9, 2024
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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Bestselling author Ruth Chou Simons guides readers who are restless in their current circumstances on a journey of growth, purpose, and pressing in.

Too often, we feel disappointed with our "right now"--our life circumstances, our relationships, our progress, our daily grind. We want to do so many things--good, godly things--but our situations don't allow us to step into them. Are we missing out on our own lives? Why does right now seem so far from where we really long to be?

Bestselling author Ruth Chou Simons reminds us that it's okay to not like the right now we've been given, but we don't have to like it to lean in. In Now and Not Yet, Ruth shows us how to...

embrace the biblical truth that someday is made up of thousands of right nows;
discern how the difficult parts of our lives are actually a unique gift by discovering five ways to flip the script on a hard season;
stop feeling trapped when we are not where we want to be with guided liturgies for what we are facing today; and
live faithfully in the tension between what is and what is not yet.

Your right now matters. And you can choose to press in and not check out. To know God is at work even when you don't see the progress you're looking for. To start where you are in this very moment. Because he's not through with you yet.

Everyone has experiences of feeling like their life will never change. Transitional periods between life stages, jobs, and relationships seem to drag on forever. Suffering feels like it will never end. A more fulfilling, meaningful life remains just out of reach. In this book, Ruth Chou Simons shares honestly about her own experiences with waiting periods and disappointment, and she shares biblical truths to encourage other women who feel stuck. She validates how difficult these feelings are, and she explores themes about waiting through the details of familiar Bible stories. Each chapter concludes with a key truth (e.g., “You don’t have to be blooming to be growing”), and offers a written prayer for dealing with related struggles. The author’s art also appears at intervals throughout the book, and the book has a very attractive design.

Now and Not Yet will help Christian women wrestle through their difficult feelings in a constructive way. Chou Simons creates space for truly reflecting on and acknowledging how hard and frustrating life can be, but she also gently nudges her readers forward, helping them see God’s eternal work in their mundane, everyday lives. In one chapter, she writes, “Who you want to become won’t just happen by default. You’re shaped one day, one decision, one ordinary moment at a time. It’s the boring, everyday faithful stuff that makes a life.” She encourages readers to make the most of the season they are currently in, instead of rushing to the next thing or scorning the character-building purposes of their struggles. She also challenges readers to change the stories they tell themselves, looking for God’s goodness in their present circumstances instead of embracing an attitude of defeat.

Now and Not Yet: Pressing in When You’re Waiting, Wanting, and Restless for More is full of wisdom for living an honorable, faithful Christian life in the midst of disappointment and hardship. Even though there is nothing groundbreaking or new that the author can say, her solid biblical teaching, disarming honesty, and realistic advice will refresh many discouraged readers. My only critique is that the book felt longer than it needed to be. This might have packed an even greater punch with shorter chapters and fewer overlapping themes, but it’s still very powerful. Overall, I was impressed this book, and I would recommend it.