cover image Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying so Hard

Nothing to Prove: Why We Can Stop Trying so Hard

Jennie Allen. Waterbrook, $22.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60142-961-2

Allen (Anything and Restless), founder of If:Gathering, writes on a theme many women will recognize: a feeling of never measuring up to unrealistic standards of happiness and serenity. She shares her own lifelong struggles of feeling never quite “enough” for whatever challenge or task is set before her and uses biblical paradoxes to explain how natural and common such emotions are. Allen implores readers to understand that, of course, no one can handle all challenges in life alone, and that Jesus is more than enough for faithful readers to lean on during tough times. Rather than live in angst, anxiety, and a perpetual state of inadequacy, Allen exhorts Christ-followers to embrace their various lacks and lean all the more heavily upon Jesus to make up the difference. Readers will enjoy the lively stories Allen shares from her own life, including a car trip with friends that ended with Allen spilling everything about her inadequacies to them over burgers. In the second section of the book she dips into biblical accounts while offering takeaway thoughts, challenges, and a brief prayer. Accessible and candid, Allen’s work is sure to find an audience far beyond the many If:Gathering faithful. (Jan.)