Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Home, Sweet Home

Rebecca Van Doodewaard, Uprooted: A Guide for Homesick Christians (Geanies House, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2012). 111 pp. Paperback. $8.00.

Reviewed by Dr. Ryan M. McGraw

Most people have moved at some point in their lives. Many will move multiple times. This means that most people are confronted with the difficult experience known as homesickness. In Uprooted, Rebecca Van Doodewaard treats this common problem by combining biblical counsel, personal experience, and sound common-sense wisdom. This book is not only essential because of the practical nature of its subject. It is virtually the only book that addresses this common problem.

In many respects, this work is a practical treatment of biblical contentment applied intensely to one area of life. Yet this area of life involves every other area of life. In 13 short chapters, Van Doodewaard addresses pitfalls that attend homesickness, biblical remedies for them, and surrounding and complicating factors to homesickness. Her counsel includes gems such as learning to love the unique aspects of where you live, curbing your expectations about keeping old relationships the same, how to pursue and build new friendships, helping your children adjust, and how to minister to others who are homesick. Every page is filled with the insights that only come from a believer who has prayerfully wrestled through these questions with an open Bible and an honest heart.

Our family recently moved three thousand miles from home. The Lord brought this book to us at precisely the right time. He has used it by His grace to teach us how to love our new home, how to be determined to be content to settle in it, and how to use homesickness to direct our hearts heavenward. Churches should have this book on hand to give to people new to the area, and church members should read it so that they know what newcomers experience and how to minister to them more effectively.