Once you start reading the first chapter of this book, you are hooked. Brenda Warner starts her memoir with the tragic story of her son Zach, and what happened to him when he was merely 4 months old. You are immediately left wondering how and why and what happens next... answers she gives you as the her story continues. However, beyond the explanation of what happens, what is more important are the lessons that she learned, and most importantly, that "God has always been one call away."
Brenda Warner is the wife of Kurt Warner, retired NFL Quarterback. She and Kurt have 7 children, 2 of which were Brenda's children from a former marriage. The book tells the story of Brenda's life before she met Kurt, explains how they met, and talks about their marriage and how the NFL changed their family, for better and even for worse.
Brenda was a single mother for quite some time, and her stories of struggle resonated with me. She talks with love of her parents and her children, and you truly do feel as though you know them. Her life lessons from her parents were so valuable and really hit home: learning how to say goodbye, knowing that there are some relationships that cannot be placed, stretching money across time and debts, tuning out angry voices. Her life lessons from her faith and God are even more valuable: learning to trust God instead of men (or a man), letting God fight her battles instead of her fighting them on her own, and most importantly, learning not to tell God how to do things. (don't we all do this?)
I was moved by Brenda's story--her remarkable faith in every circumstance is an inspiration, and as she and Kurt say "all things are possible when we put first things first." Her description of the problems that they faced when Kurt joined the NFL was refreshing--we often think that money can solve everything--but that is not necessarily true. Her story truly reveals that it is not money or fame that makes things right--it is faith and God.
This is truly a wonderful story to read, and I have to say that my 14 year old daughter swiped it during the last week of summer break and read it faster than I did. She wrote her own review of the book and I'll post it here:
“One Call Away,” by Brenda Warner and Kurt Warner, published by Thomas Nelson, is a story with sad, depressing parts and happy endings.
Brenda Warner had a long life with many terrible things that happened to her that made her ask God if this was really his plan for her. With a son that becomes blind, to her having seven children, this is her own memoir about what happened and how God helped her through it. Through it all, she still found a way to trust God and let him take her life in his hands. This story just shows how bad life can be and when you think it gets worse God gives you something amazing that stays in your memory and heart forever.
I really loved this book not only because it was her story and it was such a amazing story but because she had the guts to re-tell her story to the whole world. This just shows that God is amazing and even though bad things may happen to you, He answers your prayers in unexpected ways. Brenda Warner is a brave women who has been through a lot in her life and is a wonderful Christian women.
-Zoe,14 yrs old 9th grade.
This is a must-read. Thank you Brenda for telling your story with bravery and honesty.
Preview the book here: "One Call Away--A Memoir--Answering Life's Challenges with Unshakable Faith"
Information on Brenda Warner: Brenda Warner
Brenda Warner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/WarnerBrenda
Brenda Warner's Biography: First Things First
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Brenda’s life has taken twists and turns that are stranger than fiction. It always seemed as if she was just one phone call away from the next explosive change. Each time her plans fell apart, she had a choice: would she give up, or would she press forward and learn from the unexpected? One Call Away is the inspiring story of a woman who has prevailed through many of the circumstances that discourage women: tragedy, poverty, betrayal, and humiliation. But unlike most women, her life has been on display in the media.
Brenda’s faith and God’s strength enable her to face challenge after challenge: an accident that leaves her son blind and brain damaged, a crumbling marriage, a tornado that kills her parents, a new relationship with promising football player Kurt Warner, and the pressures his sudden success brings to their growing family.
food stamps and funerals, Super Bowls and serving others, Brenda’s strength is unwavering. Her determination to dream new dreams, willingness to learn from her mistakes, and commitment to giving back to her community make her a role model for women of all backgrounds.
Her dreams haven’t materialized as she had imagined, but Brenda has found that God has a much bigger plan for her. Conversational and candid, One Call Away invites readers facing their own difficulties to trust God and discover hope in the future.
I was provided this book for free from the Thomas Nelson BookSneeze Program, in exchange for my unbiased review. Thank you BookSneeze.