I Choose the Sky
A Scriptural Devotion for Women
By Emily Wilson
Life Teen, 2016
99 pages, $14.
To order: http://store.lifeteen.com
Eve, Ruth, Esther, the Woman at the Well: These are all biblical women whom, not long ago, I may have been able to give a surface-level explanation of without truly understanding their significance, especially to me in the 21st century. After reading Emily Wilson’s I Choose the Sky: A Scriptural Devotion for Women, however, I find myself relating to these women, and 19 others, on a regular basis.
The book, a quick-and-easy-but-compelling read, is separated into 17 sections, each of which focuses on a different woman from Scripture. The sections open with the scriptural account of the woman or women, followed by an intriguing explanation of who they were, what they stood for and how we can relate to and learn from them.
As Wilson explained, “I decided to bring their stories to life because these women have shown me how to live.” Closing each section is a prayer asking God to provide the specific virtues exemplified by the women as well as reflection questions for pondering their place in our own lives.
A traveling worship leader, speaker and musician, Wilson’s passion is, as she puts it on her blog, “helping every person she encounters recognize their identity and worth in Christ.” Having once served as a high-school campus minister, she wrote I Choose the Sky specifically for high school and college-age women. The content, however, contains a wealth of information and inspiration that anyone, male or female, can benefit from.
Wilson cleverly uses the Samaritan woman and her familiar story to acknowledge, “As women, we were born with a natural tendency to desire attention and affirmation from the opposite sex.” She then goes into an enlightening explanation of how this woman’s experience with Jesus opened her eyes to the attention and affirmation from Christ that alone can satisfy. “She leaves [her water jar] behind because she now knows what will quench her parched heart,” Wilson writes.
The section I found most powerful, however, is the one belonging to Gomer, the prostitute from the Book of Hosea. After clarifying the storyline, Wilson expands on the unremitting love that God has for each one of us, despite our sins. She lists a plethora of possible transgressions that may keep young women cowering in shame from the Lord and then states, “[T]here will never be a time that God stops loving you. There will never be a time when God stops pursuing you. I want you to know this deep down in your bones, sister. You cannot cause him to give up on you.”
As a cradle Catholic, I tend to fall into the routine motions of the faith, neglecting to reflect on the boundless depth of Christ’s persistent love. Wilson’s words served as a refreshing reminder for me.
I regret not having the insight and direction contained in I Choose the Sky when I was going through the adolescent and college years of my life. Like many young people, I spent the bulk of that period preoccupied with myself. As Wilson put it, “Choosing the sky is about deciding to look up and out — from ourselves and our own troubles — to see Christ in the every day and Christ alive in the person before us.” Fortunately, I have her book to pass on to my daughter one day.
Elizabeth Pardi writes
from Columbus, Ohio.