When I met my husband seven years ago, I never thought he would ever become my husband. He was just a nice guy I’d met at church. It wasn’t until a year later that we actually started dating. That turned into a whirlwind romance and three weeks later, we were engaged. I’m sure everyone who has that type of fast romance won’t find that it lasts. But I am thankful ours is still going strong after five years of marriage, and I shudder to think about what life would be like without my husband.
However, that wasn’t the case for writer and speaker Juana Mikels. After just three years of marriage, she left her husband because she thought she might have married the wrong man. She set off on a search for the “right man.” Instead, she found Jesus and the desire to reconcile with her husband.
I thought Juana’s story was so intriguing that when Ambassador International gave me the opportunity to review her book, Choosing Him All Over Again: A Story of Romance & Redemption as a part of a blog tour, I couldn’t pass it up.
The book is a memoir that also includes Juana’s take on marriage and the Christian faith. In it, Juana writes candidly about how her marriage fell apart, and how God brought it back together. In the book’s Preface, she says, “by reading the whole story, you will see how God mysteriously works over the course of our lives.”
Juana tells her story in two parts (chapters one through fifteen) while the third part (the remaining five chapters) includes some of her general thoughts, as well as advice for married women. There’s also access to a free downloadable study guide.
As Juana tells her story, it comes across as honest and even funny, which makes her relatable to readers, both on a personal and spiritual level. I loved getting to read about each thought that prompted her to make certain decisions. I also appreciated the many Scriptural references. Although I didn’t agree with some of the wording in the book, I was still able find nuggets of wisdom that would benefit every married woman, especially in her “11 Checkpoints to Refresh a Marriage”.
Overall, the book was an easy read with a good story, but I thought it needed better organization. At times, the use of interviews, and quotes from other books distracted from her story and made the book hard to follow. There were also mentions of what she was doing while writing the manuscript, which I found a bit jarring. In addition, I thought the third part of the book seemed very disconnected from the first two parts. Its chapters also seemed to target different readers, which made me want to stop reading the sections that didn’t apply to me.
Despite all that, I was still able to understand the overall message of the book — that Juana’s personal relationship with God helped both her and the course of her marriage change for the better. And I think that is a wonderful testimony.