Wednesday, 2 March 2016

I Met Jesus at the Gym – Jenny Rumancik

About the Book: 

In this beautifully transparent and gutsy story, Jenny Rumancik guides us through the process of healing from childhood and adult traumas, opening her heart and her life in a refreshingly vulnerable manner. Born on a Hutterite colony, before leaving with her family at a young age, Jenny goes through a process of self-discovery, learning that the love of God isn't just a churchy phrase, but the true source of hope. Her faith is tested in ways that would make many consider giving up, but as Jenny seeks God, she discovers the kind of intimate encounter we all hope for.
Jenny's story includes traumatic loss, the divorce of her parents, being an unwed mother, finding the man of her dreams, and working out her faith in difficult circumstances-before meeting Jesus at the gym. Readers will be encouraged by the hope of this love story on both human and divine levels.
Jenny Rumancik lives with her husband, Shaun, and their four children on a beautiful acreage just outside of Langenburg, SK. She works as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She is very passionate about her faith and lives by the life motto of "growing in Jesus and shrinking in self..."

My Thoughts:

Reading this candid memoir, I was reminded of one of our German hymns, Nur immer fort durch und dünne, mein Jesus hat die Bahn gemacht. (Through thick and thin, but always onward, my Jesus he has paved the way) There are so many powerful moments in this book, one that stood out for me was how supportive Jenny’s Hutterite family was, even after her family left the colony, especially when her father was going through a time of severe depression, and also when he passed away. As the synopsis indicates, Jenny faces a myriad of struggles throughout her life, and through them she clings to her faith, even though at times that seems rather shaky. 

Although filled with self-doubt and reservations Jenny started nurses training. This was no easy feat, as she has to deal with crushing setback, but her perseverance and supportive family and friends help her achieve her goal and she earns her Licensed Practical Nurses Degree. And with it a much needed confidence boost.

The way Shaun and Jenny handled their situation with Child and Family Services is a lesson in meekness, patience and wisdom. Too shocked and distraught to know how to respond, they humbly credit it as the workings of the Holy Spirit, when on impulse they chose to be taken away instead of their children.

I don’t know if this was intentional, but this book was written like a diary, long detailed paragraphs with some quotes sprinkled in. However, I would have liked to see more dialogue as that always enhances a story; gives the characters a voice and makes the story more dynamic. Hearing Jenny converse with her grandmother or even children engaging in some delightful chatter would have added another rich layer to this beautiful memoir.

We often hear people say they’d like to read more books about life on a Hutterite colony or even about families who have left the colony. This is an honest look at one family’s decision to leave the sheltered, secure communal life and struggle to find their way in mainstream society.

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