Review: If You Only Knew by Jamie Ivey of The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey Podcast

"If we're not careful, our whole identity can be wrapped up in what other people think we're supposed to be or what we think we're supposed to do." (148)

Title:  If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free
Author: Jamie Ivey
Publisher: B&H Publishing
Release Date:  January 30, 2018
Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir
Links*: Amazon l Goodreads l Book Depository l CBD l Itunes

What if you knew all the moments of my past that I am not proud of? What if you really knew me, the messy parts that I’ve hoped to forget and worked hard to conceal? For so long, my greatest fear was what you might think of me if you only knew the whole story.

It’s exhausting, this guarding of our stories and struggles. Fear of being found out had caused me to hide—but I wasn’t just covering my flaws, I was unintentionally blocking the beauty of God’s grace. My journey to real freedom began when I quit running from my mess and started trusting Jesus to make something beautiful of it. 

This book is that story. It’s stepping out of shame and insecurity into gospel freedom. It’s  letting God turn our failures and frailties into testimonies of His faithfulness. I’ve discovered that when we quit hiding, God gets the glory and we are able to fully embrace not only our relationship with Him, but also with one another. 

Transparency brings freedom, and in every moment, we'll find that God can absolutely be trusted.


Authenticity is such a great thing to behold, and Jamie Ivey did so in If You Only Knew. I've never listened to her podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, so I'm not familiar with her. I was drawn to the cover and the title + tagline. If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free. Free is also one of those words that mystify in many ways. It can be taken literally or subjectively. And in this book, freedom from self packs quite the punch. 

In If You Only Knew is Jamie Ivey's story - her memoir, her vulnerabilities all written for readers to choose to gloss over or to be open to how it connects, how it mirrors and how it relates. 

"When we become women who own our stories and become vulnerable about our lives, Jesus' grace and mercy take center stage." (201)

We may not have all the same experiences, but we can find the same self-doubt and the little voices that sometimes takes hold of our hearts and minds. The author's voice is authentic in letting readers understand the journey to freedom - it's not easy but it is so rewarding.  I at first thought this would be one of those non-fiction books that will take some time in reading, but surprisingly not. It was like listening to an old friend talk, and within the short hours of lending my listening ears (eyes in this case), I was able to feel her story, and know that it's my story, in some way. It's not only her story, it's ours. It's our way of finding that freedom to be us - the vulnerable and the authentic us. Pick this one up. Trust me.

". . .my identity is not skewed because of all the things I've done or haven't done, but is secure by all the things Jesus has done (as well as by what He hasn't done, like condemn and reject me)." (154)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Image taken from Jamie's Blog
Jamie Ivey believes in women and wants big things for them. She wants them to know and believe their worth in this world and to the Father. Through her podcast, The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, she uses a raw and intimate approach to connect with her audience. Jamie’s prayer and hope is for God to use her words to encourage and show others that they are not alone, while constantly pointing them to Jesus. 

Jamie and her husband, Aaron, worship pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church, live in Austin, Texas with their four kids and two dogs.

CONNECT WITH JAMIE : Website Facebook | Twitter Instagram 

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