Review of The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman

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The Next Right Thing was repeatedly recommended by many authors I admire. This book closely followed my reading of Suffering is Never For Nothing, in which, Elisabeth Elliot proclaims, “Just do the next right thing!” when faced with grief or heartache. Always a supporter of a fellow Emily and eager to hear what this book had to offer, I embarked with my new friend Emily P. Freeman.

What I loved about The Next Right Thing was it’s emphasis on reading your own story along with tips of spiritual direction formed into beautifully crafted sentences. If you follow me on twitter, you are more than aware I found so many lines in this book striking both in their content and form as I tweeted quote after quote after quote. (You’re so very welcome.)

If you don’t take time to admit what you most long for, decisions will still need to be made. But instead of stepping forward in self-awareness, you’ll base your decision on external things like expectations, habit, or some other external pressure.

In discovering purpose and making key decisions, Freeman illustrates the value of uncovering your passions, learning from your experiences, and even giving yourself the space to name your own desires. While we often think of self-discovery as a luxury, Freeman elevates this practice to a calling to know God deeper as we seek to understand more intimately how He has crafted us.

When we live our lives in a shadow of who we actually are, we miss who God really is in us.

The Next Right Thing outlines practices in discerning decisions and callings based on spiritual formation and direction, including practical steps. Freeman describes the process of finding a discernment group and leaning into them as a key resource in decision making. Each chapter is also ended with a prayer and practice for the reader to further process the content of each chapter which is wise, story based, and beautifully crafted.

As she takes on the topic of discernment, Freeman emphasizes that the journey to know our calling must first be inward before it can be outward and that God is all the more concerned with our journey as He is our outcome.

Vision and purpose have to come from a quiet place within us first.

The Next Right Thing includes wisdom of spiritual direction along with great insight of discerning one’s call or even a big decision your facing through Freeman’s gracious and practical insights, yet lacks much direct Biblical exegesis and leans more heavily on tradition. Freeman has crafted a beautiful read with memorable quotes and insights on the journey of soul searching and decision making including engaging practices and insightful prayers.