One Call Away; Answering Life’s Challenges with Unshakable Faith by Brenda Warner with Jennifer Schuchmann is a memoir by the wife of NFL player Kurt Warner.
The book should be titled How to say you’re a Christian, make really bad life choices and give God a teensy bit of the credit when nice things happen to you.
Brenda Warner grew up in a blue collar working class home with parents who passionately loved each other and their children (Brenda has one sister). The entire family came to Christ when Brenda was a teen but, except for that moment in time when she walked the aisle, there is little in her life story to show a commitment to Christ.
After high school Brenda joined the Marines where she said she eventually “rationalized” giving up her virginity because, “everyone was doing it.”
Although her boyfriend warned her that he had had brain surgery and the drugs he was on affected him, Brenda moved in with him, married him and had a baby with him (in that order). Neil (unable to work because of the drugs or a bad attitude…readers are never sure which) stays home to take care of the baby but apparently doesn’t do a great job because he drops the baby in the bathtub resulting in permanent brain damage. Even though her husband initially lies about the accident causing his son to suffer through days of unnecessary tests while doctors try to determine what is wrong with him and even though Brenda insinuates that it might have been deliberate abuse, she remains with Neil and decides it is time to have another baby.
In the middle of that pregnancy Neils mood swings and really awful behavior finally prove too much for Brenda and she divorces him.
Readers follow Brenda as she struggles through life as a single mom (we are told frequently throughout the book how “strong” she was as a single mom juggling college and parenthood).
Still, Brenda and her mom still find time to go dancing regularly at a country western bar and it is there Brenda meets a handsome college football star Kurt Warner. Kurt is not a Christian when they meet but Brenda dates him and has sex with him while pressuring him to commit his life to God before they really get committed.
One terrible phone call Brenda receives is from her sister telling her that both their parents had been killed in an Arkansas tornado.
The other bad news Brenda receives throughout the book is often tied to Brenda choosing to do what feels good at the moment and ignoring the advice of those who love her (when she first moved in with Neil her mother told her, “Nice Christian girls don’t do that).
Eventually Kurt does commit his life to Christ (he has to break it to Brenda-the-Christian that sleeping together before marriage is a sin) the two of them marry and have five more children together.
Kurt’s income increases into the millions, they establish a charitable foundation and they enjoy giving God the glory for the lifestyle they enjoy.
I kept waiting for Brenda to share how differently they are raising their children now that they are committed to God or how she has looked back on her life and realized that God could have kept her from some really terrible relationships/tragedies if she had obeyed His word, but there is little humility or wisdom in this book.
I got to see Brenda in person at the Seattle Washington Woman of Faith event. Read my impressions of her there.
I got a copy of this book to review from Book Sneeze.