To find out why someone would want to join a Plain Community, you would need to read Sherry Gore's biography, The Plain Choice. There you will discover what kinds of circumstances can lead to such a choice and lead to such peace that is beyond description and understanding.
To understand Sherry's choice, you have to understand Sherry herself. She didn't have an idyllic upbringing in a loving, Amish/Mennonite family. Her childhood was spent between her mother and her father on opposite coasts, but after her father remarried, she found his home less than loving--his new wife told Sherry she didn't even like her, much less love her. When Sherry goes back to Florida, her mother tries to shuffle her out because her new husband needs space. Sherry ends up homeless until a cousin finds her living on the beach and brings her home. All this time, Sherry does not even have a speaking relationship with God. Sherry enters into a disastrous marriage with an abusive, bullying conniver who marries her because of her father's wealth. He even used their child as a weapon against her. After some soul searching, she found seh couldn't stay with him, and she had to use every bit of wits she had to get out of the marriage. From there her life takes some dramatic turns and unexpected twists. She does meet another man and marries him, and then she finds her ultimate destiny--Jesus Christ.
From there, Sherry describes her growth and her experiences in the church and her desire for a church that would meet her needs. Through a conversation with a new-found Christian friend, she finds what she needs to look for in a church. She was told, "The church is like a back brace. In the beginning your muscles are weak and it's hard to stand up straight. So you have to use the church, use those who love and support you, to grow stronger. Then one day you'll stand upright and you'll find you don't need the brace any longer. . . . Only when you are standing upright and tall yourself can you lean over and help brace the person next to you." This friend of Sherry's describes what being a Christian is all about--leaning on each other until we are all strong enough to allow others to lean on us.
There will be tears as you read this book, there are laugh out loud moments (Sherry's daughters and a ball are irresistable for a laugh), there are moments when you will nod your head and understand what Sherry is saying because you've been there too. It's all there, along with a fried pie or two--which took me back to my own childhood and the pies my mother used to make. (I just wish Sherry had posted her recipe for fried pies--that's my only criticism!)
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Sherry has bared her soul in a way that you feel like you are having tea with a close, trusted friend.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a fried pie with a cup of tea.
My thanks to Zondervan Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book!