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In a world where thorns pierce the flesh of our lives, one woman’s journey through pain, illness, and uncertainty unfolds in a story that is as raw as it is inspiring.
Meet author Julie K. Rhodes, a “non-dramatic” running mother who aspires to keep her acting career afloat and her kids educated during the pandemic. But then something unexpected happens, throwing her into a perplexing struggle with an illness that is still mysterious and stubborn — Long Covid. Julie’s world has been turned upside down by the Backpack of Woe she is carrying, which is heavy with fatigue, fever, and ultimately the specter of another thorn: cancer.
A ray of hope appears in the midst of the gloom. Julie learns the power of grace — mysterious, elusive, yet the universe’s guiding force — by learning to pray biblically with Christian saints and mystics of old.
Chronic Grace offers the opportunity to see a woman’s profound journey that reflects the struggles of historical figures like Ignatius, Teresa of Avila, and others. Julie strives to comprehend the mystery of grace and how it may heal even the most broken life with these unusual but wise partners.
However, this is not a solo journey. As a reader, you too will develop a bond with the author’s colorful cast of characters. These historical figures experienced the pain of thorns and sought comfort via their own individual paths of prayer. Their teachings will shed light on the possibilities of acceptance and healing in a way that will connect with you personally.
Join Julie on this soul-stirring journey through deep canyons and unexpected insights — with a big dose of humor thrown in for good measure. By the time you’ve finished reading this memoir, you’ll have met people who share your struggles and learned about the transforming power of grace — a force that can sustain you even in the most difficult of circumstances.
You’ll leave knowing that grace, not thorns, defines our true essence.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie K. Rhodes lives in Fort Worth, TX, with her husband Gordon and two teenage kids Drew and Maddie, plus pug Eloise ("The Eyeballs."). She performs regularly on stages all over Dallas-Fort Worth area and has multiple film and commercial credits.
WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT CHRONIC GRACE
“Julie Rhodes is the Midge Maisel of evangelicalism: prim, smart, funny, and honest — struggling through faith-shaking hardship with guidance from ancient tradition, and sometimes talking back. Chronic Grace is a recipe book for life, offering nourishment for any reader who faces real challenges and knows that real success takes more than a ring light.”
— Ryan Sanders
The Dallas Morning News
“In a world where we expect doctors to figure out and fix everything, Long- Haul COVID has stumped even the best of them. Long COVID means “fevers, malaise, racing heart, diarrhea, shortness of breath, cough” – and more. What’s it like for a woman, a mother, a wife, a career-woman to endure months of no diagnosis when she knows from bones to skin that something’s there? Chronic illness requires chronic grace to sustain the fragility of life in the whatever-it-takes quest for healing. Julie Rhodes’ soul-open memoir transcends the path of description, though myriads in the world with Long COVID need a companion like Chronic Grace. She transparently probes God, the Bible, her prayer life, and some of the greatest spiritual masters as she probes her own “quivery, shivery” heart and faith. What’s it like? Julie, in turning her transparent self toward our loving God, provides words for the journey and healing for the heart. Chronic Grace is a textbook of the journey of faith.”
— Rev. Canon Dr. Scot McKnight
Professor of New Testament
“Can I be honest? I couldn’t put Julie’s story down. While enjoyable, beautiful, and compelling – it also took my breath away because it held all my fears. As her unexplainable Long Haul COVID symptoms seemed to unendingly stack one upon another, she didn’t give up but leaned in. She did what I hope I would do. She leaned on the cross of Christ and found God’s grace. And she leaned on the saints of old to borrow their truth for herself. Part history lesson, part unfiltered inspiration, and part wellplaced humor, Julie leads us through her valley and helps us see that the bright light of Jesus is always there. If you are facing uncertainty or fear or need a good reminder that no matter what comes your way, Jesus will be with you, and he is, indeed, enough – read Chronic Grace.”
— Jodie Niznik, author,
Bible teacher, and host of the
So Much More podcast
You may also contact Julie at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule her for speaking or leadership engagements.