CALLED: Reflections on the Book of Jonah HEARD: Reflections on the Story of Hannah

By Farah T. Briones

When Farah was diagnosed with the aftereffects of polio in her 40s, she left the corporate world to focus on what mattered to her: “raising godly children, being a loving and supportive wife, and growing in my relationship with God.”

“I am convinced that writing these books is what God is calling me to do at this stage in my life.”

She wrote a three-part series of books dedicated to, and named after, her kids, Jonah and Hannah.

Jonah is a minor prophet who detested the idea that Gentiles can be saved along with Jews. God orders him to go to the Gentile city Nineveh who worshipped Dagon, a fish-head god. Jonah didn’t want Nineveh to have a chance at salvation so he fled on a ship in the opposite direction. A violent storm ensued. To quell it, he asked to be thrown overboard and a great fish swallows him.

Hannah was the barren wife to Elkanah, who had another wife who bore him many children. For years, the other wife goaded Hannah for being childless. Hannah became depressed and refused to eat. Finally, she prayed for a son. She promised God that her son will dedicate his life to the Lord. Thus, she gave birth to Samuel, who became a judge and prophet.

Farah reflects on scripture as it applies to her experiences as her message of truth and hope. It’s for everyone who wants to know God intimately.

“My hope is that those who read these books may either begin to have a personal relationship with God if they do not yet have one, or else find it helpful in growing in their relationship with Him.” 

“While I did not know that a pandemic would happen months after publication, the lessons that are highlighted from the lives of Jonah and Hannah in each of the books are relevant to current issues. The reader can expect to find societal as well as personal applications, and hopefully also find it as a source of hope and encouragement in their dark times.”  

Amid COVID-19, Farah’s friend found comfort in her books.

“We have started to use your book in our personal devotions…We praise God for how encouraging it is, and timely. Before the pandemic happened we were studying how it felt for Jonah to be in the belly of the whale. We are in the belly of the whale in a way, for a longer time, but nothing compared to the extremely unpredictable circumstances of Jonah. And that gives us a lot of hope and courage. Thank you!”  

After author Farah Briones was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, she wrote her books to help others find hope and truth as they develop their relationship with God.