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Once upon finding the real us.

Do you know Jo? Jo Saxton, that is. If need to get up to speed, stat. I’ll wait right here while you educate yo’self.

Back and smarter for the time spent? You’re welcome.

To say I’m a fan of Jo’s is to say I’m a fan of chocolate, or coffee, or cheese...all understatements to an extraordinary level. From her addictive accent to her slay-you statements, she will speak right into your life and you will find you cannot get enough her. I first encountered Jo in all her sassy glory when she spoke at a women’s event several years ago. Her cute shoes hadn’t touched the platform stairs on her way back down before I’d already followed her social media situations and signed up for anything related to her words.

Well, she’s got some new words to share and I’m having them. As a privileged member of her book launch team, I actually got to have her words before the rest of the world (except for the other few hundred fangirls in the group...hey y'all!). As I read through her book, I was captivated by Jo all over again.

The Dream of You finds her encouraging the reader to, “let go of broken identities and live the life you were made for.” Each new chapter commences with a short letter from the author, serving as both a general introduction to that essay’s topic and a safe-harbor welcome to the heart of those who identify with the truths unpacked in the following pages. I find this to be one of my favorite aspects of the book as she calls directly to the reader's emotions, assuring us we are seen, and known, and loved.

Once Jo’s story unfolds, anecdote by anecdote, readers are easily able to identify how we too may have lost bits of our authentic selves, even as Jo illustrates - through Biblical character study - how we might regain our true north. Her chapter titles alone draw us closer to ourselves. ”What’s In a Name?” she asks knowingly for one title, and for another she spins, “The Day I Lost my Voice” into a gut-punch of a moment.

Ultimately, the book builds on this quickly developed intimacy between author and reader, allowing Jo to craft her words to maximum impact near the end of her missive. My copy of the book is littered with sticky notes, cover to cover, and I found myself turning back through them time and time again, as I absorbed the layers of Jo’s message and asked myself her thesis question, “am I living the life I was meant to live?”.

Between the perfectly sprinkled stories Jo shares, sort of “going first” if you will, and her chapter-ending invitations to reflect upon its nuggets, any reader can easily use this book as a tool to grow in Christ’s vision of our true identity. I asked at the start, do you know Jo...but perhaps the better question is, do you know yourself? If not, Jo’s words are here to help.

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