Blog Entries

Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon (Review)

Selah Ulmer December 6, 2018


Recently I read the new biography of one of my favorite Christian heroines, Susannah Spurgeon. As the wife of world-famous preacher Charles Spurgeon, Susannah’s name has been known for ages, but her story has been hidden in the shadows…until now. Author Ray Rhodes has produced a beautiful book telling this woman’s story; an account that not only unveils the magnitude of Susannah’s ministry but the depth of her faith in Christ. It was a fantastic read and I highly recommend it. Not convinced yet?  Here are three reasons you should read what is being called “the definitive biography of Susannah Spurgeon.”

Reason 1: It’s a great story

Nobody wants to read a boring story.  We want great stories; stories that draw us in and keep us hooked. We want stories that spike our interests. This book is ready to do that. It has something for everyone; love and romance, history (the setting is Victorian England) unexpected catastrophes, sickness, surprises and the pain of fame and betrayal.

This story, however, is great for a deeper reason. It is great because though the time period is from the days of yesterday and the setting is of the past, Susie’s story is one all  can identity with. While the specifics of this tale are unique to her, ultimately her story points us to profound aspects of life. This is a book about Susannah, yes. But it is also a book about perseverance, love, strength, and loss, universal concepts that play out intimately in each of our lives. These kind of stories, stories that transcend their subjects and relate personally to the readers are the ones that stick with us long after we finish the last page. If that’s the kind of story you are looking for, this is the book for you.

Reason 2: It will challenge you

The other day I came across a quote that said, “Be the kind of person who makes others want to up their game.” When I read this, I immediately thought of Susie. If anyone ever lived out this quote, it was her. From motherhood and being a wife to planting a church, writing numerous books and starting a world-wide ministry, Susannah excelled in it all. Her secret? She relied on Christ for everything. Susannah’s example made me want to up my game; to run to God for help in all things, to live a purposeful life and to take refuge in God’s word. Her faithful work pushed me to examine my own ministry, priorities and motivation. Looking for some challenging inspiration? Start with this book.

Reason 3: It will encourage you

When I first started studying Susannah’s life, I was in the middle of an incredibly difficult season. At that point I didn’t think my circumstances could ever bring anything but pain. As I read about her faith in the midst of great trial, I was deeply moved. I remember thinking to myself, “If she can get through that (her illness) than I can get through this.”  As I read, I witnessed how God used Susie’s troubling circumstances for His glory and for her good. If He could do that for her, I had to believe that He could do the same thing for me.

That season of my life was awhile ago now, but Susie’s story stuck with me. As I sat down to read this book, God once again used the life of this woman to give me strength. I saw her run to Jesus in loss, in pain, and in sorrow. To Him she brought all of her hurts and questions-and He met her in the middle of it all. Susie reminded me that the same God who was faithful and present with her is the same God who is faithful and present with me. He will comfort me as He comforted her. He will direct my path as He directed hers. God used this story to teach me things about Himself-and I know He will do the same for you.

Ready to start reading? Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon is available NOW through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and basically anywhere you want to go to buy a book. If you want more info, check out the official book page on Facebook or Instagram (@susiespurgeonbook).


Reposted with Persmission from Selah Ulmer:

Selah Ulmer lives in Kansas City, Missouri and is a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She serves at First Baptist Church of North Kansas City, and desires to see men and women of all ages know the Lord deeply and apply His word to their lives. You can follow her on Instagram @selah_ulmer.