Author Sheila Walsh believes that we should know that God “calls broken people not only to place their faith in Him, despite the darkness, but also to dare to reach beyond themselves and, through faith, bring the healing, loving touch of Christ to other hurting men and women.”
She writes for those of us who “have struggled with admitting to myself and others I’m broken.” And those of us who add, “I know I’m broken, but have struggled with how to deal with it.”
When pain enters our lives, “It is easy to blame ourselves when life leaves us disappointed. We say things like:
Would my husband have stayed if I was prettier?
Did Mom die because I didn’t get her the best doctor?
What could I have done? What did I do?
I can’t have children, so God must be punishing me.
It must have been my fault.“
I hadn’t read any of Sheila Walsh’s previous books, but this one didn’t disappoint me.
Walsh challenged me several times, I’ll highlight three.
“I worry that by constantly “the phrase ‘unconditional love’ to describe God’s love for us and seldom explaining what we mean by it — we’ve robbed it of its original force. People today hear it and tend to think that when they sin against the Lord, He’ll respond, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it. I’ll love you anyway,” when I think He really responds with something more like, “I’ll love you forever, and that’s why it’s not okay.”
Not to marginalize, nor minimize, the depth of hardship or the traumatic impact that pain has wrought in your life, or the life of a loved one, I repeat Sheila Walsh’s hope-filled statement:
“Pain is just pain. But when we choose to take that pain and present it to God for His sovereign use, then that pain becomes sacred. Yes, we all have to deal with pain in the course of our lives—physical, emotional, and spiritual pain. But if we give God access to this pain, asking Him to turn it into something He can use … something happens. Something supernatural.”
Think Deeply & Seek Outside Support
At the conclusion of GOD LOVES BROKEN PEOPLE (And Those Who Pretend They’re Not) is a bible Study which will be useful or personal reflection as well as group discussion. It contains insightful questions including:
When we are faced with conflict, it is easy for our sin nature to react We tend to go where our comfort zone is, whether that is to respond in anger or to retreat in self-pity. What does your “sin comfort zone” look like?
What false truths or temptations have you allowed to guide you away from God’s truths?
Still not convinced whether or not this is a book for you?
Here’s a list of her chapter titles and sub-titles which may help you decide:
Introduction: It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
ONE I’m Not Waving; I’m Drowning
When Deep Water Meets Even Deeper Love
TWO Bummer Lambs and Black Sheep
A Shepherd Who Pursues Both Victims and Villains
THREE Old Wounds Have Good Memories
Finding a Way Out of the Darkness
FOUR Relentless Questions
His Presence and Peace in Your Darkest Nights and
FIVE Hiding, Pretending, and Other Failed Escapes
Avoiding an Old Strategy That Never Works
SIX What Can I Know for Sure?
Three Rock-Solid Truths to Keep You Standing,
SEVEN A Tale of Two Teresas
Time-Tested Wisdom for Dealing with Persistent Pain
EIGHT Fierce Love and Halloween Grace
Why God’s Ferocious Commitment to You Comes
NINE Nothing to Protect, Nothing to Lose
Three Choices When Suffering Move You from the Balcony
to the Stage
TEN Called to Something Bigger
Allow God to Use Your Pain for Heaven’s Stunning Purposes
ELEVEN Only the Wounded Can Serve
What If Your Wounds Make You Fit for His Service?
TWELVE The Sacred Ache
How God Transforms Your Hurts into Something Holy
THIRTEEN Christ the Broken
The Savior Who Chose Suffering…for You
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”