I highly recommend this book. Dr. Allender clearly communicates what it means to embrace life, including the disappointments and trials. There are no quick fix-it answers offered. In the opening chapter, Dr. Allender states "Healing in this life is not the resolution of our past; it is the use of our past to draw us into deeper relationship with God and His purposes for our lives. We need a new understanding of how to deal with past hurts, one that acknowledges the damage to the human spirit while charting a path toward the abundant life God promises." The very notion of not trying to resolve, or fix the past is revolutionary. Instead, the author invites us to embrace our life, to recognize the value of our "story" and to be willing to enter into the lives of others. He does not sugar coat this process, on the contrary, he states "The healing path plunges us into the depths of our doubt, where a new faith can be born. This faith...frees us to remember a past not only with loss, but with redemption." The great part is that Dr. Allender spends as much time on the redemption, hope and true community as he does honestly examining the pain that life often includes, then encourages the reader to consider what it means to live with the realization of hope. This book is a thoughtful, compassionate rendering and would benefit for anyone who has been dealt pain in their life, no matter what the pain is. Chapter topics include: betrayal and the loss of faith, the loss of hope, the loss of love, the wager of faith, the dream of hope and creating a community of sojourners.
Chapter 8 has so much to offer. Hope in the biggest since. I love what Dan Alender does with words. Some things require deep meditation. As I read I feel myself coming alive in a way I never knew before. And as I read I think of all the hurting people I know who could be helped by reading, actually taking in this book and allowing themselves to be consumed by it. True healing does come and joy returns, or for some who have never experienced true joy, will expereince it for the first time. I think everyone should read this book. I want to put it into the hands of all of my loved ones. It has done me good. I wish to share the good with others. Thank You Dan Allender, you are my hero.
As a Christian for 30 years and an evangelical pastor/US Army chaplain and licensed Therapist, I have read lots and lots and lots of books. This book by Dan is truely one of the most profound books that I have ever read. It is worth reading and re-reading. His stories and narrative portions put images and real-life flesh and blood on our living out the true power of the Gospel and Christ's love into our own real-life worlds.
This book is a lighthouse to those who are dealing with various struggles. Dr. Allender communicates to the reader exactly how to begin travelling down that healing path. He will point you to where your focus needs to be, and help you through the process. I am so thankful that I chose to read this book!