A meditation on the healing power of miracles, and on having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Both the religious and therapeutic communities share the concept of personal healing as an antidote to trauma, but the two traditions rarely coexist harmoniously. Romeo (Traveling with the Life-Giver, 2012, etc.), a licensed marriage and family therapist, effectively tries to weave them into a common fabric in a work that’s both a memoir and a spiritually charged self-improvement manual. She candidly discusses her troubled past, which included her parents’ divorce, her volatile marriage, and her struggles with alcohol dependency and depression. The book’s central focus is twofold as it looks at the transformative power of divine miracles and the therapeutic value of forging a connection with Jesus. The miracles that Romeo says she encountered are numerous and extraordinary: she writes that a pastor instantaneously fixed her uneven legs, much to the astonishment of her chiropractor, and that another pastor made gold teeth suddenly appear in the mouths of his flock. She also writes that after her children discovered that one of their beloved pet fish had died, she resurrected it through touch; at another point, she says that she was plagued by demonic voices and distress, but that she had them successfully exorcised. Her most poignant remembrances revolve around spiritual metamorphoses, such as her husband’s: after turning to God, she says, he quit drinking and managed to find inner peace. Romeo doesn’t describe her trust in Jesus in theological terms, but in those of loving friendship: “I am deeply convinced that Jesus wants us to experience Him.” Eventually, she came to realize that she suffered from dissociative identity disorder; armed with that knowledge and her newfound relationship with Jesus, she turned her life around, and even weathered the death of her husband. The author is admirably forthcoming about her personal challenges, and it’s impossible not to be inspired by the progress she achieved. Given the emphasis on miracles, though, her book is unlikely to appeal to secular or even merely moderately religious readers. Many will wish that she’d furnished more actionable, nonreligious counsel, and that she had written more as a therapist than as a spiritual disciple. However, this book remains an affecting source of encouragement for those who share the author’s theological inclinations.
This Christian self-help book won’t reach a broad audience, but fellow travelers will find consolation in its message.