A debut manual on heartache focuses on Christian worship.
In her slim, beautifully designed book, Brown is concerned with endings and how to survive them. Her main topic is the spectrum of sickening emotions that accompany the end of close relationships, especially hopelessness. “There is that gasp of ‘oh no,’ ” she writes, “that suffocating feeling that you will never breathe again and if you do, perhaps you’ll not have enough strength to finish that breath.” Her guide, which features stock photographs, looks at many kinds of endings, from failing marriages and loneliness to a general feeling of despair. In all cases, she is clearly writing to an audience of her fellow, ardent Christians when she counsels hope in their darkest hours. Each of her book’s short chapters starts with a poem by the author, continues with a concentrated (and scripturally grounded) meditation on some aspect of enduring a failed relationship or marriage, often drawing on Brown’s own personal experiences, and concludes with a prayer and some keynote biblical passages. There is no real, coherent narrative; readers can just as easily pick chapters at random as read from cover to cover. In each section, the author is both sympathetic and unsentimental, offering support but forbidding her readers to sugarcoat the past. “The nights are long and lonely now that he is not next to you,” she writes. “To be honest, there were times that you felt the same when he was there. But now you’re not only lonely but alone.” Brown’s fellow Christians are reminded that God does not intend for them to be miserable and that he will never desert them: “Father, help me to know that though all may leave me, you never will.” The author’s prose is sympathetically personal, and her tone, though realistic, is always optimistic: With God, even the most wretched believer can expect a brighter day. Forlorn Christians will find this a quick, uplifting read.
An inspiring and scripturally literate guide aimed at helping Christians overcome heartbreak.