A Christian-oriented debut guide focuses on pain and healing.
“Our natural tendency as humans is to proceed with our lives, forgetting the past,” Gienty writes in her manual. “The problem is the past is never really forgotten unless it is healed by Jesus.” That emotional healing takes four forms or steps, which Gienty lays out and then patiently explains: The faithful must be willing to look honestly at their sins; examine how others have sinned against them; confess those sins to God (and maybe, where appropriate, to others); and finally be open to receiving prayers for healing. The author seeks to concentrate on “woundedness” by urging readers to delve deeply into their own pasts for the roots of both the pain they experience and perhaps the pain they’ve caused others. The chapters include spaces for written answers to the many discussion questions designed to help readers zero in on the realizations Gienty believes they need to reach in order to move forward (for example, “What consequences have you experienced that have broken your heart because of not trusting others?”). The author fleshes out her musings on the nature of tangled human emotions with stories from various individuals, who reveal the rocky roads they experienced while contending with sin and poor self-esteem (“I’d been living with one foot in and the other foot out of my Christian walk”). That tone of honest disclosure gives the book a great deal of its immediacy. And the backbone of that immediacy is a personal relationship with Jesus. “We must learn to minister to the Lord,” she writes, and if we do, he “promises that He will empower us” to overcome both our own inner woundedness and the pain we may have caused others. The goal of all this is deliverance—from addiction, from guilt, from pain—and Gienty wraps the whole concept up in engaging, inquisitive prose that effectively simulates a series of long, probing conversations with a levelheaded (and scripturally literate) friend.
A wide-ranging and insightfully empathetic exploration of pain and guilt’s root causes and ultimate succors.