“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:2 NIV)
Broken people suffer from abandonment issues, childhood trauma, sexual abuse, bullying, rape, trust issues, inability to connect and make friends, shyness, outwardly acting out in violence/violent emotions/violent behavior, disrespect for authority figures, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, fear, control issues, nightmares, and more. Broken people run when things get hard. Broken people lie to others and to themselves. How can broken people be healed from their wounds? This book is one person’s journey from brokenness to healing as she journaled her thoughts and experiences, in letters to her dad, through the process.
The journal entries are in chronological order although sometimes Sundi Jo would write about something in her past as a flashback. These entries invite us to join her as she struggles to confront her insecurities and ferret out the lies and half-truths she has buried deep within. We walk along side her as her focus shifts from her pain, her trauma, her unhappiness and anger to a transformed life relying on God and what He wants for her and for others.
Even when there is a significant breakthrough, Sundi Jo perseveres; there is still so much hurt to slog through. At one point, it took her four months to create a Fear List. I can imagine that each admission was a hard fought, and won, victory. Fear is a lack of trust, and for Christians a slap in the face for God. Yet fear is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome.
In one of her entries, Sundi Jo related a story she heard about a little puppy. The owner was trying to coax the puppy out of the cage, leaving the door open. The owner waited patiently for the puppy to leave. One of her friends queried, “How long will you sit in the cage with the door wide open?” In a pivotal moment, the author realized her fears kept her inside a cage with the door open. She could have left any time, but her fears were keeping her inside. I definitely understood that analogy…could even see myself sitting inside unwilling to come out. So many of us can relate to that!
This book is not for our entertainment, although it often reads like fiction, but an invitation to partner with the author in a restoration for emotional and spiritual health. If you are hurting, perhaps Ms. Graham’s journal of recovery may encourage you in your own soul searching experience. We can come away from reading this story knowing that the process is painful, exhausting and humbling, but well worth it.
A complimentary review copy was provided to me by the author, Sundi Jo Graham, the Social Media Strategist for New Leaf Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
- Book Review: Dear Dad (schelastic.wordpress.com)