Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story, by Wendy Blight

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story

Wendy Blight was just in college when she was brutally raped.  For years, she lived in fear, and anger regarding her situation.  While she was what many would consider wildly successful, a young lawyer, and married to a wonderful man, she felt as if she was not fully living.  It was only when she discovered the healing power of God that she was able to reclaim her life, and dedicate it to the Lord.

This book was a bit difficult for me to read, as I have never gone through something so traumatic, and was not able to fully relate to Wendy's ordeal.  I found it very brave that she was able to write so honestly about what happened, and bare some parts of her heart that many might find less than beautiful; to me, there was beauty in that.  I can imagine this book would be a tremendous tool to facilitate healing for anyone who has suffered any sexual abuse.

Wendy offered a lot of words of wisdom, but I was mildly troubled over the way some of her advice appeared, though perhaps it was my interpretation of them, and not her true intent.  Wendy stresses, and rightly so, that anyone suffering will not have true healing without faith.  However, at one point, it almost seemed as if she was indicating that medication, like antidepressants, and therapy were not worthwhile, that you simply should pray harder.  Because I have a masters degree in counseling, with a certification in Christian counseling, I find that view troubling.  There is real value to therapy and medication, and they can be used in conjunction with faith, to help someone heal.  It bothers me to think that people are suffering without medication and therapy, thinking that they just need to pray harder and all will be well, then when healing does not come, they feel as if God finds them unworthy.  Certainly God can heal without therapy and medication, but He can also heal through therapy and medication, who is to say they are not gifts from God?

Overall, I found the book to be well written, and uplifting, and there certainly were lessons for me to learn from it, although I never experienced anything like Wendy experienced.  Later in the book she talks about committing to prayer, and new ways to pray, and I found that most helpful.  I would recommend this book to any Christian reader seeking to learn more about healing, but would be unlikely to recommend it to a non-Christian, as it could appear a bit heavy handed.  To the Christians who do read the book, I would recommend you approach it with a spirit of discernment, and it would be good to discuss your thoughts on it with a peer, again, perhaps my concerns with it were mere interpretation.