I have let The Healing Path by Dan Allender sit on my heart for a little while now, and I am still unsure of how to write a summary in just one blog post. It was like nothing I have read before. So many books on suffering deal with the heart, which is the main part of it all, but this book takes it to the next step. It takes the reader through dealing with the issue. Right above Dan Allender's picture on the back of the book it says "Don't Waste your Pain.", and that is the book explained in it's simplest form. God has used Dan Allender's words to make me reflect on how I act and make decisions on my loss. Most days it has been easier to turn off my mind off to a situation so that it will not acknowledge what my heart feels. By ignoring it my life seemed normal, but it wasn't. I can only cover it up for so long before my actions show what my heart truly feels. It is so hard to find a balance in dealing with loss and still living today, but I think that the focus is lost because in neither of those words did I say "Jesus", but, yet, he is the center of it all. "our past, especially our pain, holds the key to our future and to the joy set before us. Our past is a treasure map that, read well, can lead us to vast abundance." I am still working through so much of what I know and what I feel about what God has chosen for us over the last few years, and I know that I read this book on just the right day, not too early and not too late.
My favorite "grab-hold-of-my-heart" quotes:
"Embracing reality and encircling another requires courage-not merely to accept pain, but to risk asking, seeking, and knocking on the door of God until he answers with the bread of life. And when he answers it takes more courage to move with him in the dance of joy, fearing neither the scrutiny of others nor the moment when the dance stops."
"No matter how we have acquired our wounds, we all need the good news of the healing power of redemption. Evil means our suffering for our destruction, but God meant it for our good."
I write about hope a lot because the huge one syllable word has come to mean something to me this year. Here is what Allendar says on hope.
"Hope is a focus on the future, faith is a reflection of the past." "The faith, birthed in the desert and the valley, frees us to remember a past not only with loss, but with redemption."
"Biblical hope is substantial faith regarding the future. Hope looks at the shattered remnants of the soul hit by the storm and envisions not merely rebuilding, but rebuilding a life that has even more purpose and meaning than existed before loss. Hope is the dream of shalom, the anticipation of joy that courses through us and prompts us to rise and rebuild, to envision and risk for what is not yet. Hope takes the experience of loss and powerlessness and uses it as the raw material for writing a new and unexpected story."
"Faith is the foundation for hope; hope is the wind in the sails that takes faith forward into the future."
"Biblical hope, unlike a wish, is solid and sure; if Christ came the first time, then I can be equally sure he will return again."
"To remember the future is to see tomorrow through the eyes of yesterday."
"We move into the future not with a map, a plan, or a clear structure but with the whisper of a story that reminds us we will again see the goodness of God in the land of the living."
"Joy is not the absence of struggle or sorrow, but the taste of the presence of God as he surprises us with his gracious love, whatever our circumstances."