Genre: Christian non-fiction, Christian Living, Devotional, Mental Health Disorder, PTSD.
Rating: 5 Stars for excellent, near perfect.
Source: Free copy from Kregel for the purpose of review. The review expressed is from my own opinion and feelings.
Links to purchase book:
Barnes and Nobles
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The introduction provides sobering and frightening statistics on women who have been violated and abused, or have suffered from other "life-changing trauma." Examples of trauma are: "sexual abuse, domestic violence, rape, arson, family suicide, even the attempted murder of a family member and murder of a child. Other women had lost loved ones in tragic accidents, experienced medical trauma, or had been touched by other life-altering tragedies." (Page 15.)
Abuse, and the trauma associated with it, cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
"Trauma creates lasting and profound symptoms defined as post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, people often wrongly think that PTSD affects only combat veterans or those who have experienced mass disasters like 9/11." (Page 17.)
Love Letters from the Edge, is divided in to twelve week sections, with six chapters exploring areas of abuse and trauma in each divided section. A Bible verse begins each chapter, then a heartfelt letter from the person to God, followed by a love letter from God to that person, concluding with "Hope on the Edge" which are questions to ponder, and "Heart Cry" a meditative prayer.
The book ends with a strong reference section. "PTSD 101" gives a brief over-view, its definition, symptoms, and therapy. Links are given for "PTSD Assessment Tests." A "resource" section, and how to help our physicians, family, and friends, understand PTSD. "Scriptural Affirmation" or Bible verses, and ending with a "Forgiveness and Restoration" chapter. "Forgiveness" being an important step, yet a profoundly difficult step.
Shelly Beach and Wanda Sanchez, have described Love Letters from the Edge, as a meditative book. Another word describing the book would be devotional.
The authors want the reader to understand they are not professional counselors, and encourage women with PTSD to find further help through a therapist.
I'm thankful for women like Shelly Beach, and Wanda Sanchez, who despite their history of pain and trauma, have opened up in sharing their stories, in order to help other people.
In previous generations people did not talk about the "uncomfortable" topics. Even my own parents taught us to be private and to not tell people about "our business." I'm not sure what we're afraid of, unless in speaking about what has happened, makes it more real and thus it cannot be swept away. But, this is a fable, pain and suffering cannot be swept away with the dust of each day, it does not go away until the hard work of processing what happened, and coming to terms with it, which includes the hardest part, forgiveness.
I am amazed at the extensive examples the authors gave in the book, from sexual abuse to addictions, from self-harm such as cutting, to hiding secrets.
The letter to God and the letter written back to the woman working through the pain, is transparent, tender, and full of mercy and grace.
The questions under the section of "Hope on the Edge," help to pry the tight lid off of not wanting to think or talk about the issue. The questions also help the person to move forward a bit, even if it is a tiny step.