(Review) The Mended Heart: God's Healing For Your Broken Places by Suzanne Eller
Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
Barnes and Noble
Suzanne Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker.
The Mended Heart is currently the online study for Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Suzanne Eller's links:
Proverbs 31 Ministries
The Mended Heart addresses the key topics of brokenness and healing in women.
Part one is brief and speaks to readers who've been trying to work towards healing and it's not happened. The chapter ends with the encouragement to "peel away those layers;" the layers of the broken shell, allowing God to heal tender wounds.
Part two has several chapters under the heading of "Hearts In The Midst Of Mending." Issues of sexual abuse, minimizing grief, identifying with others in pain, religious abuse, when the offending person is not remorseful, and having a soft heart for God's teaching.
Part three is on "Moving Forward." An emphasis is "partnership with God.". There is not a time limit and patience is important.
I don't like it when a book is labeled a Christian self-help book. Sometimes people will refer to a book like The Mended Heart as a Christian self-help book. This definition leaves God out and I don't like it. The Mended Heart is a tool, a tool with the emphasis on the Lord Jesus Christ and His healing of our broken heart.
My favorite section was part three. "Moving Forward" is the goal, to move beyond the painful memory and towards healing. A chapter in this section is on joy. When we are broken and hurting it's hard to believe we can have joy.
"We intentionally move toward joy as we see each day-including this day-as sacred." Page 195.
All of the chapters end with a section titled "Just You And God." There are several questions to dig deeper in the study on healing. A principle, "Prayer", and "Mended Heart Challenge" ends the chapters.
In the last chapter "Living In Him", Eller explains how our "identity changes." "As you grow closer to God (living in Him), you become more like Him."
The older I've gotten the more I realize (and it's crushing) how fallible, weak, and broken the human race is. We're broken because of sin. And the only way of healing is through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ forgives, but He also restores and heals.
Recently I've been processing some "things" that happened in my past. Events from my teenage years that I'd worked hard to bury. I remember distinctly a thought I had at age 17, "I'm going to shut the door (on the memory) and lock it." Well, unresolved memories have a way of seeping out. This year I've prayed a series of prayers asking the Lord to work in my life in regards to holiness, having godly wisdom, seeing through His lens, and that I'd no longer stuff feelings. In the last month, that carefully locked door popped open. Whew, locked rooms smell bad.
You see I found my old high school diary. In addition, I found several photographs of what every room in my house looked like the month I graduated from high school. Each of these rooms are neat and clean (I can see the vacuum cleaner lines); but the moment, and the memory of that time is caught as a time capsule.
Over the last month, and during my healing process, all of the Bible verses, devotional material, books, Bible studies, and sermons I've read, address what I'm going through in healing the wounds from my past.
I'm thankful that Jesus has and is working in my life.
I'm thankful for His grace and mercy.
I'm thankful that He makes the ugly-beautiful.
I'm thankful for forgiveness through His shed blood.
Because I am a Christian I am forgiven from sin, I am no longer condemned. But it was time to be restored and at peace from the memories of my past.