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Monday, 15 January 2018

Healing from Heaven - Suzanne R. Jamail

Healing from Heaven
Suzanne R. Jamail
Proving Press
Enroute Books and Media
ISBN 9781633371521
eISBN 9781633371545
ASIN B06WVDC8KG



I will be transparent here. I was a little apprehensive when approaching this book. In fact, if it had not been for the fact of an endorsement by Dr. Kevin Vost I likely would have passed on giving it a read. But a number of people in my circles, and authors I know were talking about this book, so I decided to give it a try. The book was not exactly what I was expecting. I was expecting amore detailed exposition, but the book is more a collection of thoughts, pensée's or reflections. The book can easily be devoured in a single sitting. But like other collections like this one, it is better to go back and forth, flip to a page, or work through it again from time to time.

The sections in the book are:

Foreword
Introduction
Abandon
Anxiety
Be Yourself
Contentment
Faith
Surrender
Giving
Gratitude
Prayer
Silence
Thoughts
Simplicity
The Unknown
Be Like Children
Choose to Enjoy Life
You Are Loved
Accepting What Is
Laughter
The Importance of Friendships
Dont Give Up
Think Positively about Your Life
Number Your Day's
Traversing
Why
It Isn't Fair
Love
Be a Blessing
Think of Yourself Less
Are You There, God?
Life is a Journey and God Holds the Map
Let Go of the Past
Forgiveness
Celebrating or Complaining
Living His Purpose
Patience
Savor Your Steps
Joy
Peace
Dare to Dream
Declare Your Dreams

The description of the book is: "This is my private journal, written during a difficult period of my life. The economy was poor, business was slow. The recession ravaged my private practice as a clinical psychologist. Thrown overboard into a sea of the unknown and the unstable, I fell into unrest and was plagued with thoughts of "going under," but in my heart, I believed my situation would turn around. In 2013, my office building finally sold. It was located in Flint, Michigan, the crime capital of the United States. It sold for the price of a fully loaded compact car. The financial loss only served to fuel the tidal wave of dis-empowering thoughts that tormented me. Giving up wasn't an option, while it frequently crossed my mind. Surely heaven understood my condition. So, I decided to say yes to life expecting God's favor to lift me above my personal challenges." The book is open an honest. As mentioned this book reminded me of others I have read over the years. In many ways it could be a continuation of the stoic tradition. It reminded me of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, or Life's Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. but with a very clear Christian, Catholic focus. These 40 reflections span a wide variety of topics, and offer serious insight into life, and trusting God. Each reflection is also accompanied by a piece of artwork. The artwork spans from 1500-1885, with the majority from Gustave Doré and the majority of his from the year1868.

Dr. Jamail in the introduction states: "A reader may think all of this comes from my unconscious mind, the vault of dreams, intuitions, and buried beliefs. I don't think so. I believe my book came from our Creator because I asked God to give me a new assignment. At that point, I believe I formed a creative alliance with the Holy Spirit, who spoke directly to my heart." And to be honest that is between the author and God. But I do believe that these meditations will benefit anyone who gives them a read. I know that I am likely to go back and go over them again, at least a few more times.

Three sample reflections from the book are:

Be Yourself

Focus on your unique strengths. God wants you to feel good about yourself just as you are. You are unique. You were made as you are on purpose. You have everything you need to fulfill your purpose. God doesn't make mistakes. The final chapter of your life hasn't been written. Keep a good attitude. Be patient. God is molding you.

In general, you have been a busy person. You are excessively disciplined, perfectionistic, and conscientious. You fear being found inadequate. The unknown is terrifying. Why is this happening? Others are unaware of your plight, for they see you as a super man or woman. But you are ordinary. You are ordinary. The false self, the persona you fabricated to be affirmed and accepted by significant others is being peeled away. You fear intimidation, rejection, and punishment; your outside world can't help you.

Mastering your demons through your intellect isn't possible. It is time to face your true nature. You have something to offer the world no one else can. Your identity is ego-oriented and the dismantling of your life only serves to exacerbate your teetering self-regard. You are thirsty for God, desperate in search of your own true uniqueness. You are on the potter's wheel. God is the potter and you are the clay. Through your trials, He is refining you.

Gratitude


It's easy to have a grateful attitude when life is going smoothly. Challenges, obstacles, and setbacks often trigger a myriad of negative thoughts and emotional symptoms. You feel you are doing something wrong.

You were never promised a smooth journey. But trust God will journey with you. Accept what is. The difficult times will pass. Be cheerful in spirit for God is with you in chaos and calm. Adapt to life with an attitude of gratitude. Dwell on all that is good in your life. Live in appreciation. Heaven knows your needs.

Simplicity

Many of the props have been removed from your life. Of course, this was not of your choosing, but with fewer distractions, you realize you have the essentials to be happy, whole, and to fulfill your life's purpose. You have many small things that make your life wonderful. Your life is being reordered, pruning away the trivial, leaving room for spiritual growth. Placing less importance on contemporary living and self-centered values, you live closer to God. Be more concerned with your message than your money.

As you can see from these samples there is some great content in this book. So give it a chance I am sure you will not be disappointed.


Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

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