Books for the Journey

Oct 1, 2015 by

Hi, my name is Jeanette, and I’m a bookaholic. It has been five days since I last entered a bookstore. (That’s your cue to say, “Hi, Jeanette. We’re here for you.”) I have a “Books that Changed My Life” section in my bedroom. I blogged about it. That’s how nerdy I am. Please, no comments about my need to be nicer to myself. In the writing world nerdy-ness is celebrated.

When people ask, “How did you recover from all the yuck that made up the past few years,” I name two groups, the value of having kind friends who aren’t scared away by neediness, and the many books I read. The interesting thing is that only a one falls in the self-help category. I found healing words in poetry, memoirs, a Christmas book, and even a novel. Here is my list:

A Friend in the Storm by Cheryl Ricker – I’ve read this book of poems at least three times.

After the Locusts: Restoring Ruined Dreams, Reclaiming Wasted Years by Jan Coleman

The Listening Heart: Hearing God in Prayer, Devotions for Every Day of the Year by Judy Gordon Morrow

Sober Mercies: How Love Got Hold of a Christian Drunk by Heather Kopp – You might consider this an odd choice considering that I’m not an alcoholic, but it helped me understand addiction.

Wrestling with Wonder: A Transformational Journey through the Life of Mary by Marlo Schalesky

Never Go Back: 10 Things You’ll Never Do Again by Dr. Henry Cloud

Victim of Grace by Robin Jones Gunn – The chapter about recognizing areas of bitterness and unforgiveness stopped me in my tracks.

Spiritual Rhythm: Being with Jesus Every Season of the Soul by Mark Buchanan – I’m actually still reading this one.

Flames by Ginny Yttrup – I’m almost halfway through this novel and already see myself in the characters and feel God working through the story. Flames is the book that reminds me how powerful good storytelling is—that God can use a novel to heal wounds and change lives.

I also laughed myself silly through two Anne Lamott books and a celebrity memoir. Laughter really is good medicine.

This list leaves me marveling at how creative our Lord is. He can use anything He chooses for His healing purposes. When I couldn’t afford therapy, I could afford a book, even if it was a used book. I will be the first to confirm that God provides, and in my case He provided many gift cards.

How has God healed your wounds through creative methods? Which books—besides the Bible—helped you through difficult times?


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  1. I have a bumper sticker on my car that says, “Bookaholics Unite.”

    I could never have faced all the problems in my life without books.

    • Jeanette Hanscome

      Me neither, Jan! If I had a car I would get the same bumper sticker.

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