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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Love Heals: A Must-Read Review


I have a huge admiration for Becca Stevens and the great work that she and Thistle Farms have done to help women who have been caught in prostitution and human trafficking get out and make a life for themselves. She was named one of CNN's 2016 "Heroes of Change" and a White House "Champion of Change." Like Christ, Becca Stevens identifies herself with the broken, the hurting and the marginalized. She lifts them up and teaches them the spiritual reality of Thistle Farm's tagline and the name of her book "Love heals."

This is an absolutely beautiful book, not only in terms of Stevens' writing but also the gorgeous photographs that are throughout it.


Each chapter of the book takes a different form of both encouragement and practical steps towards healing in one's life. The first being "Love Heals Through Creation." As someone who knows the reality of this, I immediately connected with the line, "Love is written into the very fabric of creation." She writes of how we can heal by connecting with creation: taking a walk in nature, standing in the waters of a mountain stream, using the healing properties of plants, such as rosemary or lavender.  Some of the others are:

- Love Heals with Daily Rituals
- Love Heals with Compassion
- Love Heals in the Valley of Death
- Love Heals by the Mercy of God

Each chapter begins with a poem, then follows with stories of truth and encouragement, and then ends with practical applications.

In the"Love Heals in the Valley of Death," I love how Becca Stevens writes, "Heaven is like the memory of God. All of us are preserved in the memory of God, which is big enough to contain all creation for all time. Nothing can erase us from the memory of God, and no one on this earth is forgotten."

She writes about finding healing and how we are then called to help others to heal and what that looks like in daily life and globally. "We are called to be persistent in our pursuit of healing," she says, "Persistence is the key and time is the means by which healing unfolds."

In my own life, I received this book at just the right time: I was going through a serious health scare. I was uncertain of what my test results were going to be, but I kept this book and a Bible with me at all times. I turned to both and found balm and peace in their words.


Of course, as someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, the chapter entitled "Love Heals Past Our Fears: Walking Through Anxiety" was one that I will continue to return to again and again. "As we seek healing," she writes in this chapter, "we are called to follow our fear . . ." What? This sentence's beginning grabbed my attention. What does she mean by that? ". . .because past fear lies all the other aspects of healing we are seeking - freedom, mercy, and even joy. When we bump into fear, we can use it as a signal that this is a good place to stop and take stock." We are to use such moments to ask ourselves: What am I afraid of? Is this is a real fear, a real danger or am I simply afraid "to grow deeper into faith and be free?"


So if you are going through a hard time or know someone else who's struggling through difficulties, I highly recommend getting this book for yourself or others. Love Heals offers hope and encouragement to all those who need it. And don't we all, really?




Becca Stevens Official Website:
http://www.beccastevens.org



Thistle Farms Official Website:
https://thistlefarms.org

CNN Profile of Becca Stevens & Thistle Farms:


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