book review: will medicine stop the pain?
I have been so thrilled recently with what has been coming out from Moody Press. This time respected women's counselor Elyse Fitzpatrick has teamed up with Dr. Laura Hendrickson to speak a gracious voice of truth to women who struggle emotionally.
Opening with Laura's gripping personal testimony of her and her brother and the opposite conclusions that each of their diagnosis with bipolar pointed them to (her brother to suicide, herself to Christ), Laura and Elyse share a practically-balanced and personal yet completely biblical approach to dealing with anxiety, depression and other emotional problems.
This is not just a surface-level book. It digs deep and examines how our bodies and brains function, how our spirits (minds and hearts) cooperate with our bodies and brains, how each affects the other, and also how specific categories of medicines can affect both. They are very careful to point patients/counselees to their medical doctors and urge you not to just quit taking any medicine that you've been prescribed.
Meds are necessary at times, sometimes for extended periods of time. Other times, though, our problems are able to be addressed with Scripture and a true God-dependency. It is important that we consider all the factors when trying to figure out what the real problem is. The goal presented here is a good one: as little meds for as short an amount of time as possible (if possible) and as much time with God in true fellowship and trust in the reality that He is in control and working.
One of the most helpful portions for me was on the suffering of Christ and coming again to a biblical view of suffering. Suffering is not sin. Sometimes God gives us a cup to drink that is deep with pain. Think of our dear Lord Jesus in the Garden and on the Cross. We think pain is bad: get rid of it. But sometimes that pain/suffering is exactly what we need to help us learn the lessons God is wanting to teach us and to strengthen our trust in Him. Ultimately suffering/pain is for God's glory. And along the way we (by His grace) can come to realize that it is also intended for our good.
I am thankful for the specific Scripture treasures that are included in this book and for the Gospel-transformation that is time and again referenced as the starting point of hope.
I believe this book will be a helpful resource to all who will receive it. And I recommend this book with no reservation. (I only wish there were a companion book for guys, as this one is aimed at a female audience. See Don Johnson's review and a few reasons why he recommends guys go ahead and read this book.)
You may also find the Discerning Reader's review helpful. And the title of this post is linked to Elyse Fitzpatrick's website (9.99 purchase price).
I strongly encourage you to invest in this resource, whether you personally are struggling with physical pain or emotional struggles or if perhaps you have a friend who is. We are here to come alongside one another as we all grow in our relationship with God.
Grace and peace, my dear friends,