May 17, 2008
No Middle Ground: I Will Not Be Broken
Sometimes an unsought gift drops into your lap. This happened to me earlier this week when I received an email about Jerry White's new book, I Will Not Be Broken.
This is not a traditional self-help book. Developed from the author's experience as the survivor of a landmine explosion, Jerry White draws on the life stories of others who have faced and overcome large, life-altering experiences (LAEs). Only in retrospect can we say something is a "tragedy." An LAE becomes a tragedy based on our responses to that experience.
After reading White's five steps to overcoming, I realized there is no middle ground in recovery and reclaiming. Either you forever live as a shadow of your former self, or you emerge to become greater, more lovingly creative, and stronger. If you think you're on the middle ground, you're in shadow land. Perhaps this is what the Apostle Paul referred to when he asserted "...in all these things, we are more than conquerors..." (Romans 8:37). Properly understood (meaning from God's point of view), we can not only survive our LAEs, we can "more than conquer" them.
I don't think it's necessarily true that "whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Haven't all of us known or observed people who have been warped or twisted by their LAEs? Haven't we experienced the bitter anger of someone who never "got over it", whatever "it" was?
I Will Not Be Broken is not a pie-in-the-sky remedy for hard times. The first healing principle asserted in this book is "face facts." No one overcomes by minimizing an event, a loss, or an illness. Principle number two, "choose life", suggests we can't really move forward until we face facts. Facing truth is always the first step on the way forward.
The direct, conversational tone of this book makes it accessible to readers of all ages. Don't be deceived by the simplicity of the author's language. Following his five guidelines ( face facts, choose life, reach out, get moving, give back) will require a daily (perhaps hourly) commitment to the hard work of healing and recovery and getting stronger. As anyone who's working on this will tell you, this is a challenge worth taking on. You will not only restore your own life, your example will encourage and inspire others.
Read an excerpt from I Will Not Be Broken here.