Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Loved Back to Life: How I Found the Courage to Live Free by Sheila Walsh, a review

There has rarely been a book that as I read it, I thought the entire Church should read the same book.  But this is such a story for it will, I am certain, reach many people who are suffering and hide it from those around them... especially Christian friends.

I knew a lot of Sheila Walsh's story since she left her job as co-host of The 700 Club and entered a psychiatric hospital, suffering from clinical depression.  But this book provides the hows and whys and what afters of that time in her life.  It also shares how Christians react when people are not healed, when there is no big miracle, and when God messes with their theology.

I had a hard time putting Sheila's book down.  It captivated me.  It spoke to me where I live.  For as many readers know, my husband is bipolar and I have lived as the spouse of one who suffers mental illness.  Been there.  Definitely done that. 

Sheila immediately takes us back to the time in which she made the decision to leave behind being a well known personality in Christian media to get the help she desperately needed.  She understood the consequences and at the time thought she would no longer be used in ministry.

She shares the story of childhood trauma, which most likely was behind her clinical depression.  I had read about that part of her life before but this time she goes into more detail and I love the way her mother's love and faith provided a solid ground for her.  It has to inspire mothers everywhere of the importance their roll is of standing with their children as they suffer, even if they cannot change the situation itself.

The remainder of the book is about Sheila's experiences in the hospital, the long road to recovery afterwards, how God blessed her with a husband and son, and how God uses the dark places for her to help others today.  I am certain younger readers will know Sheila Walsh more from her ministry with Women of Faith conferences than The 700 Club.

Throughout reading this book, I wanted so much to sit down and have a cup of tea and chat with Sheila.  She would make a good friend.  It is that kind of book. 

If you or a loved one have walked with any kind of mental illness, no matter how severe or how slight, read this book.

If you have ever been told you are suffering because you lack enough faith for healing, read this book.

If you find yourself afraid of being yourself at Church and around other Christians, read this book.

If you just need to know another has suffered as you are, even if it is for a different reason than you suffer, you will find yourself also wishing Sheila was across the table from you so you could say... "thank you".

This is truly a book that reminds us, "We read to know we're not alone".  I for one am thankful for Sheila's honesty in sharing her story for it provides hope to so many in this fallen of worlds.

More information can be found at Amazon.com... here.*

This book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of review but the opinion is my own.

*All links to Amazon.com are Associate links.


Becky K. said...

I do want to read this book. I really appreciate Sheila's ministry and candor. Thanks for sharing this review. It has confirmed for me that I will not regret purchasing the book.

Vee said...

Yes, I do want to read this book. Thank you for the review.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

It sounds like a powerful book. Thanks for the review and recommendation.


Sherry said...

Thank you, Brenda. I've added this book to my ever-growing TBR list.

suzanne said...

I dare say that almost everybody who breathes air could relate to this book. Your review encourages us to read the book, and also to ponder our own experiences with mental and emotional hardships. I love the point you make about a mother's love and faithfulness to her children.

Nanna Chel said...

Thanks for that review, Brenda. I can relate to everything you said. There is little understanding and compassion in the church for those with a mental illness and often they aren't healed despite constant prayer. Also it is difficult for the families of people who are mentally unwell and they quite often become depressed themselves. More understanding and love from those who have been untouched by mental illness would go a long way towards recovery.