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Beyond Desolate Paperback – July 1, 2012
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About the Author
Tammy Schultz is department chair and professor of counseling at the Graduate School in Counseling and Interpersonal Relations at Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind. She has taught and counseled in the U.S. and Canada. Dr. Schultz joined the Grace College faculty in 1995. She earned a certificate from Winnipeg Bible College, a B.A. from the University of Winnipeg, a M.A. in counseling from Winnipeg Theological Seminary, a M.A. in counseling from the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. from Indiana State University. Hannah Estabrook, M.A., received a master’s degree in counseling from Grace College in 2007. Since then she has utilized her skills in community mental health, home-based therapy, and pastoral counseling. She is the co-founder of AVAH! Ministries, an organization that provides seminars for women on a variety of topics such as body image, sexuality, prayer, and friendship. She is passionate about her work counseling survivors of sexual abuse and sex-trafficking. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband, Brian.
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Reading it from a survivor's perspective, I sensed God confirming his work and showing me the progress I've made. Tammy and Hannah place a shining emphasis on God's compassionate love. As I reflected on my own journey of having crawled through desolate ruins aided by bits of light poking through cracks in the debris, it was His love that supported and comforted me all along the way. Now I'm out-"beyond desolate," embracing more fully the light and love of God. Yes, I agree. There is hope!
While in the "rubble," as they call it, I remember wrestling with the hard questions victims are encouraged to tackle: Where were you, God? If you were there, why didn't you protect me? In the chapter, Prayer Mosaic, Language of Lament, the challenge is presented to trust God enough to express all your feelings to him, just as a child secure in his or her parent's love would do. In this, I noted another area of growth. It's not easy... especially when sexual abuse may have been tied to spiritual abuse as is pointed out in Never Trust Again.
What impacted me most are the heartfelt stories of transformation, forgiveness, and healing woven throughout this book. Beautiful, lyrical descriptions of God reveal his tender heart toward us, his hurting children. I love their invitation to joy and so much more. Survivors of sexual abuse are inspired to grasp the reality that they are not stuck, but can move to a place past desolation.
It's not a text book, but it's definitely not a quick read. It's a horrible subject that I wish we didn't have to have books about - but "Beyond Desolate" handles it very tastefully and certainly has changed how I think about people who are fighting to recover from abuse.
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