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The Scars That Have Shaped Me: How God Meets Us in Suffering Paperback – October 12, 2016
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"The Scars that Have Shaped Me will make you weep and rejoice not just because it brims with authenticity and integrity, but because every page points you to the rest that is found in entrusting your life to one who is in complete control and is righteous, powerful, wise, and good in every way."
--Paul Tripp, pastor, author, international conference speaker
"I could not put this book down, except to wipe my tears. Reading Vaneetha's testimony of God's kindness to her in pain was exactly what I needed; no doubt, many others will feel the same. The Scars that Have Shaped Me has helped me process my own grief and loss, and given me renewed hope to care for those in my life who suffer in various ways. Reveling in the sovereign grace of God in your pain will bolster your faith like nothing this world can offer, and Vaneetha knows how to lead you to this living water."
--Gloria Furman , author of Missional Motherhood and Alive in Him
"When we are suffering significantly, it's hard to receive truth from those who haven't been there. But Vaneetha Risner's credibility makes us willing to lean in and listen. Her writing is built on her experience of deep pain, and in the midst of that her rugged determination to hold on to Christ."
--Nancy Guthrie, author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow
"I have often wondered how Vaneetha Rendall Risner endures suffering with such amazing joy, grace, and perseverance. I still don't understand that, but this book has given me a new glimpse into her world and into the character of our loving God. Raw, transparent, terrifying, and yet amazingly hopeful, The Scars that Have Shaped Me can provide strength for the journey regardless of your situation."
--Brian Fikkert, co-author of When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself
"It's hard to find words to express how vitally important Vaneetha's testimony has been in the shaping of my life and faith. She has walked uniquely hard roads and ventured into deep spiritual waters, yet always welcomes fellow travelers like me. These pages are full of vulnerability and hope, rooted not in optimism but in the real-life experience of God's faithfulness in suffering. It is truly oxygen to get a glimpse of God's face through Vaneetha's eyes."
--Christa Wells, singer, songwriter
"When I'm in a hard place and needing to draw deeply into God, I want to hear from someone who knows and understands. Someone who's been there. I can think of no better voice than Vaneetha Risner's. In both the sudden crisis and the long, relentless daily struggle, Vaneetha's insights have been purchased in the fire of adversity. So I listen. She leads through a door that comforts my soul and straightens my spine--I am in her debt. You will be, too, as you drink deeply the wisdom she has to offer."
--Paula Rinehart, author of Strong Women, Soft Hearts and Sex and the Soul of a Woman
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This book is also for those walking alongside the sufferer. As a pastor, I was helped to see various passages of Scripture from the "sufferer's perspective." We are listening in as Vaneetha shares her story and counsels her own soul from the Word in the midst of suffering. And the counsel she gives herself is also instructive regarding how to help someone walk well through suffering.
A wonderful guide for the sufferer and those who walk with them, pointing to gospel hope and the goodness of the Father as we walk by the Spirit in the midst of life's pain.
I've read quite a bit of books on suffering: Apologetic books on why God allows it and how it can be for our good. I've rarely come across a book that speaks so personally on the author's own suffering yet motivates love and appreciation for Christ
The Kindle edition leaves much to be desired. The book is poorly formatted when quoting scripture and often times page headings and page numbers are intermingled with the text in the middle of a paragraph where in the hardcopy you would go from one page to the other. Someone needs to tidy this up. Headers were not formatted well, either, though these limitations did not make the book any less readable.
The chapter about Ruth and Naomi really was intriguing because Vaneetha brought out aspects of the story that I have never seen. I also gave it to one of our students at our church. She lost her brother nearly a year ago, at the time I am writing this review. When asked what stood out, she said that she can relate and that she, Vaneetha, puts words to the emotions she has had for this past year and was unable to express. I would highly recommend this book and a box of tissues!