Emma’s book is coming out this week. It’s a phenomenal read. Brilliantly written, brutally honest, incisive, touching and hopeful. You’ll be hooked from the first sentence.
Emma has struggled with anorexia both as a teenager and as an adult. This book tells her story, but more than this, testifies to the grace of Jesus who met her in the darkness and brought her out.
This book is not just for sufferers and those who care for them – although it will be vitally helpful for them. It’s a testimony to Jesus. It’s a meditation on the gospel and how it addresses a deadly mental illness, so emblematic of our culture’s struggles with food, body, performance and identity. It’s one of the most compelling and vivid accounts you’ll ever read of the lies that can enslave a person and how the truth sets them free.
In your families, in your congregations and among your friends, there are people struggling deeply with food issues, body issues, OCD, burn-out, anxiety disorders and depression, to name just a few. The body of Christ with the word of Christ has medicine. I don’t say “the solution” because “solution”-thinking is a hair’s-breadth away from the philosophy behind much of these issues. But we do have gospel balm that the world knows nothing of. Yet Christians are often too scared to get close to these issues.
Too often we palm “problem people” off to medical and psychiatric professionals, expecting them to fix it. Medical and psychiatric help can often be crucial, but A) it’s by no means certain you’ll find such help – many of these services are incredibly over-stretched, and B) your friendship, prayers and words of grace are absolutely critical alongside professional help.
Emma and I have seen too many people struggling alone with deep problems because their churches have no idea how to help. Christians feel out of their depth and too easily abdicate pastoral responsibilities to the world.
I hope Emma’s book makes people see, “Yes we are out of our depth here. But that’s precisely where Jesus works – out of our depth.” I pray it will equip God’s people to see that we have a gospel big enough to handle the biggest issues. And that churches will start to be the places where these problems aren’t hidden or exacerbated, but addressed and healed.
Read commendations here.
Pre-order the book here.