Book Review: Held
Book Reviewed by Idrissa Uqdah
Jehovah Rapha, The Lord Who Heals
Author Leslie Haskin has written a follow-up to her best seller, Between Heaven and Ground Zero, an account of her experiences as a survivor of 9-11. Her first book told the story of what happened as she made her way from her office atop Tower One of the World Trade Center that fateful day and how her life changed drastically from that day forward.
In HELD; Haskin gives her readers an account of what it is like to live the daily struggles once your life has been altered by tragedy, loss and unexpected pain while exploring the existence; as well as the mercy, and the grace of God.
How often have we all asked the question; ’Why do bad things happen to good people?’ even though we know there are no swift, correct answers to the question? Many believers look to the Bible for comfort and hope to find answers. Others just hope to survive. Haskin has written a book for both those who still have hope and for those without any hope; but still strive to return to a life of peace and to find solace from their pain.
Although the book dragged for me, somewhat in the first half; I learned a lot and gleaned a better understanding of the scriptural messages imparted. I also was able to walk the journey with the author as she learned how to be content and find comfort in being held in the healing comfort of God. She speaks of grief, loss and pain but she also speaks of hope. Her descent into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is clearly described as she goes through both secular and spiritual counseling in her healing. This book is for those who have walked in the same darkness carrying with them the desperation to survive. She speaks to not only victims of 9-11; but also those who have survived tragedies such as suicide bombings in Israel, Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes in China and the Tsunami in Sri Lanka. She speaks to survivors of illness; like cancer and those who are filled with grief over the loss of family and loved ones to death.
Her journey proves that in the darkness of suffering, we can find the light of recovery and the eventual healing that comes from trusting in God’s grace to sustain us. Experiencing flashbacks and nightmares of the traumatic events; avoidance, withdrawal and depression; she encourages other survivors of loss to work through the pain by trusting in God; by accepting that God is bigger than all that we experience.
HELD is the author’s own personal account of recovery towards healing. She found that recovery meant rebuilding trust with God, then with others and then with herself. She found that recovery is temporary; but that healing is the restoration of wholeness, heart, mind and soul. Healing is forever. But one must recover in order to heal and remain open to God so that He can fix what is broken inside. And while He is fixing what is broken, He will hold you in His loving care. This is the basic message that the author puts forth in the book using prayers and Scriptural references to enhance and make clear her personal story. Reaching out to a hurting world; Haskin does an awesome job of relating to those in need of healing in this book.