4 out of 4 stars
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I have had the privilege of reading Jeanne Enstad's very uplifting book, A Journey of Hope to Heaven and Back. Ms. Enstad's personal journey described in her book is one that should leave the reader in awe of the fact that one woman has faced so much turmoil and pain, yet still has come out of it all with a positive outlook on life.
Jeanne Enstad is a woman who has experienced many various health struggles during her adult life. She has had heart surgery, cancer, complications from a car accident, along with other various ailments. At the introduction of the book, Enstad tells the reader of her late mother's influence on her to write this book throughout her struggles. It was during all of those sufferings that Jeanne put together notes and musings, almost like a diary, that would later come together to make this book after her mother's death. Jeanne was a single mother during all of the years of her health issues, and continued to provide for her children in the midst of all of her hospitalizations and ailments. Chapter after chapter, she tells of the different surgeries and brushes with death that she has had during all of this suffering. Yet the backbone of the story is her musings on her spiritual life and how she would not be where she is now without the help of God. A few different times, she came close to death in the hospital bed and actually saw herself in heaven which boosted her spiritual life even more.
I really enjoyed Ms. Enstad's form of writing. She didn't try to use eloquent language. She just had a down-to-earth way of explaining everything that happened to her. I was drawn into this life-changing story of hers because I enjoy hearing about encounters with God and heaven and the ways that these experiences have given people a new outlook on the life they have. Jeanne spent many chapters just explaining everything she has learned about God, and these musings brought about many life lessons.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the fact that Jeanne pointed out many times about the people that her health journey has affected in positive ways. Friends, nurses, and people she did not even know were changed by Jeanne's strength and positive, spiritual outlook on life. She made a reference to Paul in the Bible and how his suffering and time in jail brought about positive changes in the lives of those who were around him because of his continued trust in God. Jeanne feels that even though she went through so much pain, others around her would not have been changed for the better without seeing her journey.
I really don't have anything negative to say about the book. It was lengthy, but it gave great detail into every experience that Jeanne had. I noticed about 3 very small grammatical mistakes, but overall, this book was extremely well-edited.
I am rating the book 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend Jeanne Enstad's story to those looking for spiritual uplifting and hope. It might not be the best story for those who don't prefer mentions of spiritual matters. However, it does not talk about specific religious beliefs. It's just about everything that trusting in God had taught her. I would encourage anyone who is feeling down due to health or other struggles in life to take a look at this story, as it is very positive and encouraging.
A Journey of Hope to Heaven and Back
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