4 out of 4 stars
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God loves messed up people is written by Gene Heil. It is an autobiographical account of his difficult life and his journey to a meaningful relationship with God. The author is now a minister and believes everyone can gain salvation by becoming a member of the family of God.
The author has lived a life of depression, fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem from his difficult upbringing. He had dysfunctional grandparents who created his dysfunctional parents. His father was an alcoholic, and when he was drunk, he became a monster. He would lock his children in the basement, and the whole family would suffer from domestic abuse. As a sober man, he could be a good man who battled every day to provide for his family. The author’s mother would continually forgive this behaviour, as she loved him. Their Catholic beliefs prohibited the couple from using contraception, and so the family grew, adding more strain to support and feed an ever-growing family.
Adding to the author’s insecurity, the family moved twenty-one times before he was eighteen years old. When they lived in Baltimore, racism, segregation, and violence were rife, and the author suffered many beatings from local gangs. These assaults resulted in him having no haven, inside or outside the home. Things became worse at home when he suffered terrible abuse by a family member. He then focused on turning eighteen, as then he could escape, leave home, and join the army. From here, the author describes his life and the consequences of his trauma, and how ultimately, his relationship with God saved him.
I admire the author’s honesty displayed in his writing. I commend him for writing this book to help other people in similar situations. He advocates sharing personal trauma and abuse and seeking therapy as keeping these experiences hidden can cause more harm. I liked his advice about taking notice of children who are acting differently or exhibiting bad behaviour. There could be a reason for this, and you could be the person to help and stop any abuse that may be occurring. Another pearl of wisdom is educating your children about abuse in an open way so that they feel comfortable to confide in you. I enjoyed that the author included advice and shared his story as every reader could take something from this book.
The author discusses the racial tensions he experienced growing up. Throughout the book, he discusses how there is still a lot of work to do regarding racism and that it is still prevalent in America. Many thought-provoking aspects allow the reader to think more deeply about this issue, and he offers some advice on eradicating these issues if we all shared a like-minded view. I loved his passion for embracing all cultures and enjoying diversity.
The author is now a minister, and religion has always been with him. He always believed in God but never had a close relationship with him. Throughout all his experiences, he believes God was by his side and pulled him through the darkest times. Cultivating this relationship with God has helped him heal and allowed him to carry this message through his words to his congregation and his readers. Although religion is salvation for him, and he wants this book to encourage others to follow God, you don’t have to be a religious person to enjoy this book. His powerful messages and candid memoir will resonate with many, and his journey may inspire others.
I didn’t find anything to dislike about the book, and it’s exceptionally edited as I didn’t find any spelling or grammar mistakes. I admired the author’s courage and sympathised deeply with his previous trauma. The book does a magnificent job of showing that anyone can be healed and serves as a motivational and inspirational reading aid. I rate the book 4 out of 4 stars, and it is suitable for adult readers who enjoy harrowing real-life stories about abuse and the journey to recovery.
God loves messed up people
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