2 out of 4 stars
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Let Your Misery be Your Ministry by Dr. Liz Ernst is a religious book that addresses abuse, forgiveness, trauma, and restoration. Dr. Ernst bears a responsibility to help others, and she uses her personal experiences to propagate her message. The events chronicled in the book are real, but the names are changed to protect the guilty.
Dr. Ernst describes an abusive and distressing childhood. Her father leaves before she could ever know him. Her alcoholic grandfather and her mother would physically, mentally, and verbally abuse her. Her great-grandfather had been abusive to her grandfather. Consequently, her grandfather maintains the pattern on many of the women in his family (including Dr. Ernst). Her mother and grandmother get critically sick, and she has to work the night shifts and weekends at her grandparents’ bar. She gets injured several times trying to lift and care for them. During her adolescent years, she witnesses several deaths in her family. Furthermore, she is forced to contend with oppositions in diverse churches as an adult. Nevertheless, God begins helping her overcome all the harrowing experiences. She surrenders and starts a ministry to help others.
Abuse is an issue many people face. Unfortunately, it defines people when not dealt with. Abuse produces shame, guilt, and unforgiveness. The author states, “Abuse is a pattern that needs to be identified, acknowledged, and dealt with.” In addition, a person must establish his own identity and not accept the identity assigned by people or circumstances.
I appreciate the message of hope in the book. There is always hope for anyone who is going through traumatic experiences. The Holy Spirit can help people through these moments and facilitate recovery and restoration. I agree with the author’s notion that the devil is not the source of every problem in a person’s life. Some problems are due to adverse decisions or circumstances. Additionally, the book reiterates that God never rejects anyone even if others do.
Notwithstanding, I think the book was written on the Microsoft Word software and converted to another format – mobi. This led to several format issues such as many displaced letters, a disorderly page layout, and inconsistent line spacing. Furthermore, I do not appreciate the many grammatical errors in the book. For instance, “…some of which has been a process…” and statements like, “My grandfather was… the only son from a family of five. He had a twin brother who died and three sisters…” In addition, I do not agree with the author’s belief that everyone grew up in a dysfunctional family (to some degree or another). I believe this is a fallacy of hasty generalization.
I give the book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. The book does not seem professionally edited, and the format issues make the book difficult to read. However, there are many lessons to be learned from the author’s personal experiences. The book will appeal to people who love biographies and religious books.
Let Your Misery be Your Ministry
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