I read a lot of books. Some of them I like, some I love and a precious few of them I NEED. This is one of those books that I needed. I didn’t even know I needed it until I started reading it. Made Well, by Jenny Simmons, is like a soothing balm for hurting hearts. It’s a healing book. Jenny Simmons is a phenomenal writer whose words are filled with kindness and authenticity in such a beautiful way so that when you read them you feel like you’re already good friends.
About this time last year I read Jenny’s first book, The Road to Becoming, and it was one of my favorite books of the year. I have been recommending it ever since! Her latest book, Made Well, is equally meaningful. In it, she shared personal stories of loss, grief and healing that touched my heart and made me cry. In her stories, I hear my own stories of loss and grief – things I thought I’d moved past only to realize that moving past something and healing from it are two very different things.
There are so many layers to this book. Being Made Well is not just about how we were created in the beginning, although that’s part of it. This book is also about being re-created – about becoming well again after a period of hurt, pain, sickness, grief or shame. Jesus asks us, “Do you want to be made well?” Jenny points out that we have a choice. We can choose to stay unwell or we can take the hand of the Great Healer and walk with Him into wholeness. And there are so many ways to be healed. Not just the mountain top moments that restore our souls, but the daily little things that can bring healing to our hearts if we’ll purposefully seek out and soak up those moments.
She talks about how to show up for others in their grief and how they will lead us in the best ways to love and serve them. She talks about how healing takes time and there are no short cuts or roundabouts even though we all desperately wish that there were. Jenny also talks about how we need to make peace with our “broken bits” and how that looks different for each of us, just like grieving and healing look different for each of us.
As someone who has attended more funerals than the number of years I’ve been alive, I have more experience with loss and grief than I’d like to have. And it always seems like it comes in waves, doesn’t it? I suppose that’s grace too, though. The crest of the wave is always followed by the trough. There’s an up and down to it and the down is where the peace and healing come. After the wave, after the thing that threatens to wipe you out, comes the calm waters of healing. All of us need healing. From past hurts, from loss, from the ache of a soul that has forgotten how beautiful and worthy it is – healing is for everyone. If you want to find healing or wholeness, if you want to become well again or maybe even for the first time, I urge you to read Made Well, by Jenny Simmons. While Jenny is A healer, she is not THE Healer. But her words beautifully point towards the One who is. You won’t regret a single page.
There are SO many “Quotables” in Made Well by Jenny Simmons, here are some of my very favorite ones:
“Healing happens all the time, even if a cure doesn’t.” (p24)
“Healing happens when we entrust ourselves to God’s care and become aware of the miraculous ways He is at work in our midst, binding the wounds.” (p32)
“What is most true about me is the image of God inside of me. Imago Dei is my starting point and my finish line. My birthmark, my DNA.” (p35)
“You were not created broken before you ever had a chance to become beautiful.” (p39)
“He bypasses my desire for cheap grace and quick fixes and does what He does best – He invites. Jesus doesn’t assume the man wants to be made well – He knows some people prefer to stay sick.” (p57)
“Long before we are invited to be healed by God, we are invited to be loved by God. The healing journey begins after we surrender to God’s love. When we finally come to accept the fact that we are madly, deeply, fully known and enjoyed by our Creator God, we are set free to begin our journey toward wholeness.” (p59)
“Healing is not as complicated as we like to make it. The steadfastness of our own hearts is enough to give us pause and mend us in tiny ways if we allow it to.” (p95)
“Good healers know that words aren’t always necessary and tears are okay.” (p104)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Made Well from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
In the spirit of looking for healing in everyday things: some of my healing balms are music, snuggles with little ones, beautiful books by talented writers (like Made Well), chai tea lattes and Fall. What are yours?