Abide: A Pathway to Transformative Healing and Intimacy with Jesus (Book Review)

There’s a surging interest in the topic of healing in the Church today; it is an unmistakable phenomenon springing up in different ministries and outreaches around the world.  It is, I believe, a remarkable movement of the Holy Spirit, integrating the best of psychology, anthropology, theology, and mystagogy to answer the ache of the human heart.  

God is always at work to draw us closer to Him, and along with the increased desire for prayer and intimacy, the invitation to inner healing is a very real way He calls us to Himself in order to continue the work of transformation in Christ that began with our baptism.

It makes sense: as we enter more intentionally and vulnerably into prayer, He will invite us to ever-deeper levels of self-awareness and healing.  The same Jesus who cured lepers and restored sight to the blind is the one we encounter in our prayer. We cannot walk with Him for long without realizing that He, too, is gently asking us, “What do you want me to do for you?”

And with grace and humility, we know the answer: we want to be well.  We want to be whole, to be fully ourselves, fully alive in Christ. 

And God Himself wants nothing less for us.

Heather Khym’s book, Abide: A Pathway to Transformative Healing and Intimacy with Jesus (Ave Maria Press, 2022), is both a fruit and a seed of this new and beautiful healing movement of the Holy Spirit. 

Abide is a fruit of much prayer and a Christ-centered life, a fruit of the hard work of the author’s personal healing and her ever-expanding ‘yes’ to the proclamation of the good news of hope and restoration.  (She and her husband Jake are co-founders of Life Restoration Ministries, a British Columbia–based apostolate.)

Abide is also a seed in the sense that it is meant to begin—or begin again—the soul’s conversation with its Creator about the longings and hurts that are the vestiges of sin.  It’s a starting point, or a place of recalibration, in our life’s journey of restoration.   

Khym, a popular podcast host who for years has gracefully articulated the workings of God in the human soul, here introduces readers to a powerful vocabulary that allows us to name our experiences: diminishment, dissociation, perpetual victimhood, practical atheism.  She knows that the power of simply naming what’s happening in our inner world is a huge step forward toward the full, abundant life the Lord intends for us.  

And yes, that means even now, this side of heaven.  “We are invited,” writes Khym, “to wait in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus, and while we wait, we will inevitably struggle, but we will also have opportunities to experience some of that unity now.  We can be healed and restored now, and taste joy in the living life to the full today: ‘I consider the sufferings of this present age are not worth comparing with the glory to be revealed to us’” (Rom 8:18).

She shares vulnerably from her own life’s story—including spiritual abuse from a brother and a marriage threatened by addiction—and offers hope by recounting the slow but sure process of deliverance and restoration.

Khym illustrates that each one of us, too, has a story that is a sharing in the overarching narrative of salvation history.  Included in the book are worksheets to break down the time periods of our life and to uncover our memories along with the positive and negative messages we’ve absorbed from each. She reminds us of the way our enemy speaks into our wounds and the way we make “agreements” with him.  She points out that the way to hear most clearly the voice of God is to enter into a personal relationship with Him. “As we grow in this relationship and discover the beauty of who he is, we will come to distinguish his voice from all the other voices; we will come to understand his calling on our lives and his will for us.”

For while none of us is untouched by sin, no one is outside of the reach of redemption and without a personal call to holiness.

But only in the context of the Paschal Mystery can our suffering begin to have meaning.  Only when our wounds are brought into the light of Christ can they be named and touched by the Healer.  “We have all sat in the shadows for far too long,” Khym says. Only when we accept His love and submit to His power and authority can we find true freedom.  This is not a love of “box-checking, to-do lists, performing and striving,” she writes.  Obligation will never result in a love affair.

 

Abide: A Pathway to Transformative Healing and Intimacy with Jesus is available here and wherever books are sold—and would make a wonderful mother’s day gift.

For 20% at Ave Maria Press, enter code KHYM.

Featured image: Depositphotos.

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