Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review: Coming Clean by Seth Haines

You may have noticed that I haven't posted on the blog in about two months. I have been quite busy in my second internship at a treatment center for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders. It's occupied 20+ hours of my week each week, the rest being occupied by my family.

As you may know, I have been receiving books for free from Book Look Bloggersin exchange for my honest review for several years now.

When I had an opportunity to review a book written by a Christian author about his journey to sobriety, I thought this was an excellent opportunity for me. I could not only learn more about what it means for someone to struggle with addiction, but I could learn more about it through the eyes of a Christian, another believer. My hopes had been that I could teach from this book in one of my groups, but alas the group that it would have been appropriate for has been in the hands of one person for so long that he pretty much "owns" that group. But anyway, on to my review.

In this book, Seth Haines journals about his first 90 days of sobriety. Not only that, but he "comes clean" about so many things; his dwindling faith in God, his difficulty forgiving others, his disagreements and wrestling with God, and so much more. I personally have not struggled with addiction. I have, however, had trials and tribulations in my life. Who hasn't? I have asked God to heal myself, to heal other people, to take away poverty, pain, hopelessness, depression, the list goes on. I often feel like my prayers are unanswered. Seth Haines' words give me hope. God answers all our prayers, maybe just not in the way we would like. We are often looking for some supernatural healing of sickness, pain, suffering, etc. But God doesn't always bring it that way. God has His plan and we, as finite beings, can never really understand what that is. Another insight gained from Haines' book is that of forgiveness. There are a few people in my life that I have forgiven. It doesn't change much for me except that there is no longer hatred in my heart that affects my beliefs or how I live my life. I have let those hurts go and they no longer affect me. Forgiveness is a hard concept for a lot of us, but for Haines' it reached even deeper as he was forgiving people that he didn't even really know, people that had affected his childlike faith. Without spoiling the book, let me just say that Haines' words are poignant, heartfelt, and insightful, bringing to light so many thoughts that many of us have had as Christians. If you have struggled or are struggling with addiction or even if you are simply struggling to get by in life, I recommend this book. Read it, take it to heart, think of Christ's love for you and be changed.