Title: Get Your Joy Back
Author: Laurie Wallin
Publisher: Kregel Publications
“Joy happens when we stop trying to avoid or fix our child’s quirks, and instead ask God for eyes to see what He intended when He wired them that way,” Laurie Wallin writes in her book, Get Your Joy Back: Banishing Resentment and Reclaiming Confidence in Your Special Needs Family.
At one hundred and seventy-six pages, this paperback targets those struggling with the day-in-day-out challenges of caring and loving special needs children. With the use of heck and hell (quoted), topics of anger, resentment, and frustration may not be helpful for sensitive readers.
After a foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada and the author’s invitation, the book is divided into fifteen chapters, followed by author’s notes, a bibliography, and author’s biography.
Dedicated to special needs children’s parents and their well-being, Wallin tries to help stop the madness and guilt regarding their children. Exhausted from chronic stress, one can find joy by changing themselves.
With usually one chapter about forgiveness of self, child, spouse, extended family, professionals, church/community, and most importantly, God, the following chapters show how to restore, rediscover, rekindle, regain, reclaim, and rebuild joy with those relationships. Some chapters end with several suggestions of how to practice forgiving a specific person.
By noting the hurt and choosing to let it go by moving on, one can forgive not only when dealing with a special needs child, but also in life as well. By shedding resentment, she or he can discover the joy of God through one’s abilities, preferences, and experiences. The word “should” needs to be reconsidered, and empathy promoted instead when handling children with specific issues. Having a crucial relationship with a spouse, time together alone will help avoid thinking the mate is the enemy. One needs to stop asking why all the time and ask how they can glorify God. When one forgives, grieves, and restores positive feelings, joy can be obtained.
Although the book tends to be often the author’s journey, other parents’ challenges are mentioned. Readers who do not deal with the special needs environment may glean a thing or two about forgiveness of self and others.
A life coach for ten years, author Wallin is the mother of four girls, two of them with mental and developmental special needs. She is a regular speaker at women’s events, a popular blogger, and author of one other book.
Thanks to the Book Club Network, Kregel Publishing, and the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinion.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.