My previous post about “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Alonzo:
Now that I have finished reading “DPNS,” my endorsement of it has not changed. I recommend this book to everyone, especially to those whom are holding on to hurts or having a difficult time forgiving someone for something.
I finished the book in three sittings- I probably could have read the book in one day because I had a hard time putting it down, I had to practice patience as I took time to take care of other every-day tasks like sleeping…. I highlighted and bookmarked and took notes all throughout the book!
The story reads like a Stephen King book, seeing the images in my mind play out like an unbelievable tale. Yet, Alonzo’s story actually happened. She lived through some horrific ordeals that make one wonder how anyone came out of it sane.
Alonzo paints the scenes well. Some of it was written from her own memories of the experience. What she couldn’t remember or wasn’t around to witness, those experiences were backed up by her parent’s records of personal journals, photo albums, newspaper clippings, etc. Alonzo also gathered information from court transcripts, official reports, and interviews.
And still, the story sounds unbelievable.
A personal thought…
I had written in my original post that “Forgiving, myself and others, is something that I struggle with.” After reading “DPNS,” I think I should explain that a little more because it’s not as simple as I put it earlier.
I struggle with forgiving people not because I don’t want to forgive.
I struggle with forgiveness because I am still hurting.
I want to make things right. I want to heal the broken relationships that I have acquired over the years, any one or more of them would do, whether I was the one hurt or the one doing the hurting, or if both occurred. If I have hurt someone or they are concerned that I’m still holding something against them, I want that person to be healed. I want to be healed. What could be better? If I can participate in helping someone heal over a hurt, I’ll be there. I’m not a hateful person.
So, there are people in recent years that have hurt me deeply. It’s difficult to express… this hurt. It has been the worst I’ve felt in my life and I don’t know what to do.
I tried facing my offenders. I tried going away to cool off. I cried out to God. I cried to those I thought were caring. I cried to myself. I tried to forgive.
I tried everything I know to do and tried some other things that were new to me. Still I sit here crying, with my heart pounding in my chest, and my hands trembling as I type…
…because it still hurts so much.
So, sometimes I wonder if I have truly forgiven them or not.
The finishing chapter of “DPNS” is the most amazing, in my opinion. In the chapter “No Apologies in Heaven,” Alonzo answers people’s questions of how she has been able to forgive the person whom had done such terrible things to her family for years. Her lessons on forgiveness are explained in the sections:
- Forgiving As He [God] Forgave Me
- For the Love of God
- Get Out of Jail
- No Apology in Heaven
Alonzo also writes candidly about the tough stuff of the journey of forgiveness. “The news tore open my old wounds.” Though what I went through seems like a pinch on the cheek compared to the cut through Alonzo’s heart, her thoughts are so similar to how I feel about my hurts that I mentioned before. Alonzo gives an answer to how to deal with those hurts that keep on hurting.
I don’t want to give up Alonzo’s story; I want you to read it for yourself. It’s worth your time.
I will be reading this again. I think I should put together a list of books to read each year or some kind of timely manner like that and should I get that done, I’m sure “DPNS” will be on the list.
Thank you for reading and may your hurts be healed.