Thursday, May 14, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: PERFECTLY BROKEN by AMBER MAUDLIN

A Memoir of Rape and Redemption...

"He may have killed my innocence that day, but he awoke something more powerful - a woman of Faith...." PERFECTLY BROKEN (Amber Maudlin, Westbow 2014)
This book is an inspiring honest account of a brave young woman's journey from a brutalized 16 year old almost two decades ago to the point where she can now share her personal restoration, with the lost and hurting. Amber Harville (Maudlin) was violently attacked, physically and otherwise by a criminal, after being kidnapped on the way to a Subway sandwich shop in Virginia. What follows in this extremely well written book (Westbow Press, December 2014, 214 pages), is a page-turner which is so horrifying and intensely sad that reading it will, at first, tremendously infuriate the reader!

Amber, for a first time author, did an amazingly gripping and mature job in describing her memories of that time almost two decades ago when this awful assault occurred. She expertly wove her personal physical and spiritual trauma as both a high school student (after the assault) with her relationship with her mother, brother and step-father so well, that the reader ends up on the same roller-coaster of emotion. As horrifying  as the foundation of the story is,  Perfectly Broken is full of good innocent humor and life as the abused teen, a Christian young lady at the time, sought to work through this personal crisis with the Great God of Heaven. You can almost see her trying to live the semblance of a "normal" teenager outwardly, all the while, doubting and debating on the inside.

For me, this is the most powerful part of this book. Like most folks who have gone through unfair and ungodly attacks, the most asked question is "Where is (was) God?"...and all the different variations of this question. Like most under duress, it seems as though God has gone silent. Remember, even the Lord Jesus Himself, God in Heaven from eternity past with the Father, cried out in agony on the Cross "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"  This is a difficult thing for any Christian, whether in crisis or not. It has happened to anyone who has walked close to God throughout life and even the best of us. The rape and violent attacks on this teenage girl would be enough, in post-Christian, spiritually weak America, to turn anyone else away from our Heavenly Father.

To her credit, Amber never gave in to those thoughts but kept asking God and the Savior Jesus Christ for help in comprehending the matter.  She eventually was led to her youth minister Jason, who did something which not even senior pastors in America could do- get a teenager to read and digest all 42 Chapters of the Book of Job! Not just that, Amber read the entire book of Job in the King James Version! That alone is impressive. In my opinion, this is both the turning point in Amber's ability to successfully process her personal tragedy while finding the true peace and comfort of our Loving God, which she had sought and fought so hard for.



Here is where "Perfectly Broken" is now becoming, and IS, a true resource for ANYONE who has been a victim of any type of crime or otherwise. It was the Scriptures, inspired by God, and the Holy Spirit Who abides in this truly born-again young woman, which brought about Restoration! The restoration was so powerful, once Amber got the true message of the Book of Job that she wrote in her book "He (the attacker) may have killed my innocence that day, but he awoke something more powerful - a woman of Faith. No matter what the verdict is, I've already won. I see that now?" She said those words close to the trial where she was the key witness against the serial rapist, who was later put away for life.

How did this happen, that one goes from questioning God to speaking like she did in the above quote? The answer lies in the entire long narrative of the Book of Job - the actual first book of the Bible.  Apart from the impressive fact that a sixteen year old would read in one sitting, the long tedious (and mostly false) speeches of Job's friends and Job and still get the key point of Job, is in itself, a good reason to read "Perfectly Broken". When the dark night of the soul finally broke, after reading this classic book of the Bible, which serves as an example for all peoples of all times, God reveals the reason why trouble came to Amber and how He wanted her to deal with it. It came in her own words, where she offered up the answer that this life is not really about her, but her experiences, with Christ on her side, to help someone else. Just reading how God revealed Himself and His call, purpose and design for a persecuted Christian, is worth obtaining and purchasing this first time offering by Amber Maudlin.
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