This is not a book for the meek. Then again, allowing God to work through you and in you, in order to receive healing, isn’t either. It takes a lot of courage, patience and solitude. In his book, Surviving Sexual Brokenness: What Grace Can Do, author Thom Hunter dives into a deeply personal testimony of his own struggles with and against, same sex attraction.
Hunter is a truly eloquent writer; poetic. When we initially discussed my reviewing the book he humbly mentioned the presence of his poetry in the book. I was greatly surprised to find that the entire book reads like a great work of prose. He has a very unique writer’s voice that I truly enjoyed; like that of a classic!
As I delved into the the book I sensed something that honestly bothered me, therefore making it difficult to wrap my head around what he was saying. After another attempt, I realized what I was picking up on: hesitation. I decided to question Hunter to see if I were right and here was his response:
“As for your question about a perceived sense of hesitation in Surviving Sexual Brokenness? That probably comes in part because the book was written in those early moments of self-revelation that comes from overcoming . . . and partly from an effort to write in a way that the reader can relate, no matter what part of the journey he or she might be at while reading.” ~Thom Hunter
Dear reader, please don’t give up on the book in the first half! What you’ll experience is some talking around the subject (beating around the bush if you will) and lack of transparency that comes with discomfort and insecurity. Trust when I say that no matter who you are, this is a meaty topic and not one that a person who isn’t trying to overcome (or who has a victory over) would write a book about. I applaud Mr. Hunter for his courage in tackling it, honestly.
Like so many others do, who are sexually abused as a child, Hunter reveals his life-long, internal sufferings, lack of identity, insecurity and shame. All things that he never asked to be burdened with. Just as many who were abused by someone of the same sex, he struggled from youth to understand and overcome the turmoil which ensued inside; hiding himself from even those closest to him.
What you will find in each chapter is a man with a deep faith in the Lord who’s hurt is only deepened by those whom are also supposed to be deeply rooted in their faith. A man who lost things and people near and dear to him, for his difficulties, yet still felt the need to put it all out there, as best as he could, to help others. Even if it was just one person who would prevail.
I found myself urging Hunter on with each turn of the page until I finally felt a breakthrough in the later chapters. I witnessed a growth as his words became stronger and more transparent. In the end I could feel that a victory for him was right around the corner! A new sense of self was emerging: that of an overcomer, of a person who had found their worth despite what anyone else said, or didn’t say, to his face. (If you are a believer who has overcome and had victory through Christ, you’ll understand why this is exciting.)
“All things are possible through Christ who strengthens us…” and Hunter certainly starts to believe and witness to this as the end chapters progress. So much so that I felt proud of him. There was one passage in particular near the end I’d like to share:
“Whatever sin we struggle with–and we all do–where and how we got there is different for each of us. Where we go from here is dependent on something we all need to do: forgive and love. Forgive those who sinned against us…and seek forgiveness for the sins we have committed against others. Love each other as Jesus loved us.”
It takes a lot of recognition and denial of your “self” life to to get to the stage of forgiveness for some. For Hunter, it was mostly forgiving himself for his sins that seemed to be holding him back along the way; I pray that in making the statement above, Thom Hunter ended his shared journey coming out stronger than that which opposed him. It certainly felt as such.
Thank you Thom for your courage! I hope this book touches the lives of many who are also struggling with the many forms of sexual brokenness you address here.
You can learn more about Thom Hunter by following the links below. He has also since published another work titled, Who Told You You Were Naked, that you can purchase as a combo with Surviving Sexual Brokenness via Amazon.com