5 Stars Out Of 5
Refreshing Honesty--Raw and Real
July 8, 2013
Mental illness, spiritual warfare, addiction, bullying, rage, hopelessness, physical sickness, abuse, emotional torture-Graham Aitchison divulges the deepest secrets of his life's journey with startling transparency in No Way Out But Through.
Anyone who has experienced the pain of the above mentioned issues will find themselves nodding in agreement as they read Graham's story. The text is refreshingly real--as if you are sitting in a living room listening to the author tell you his story first-hand. It's rare that a book is written from the view of "sharing" rather than "preaching". Along with the "realness" of the authors journey is a manuscript packed with spiritual truth.
I found this to be a fascinating read once I got into the meat of the story. So much of Graham's life reflects my own struggles with mental illness. Often the journey through mental/emotional sickness leads one into isolation, misunderstanding, and intense loneliness, but knowing others have suffered as you have brings great comfort. Even for the reader who has not experienced such things, there is much to learn from No Way Out But Through. Graham's book provides a resource for the confused family members and frustrated friends of those who do deal with these issues. All around it's a book many people could benefit from.
What I found most interesting was Graham's discussion of Christianity and mental illness. No doubt this is a subject of much debate in the Church today leaving the mentally distressed guilt-ridden and most everyone else critical of such "mental" experiences.
"Throughout everything I was learning to break through, there was one essential factor to the whole process that I became more and more aware of over time - the great love and endless patience that God has for people, especially those who struggle with any form of mental illness."
Graham acknowledges the spiritual warfare at play within his mind as well as how God brought him through overwhelming, debilitating darkness. Much of his journey to healing started with honesty within himself and before God. Many of the points he makes throughout the book remind me of what I learned in the 12-step programs I've been through. I especially appreciated his conversation regarding change within the heart rather than change in one's circumstances.
"Change for the better starts from within, and will then eventually be followed by external change - not the other way around. We will never solve our own problems through trying to blame others for what are actually our own responsibilities, nor will we solve our problems through continued disregard of our own emotions and hearts, and through listening to an increasingly shallow and self-serving society."
"Modern society in many ways tells people to look for peace and happiness in external circumstances, hence the abundance of consumerism. Christ's way of thinking, which He passes on to those who follow him, encourages the individual to seek out true, lasting peace and understanding through looking honestly into the mirror and journeying with God through the parts of themselves they would rather avoid."
Admittedly not everyone will relate to Graham's story, but plenty of people will relate or know someone who can. If you've ever wondered what goes on in the mind of someone suffering with mental illness such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, severe anxiety, anger, or bullying, then you will learn much from Graham's story. No Way Out But Through reads like a journal-raw and real.
"God's way of thinking is a total contradiction to the world's way of thinking. The world's way of thinking encourages dishonesty, shallowness, irresponsibility and pride. God's way of thinking encourages honesty, depth, personal responsibility and humility."
Thankfully, this is exactly what Graham has done--spoken with depth, honesty, responsibility and humility.
(I purchased this book with my own money and did not receive it in exchange for a good review. The opinions expressed here were my own.)