Anyone who has ever picked up a self-help book with great expectations only to be disappointed with its lack of "help" will appreciate YOUR HEART'S DESIRE. Sheri Rose Shepherd goes beyond expectations on many levels and reaches out to single, married and divorced women. In addition to 14 chapters that each focus on one life-changing truth, she has included suggestions for a small group curriculum that can be used in conjunction with the book.
The author has a sensitivity to the needs of women rooted in her own experiences with a broken home, eating disorder, weight issues and depression. The fact that she was able to overcome these often debilitating problems is inspirational to anyone who picks up this book looking for help. She has a lighthearted way of encouraging that offers support without judgment and hope without condemnation.
"Anyone who has ever picked up a self-help book with great expectations only to be disappointed with its lack of "help" will appreciate YOUR HEART'S DESIRE. Sheri Rose Shepherd goes beyond expectations on many levels and reaches out to single, married and divorced women."
Sheri Rose credits God with her recovery and uses Psalm 37:4 as her inspiration: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Each chapter begins with a quote from the Bible that reinforces that chapter's focus. This not only provides the reader with assurance that the theme is biblical, it also gives a resource that can be used for further study. Thankfully, the Christian counsel that she offers is not the "take two scriptures and call me in the morning" variety. This is not to disparage the scriptures, but to be sensitive to the fact that hurting people often need someone alongside them when reading.
The way that Sheri Rose comes alongside of the reader is by relating her own experiences in a way that makes her very vulnerable. That kind of vulnerability, and the lack of fear that accompanies it, shows that the person is comfortable with who she is and that she has the assurance of the love and acceptance that we seek in our relationships. The love of God provides that assurance and acceptance regardless of what you've done or where you are stuck in your life. As a life coach, Sheri Rose seems to have mastered this very important skill.
It's interesting to note that each of the chapters has a sub-heading that begins with the word "fighting." For example: Fighting the Temptation to Give up on Love and Marriage; Fighting Feelings of Worthlessness; Fighting to Remain Faithful in My Heart. Also noteworthy is the fact that each chapter begins with the word "desiring." For example: Desiring to Give and Receive Love; Desiring a Happily Ever After; Desiring a Miracle to Build a New Foundation of Love. This seems to indicate that when we desire love and good relationships, they are worth fighting for.
In addition to the clear and practical advice Sheri Rose provides, her book includes prayers that put into words many of the heart's desires that we may have difficulty expressing. She also includes wonderful "answers" from God that begin "My Beloved Daughter" and really reach right into the reader's heart. These, along with the chapter questions, provide excellent food for thought and discussion.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding on August 15, 2012