This book is a personal account paired with spiritual lessons realized by suicide survivor, Annie Hutchison. The author begins the book with her story as a young wife recovering from an attempt to end her life. After suffering under the weight of self-deprecating beliefs and toxic relationships, Hutchinson saw no other way out of her pain. But God had other plans. After the doctors revived her, and Hutchison lay in her hospital bed praying for forgiveness and guidance, her eyes opened to the truth. She realized that she, like all of us, are flawed human beings put on earth for a purpose. Through her study of Scripture, she discovered that the perfectionism she strove for simply wasn’t attainable nor spiritually desired. And that’s when her true journey of faith and healing began.
Hutchison’s retelling of this tragic experience is raw and emotionally gripping, stopping you in your tracks, and drawing you into her world full bore.
As she relays her “unfounded” perspectives and false beliefs you cry for the lost soul whose only desire was to feel loved. As she fought her way back, Hutchinson wrote this book to testify how her personal walk with God, as the ultimate therapist, helped her understand her purpose on this earth.
There are many spiritual and self-help books sharing an author’s journey back from a devastating, or life-threatening, experience. You’ll find many spotlighted on Books Uplift, because they serve as a wonderful reminder of our blessings, as well as a companion and coach for day to day setbacks. But each book brings something different to the table, and everyone gleans something new from the experience of reading them.
The reason I share this obvious truth is that Through Dark Places is one of those books that touched me personally.
My family has experienced multiple suicides, and I found Hutchison’s story illuminating—giving me a tiny glimpse into that ethos. As I read, I found myself viscerally drawn into her world, emotionally connecting with her words, and ultimately taking copious notes from her epiphanies. These gentle reminders unearthed deeply ingrained assumptions, then challenged me to reframe my beliefs. A few of my favorite quotes include:
“Perfectionism tells me I don’t need God because I can control my life on my own.”
“Grace is being given favor and love from God when you have done nothing to deserve it.”
“Don’t get discouraged, get courageous.”
I especially like how she reworked her “lies” into truths effectively breaking free from her self-imposed stronghold through practice and prayer.
Listen, you don’t have to be a Christian, woman, mother, or faith follower to gain enlightenment and inspiration from Through Dark Places. In my opinion, it’s a must-read for anyone battling an inner critic, feeling lost and without purpose, facing mental health crisis in their life, or for a simple reminder of one’s blessings.
Image Courtesy of Annie Hutchinson