Seeking the Light of God’s Comforter – Book Review
I’ve been waiting on a book from Lynn.
You know when someone is different. Lynn Severance is different.
Sometimes a painful event enters our lives. It moves on. We move on.
But other times, the pain comes to sit.
Pain came to sit with Lynn.
“Am I spending my life in spacious places? My view can seem confining as others rush by me to involvements in many places. Does activity always mean that productivity follows? It seems that as I commit each day to the Lord, He is the one who defines what is productive for me.”
– Lynn Severance
I started reading her words around 2008/2009 when we both begin writing devotionals for Rest Ministries about living with chronic illness.
Her words were always a little deeper, more thought-filled, always faith-filled.
As a thriving elementary school teacher, Lynn awoke one morning in 1983 with a full-fledged vertigo attack.
The dizziness came to stay.
After experiencing additional challenges, including aggressive breast cancer, she eventually was forced to retired from a career she loved due to vestibular dysfunction. Her life was forever changed.
Physical pain not only hurts our bodies, it also hurts out hearts, our activities, and, at times, our faith.
But out of these challenges, learning “to live in a body that took an unexpected turn,” Lynn and God birthed this book, Seeking the Light of God’s Comforter: When Challenges Dim Our View.
It is a collection of 60 devotionals and accompanying photographs that bear reflection to God’s faithfulness, goodness, and presence in the midst of hardships.
Lynn doesn’t dismiss our pain through her writings. But she strips away its edge.
In Section One, she writes,
“The writings of this section of the book deal with harsh realities, but the qualities of springtime dominate in their messages. These are gifts God wants to bring to us if we can open our hearts to receive them. Our faith, giving reception to them, is what we return to the Giver.”
Through her meditations on God’s love, truth, and grace, we look to God not just for answers and changed circumstances (they may or may not come), but for relationship and peace.
Accepting the reality of our situation instead of denying it helps us increase our faith in the one who does understand the big picture. And who never leaves us in the midst of it.
“I choose to recognize both [trials and beautiful moments]. I desire to dwell in the buoyancy of your light that lifts me above a world that can clamor, wanting to pull me down. Someday I will understand reasons for many of my life events during these past decades. I am in no rush. Delivery to my eternal home will come and all things will be made clear.”
The four sections of devotionals are:
- Section One: Hope—Faith—Redemption—Love—Praise
- Section Two: Comfort—Goodness—Peace—Kindness—Flexibility
- Section Three: Gratitude—Trust—Faithfulness—Abundance—Surrender
- Section Four: Courage—Perseverance—Strength—Compassion—Incarnation
Along with each devotional, we also receive a related scripture, a prayer, and a beautiful color photo from Lynn’s collection. The back of the book details the origin of the pictures, an extensive recommended reading list of encouragement from Lynn’s bookshelves, and questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
Lynn is real. She doesn’t sugarcoat the painful things, but she doesn’t leave you wallowing in them either. She presses on and through.
I see light shining through the pain.
I hear God’s wisdom through Lynn.
His truths through her words are a gift to us all.
* * *
Do you live with a chronic illness or pain? What helps you press on? Please share in the comments.
- To purchase Lynn’s book:
The best price for the paperback is currently at Redemption Press, where you can also get a free PDF now of the first Section, including photographs.
You can buy the Kindle version at Amazon.
- Follow Lynn:
Her journey from writing to publishing is on her Facebook page (her author website is coming soon). Read Lynn’s blog, “Let All Creation Sing”.
- Do You Judge My Southern Accent?
- 7 Books I Recommend – February 2017
What an encouraging woman! This line really hit me, “learning “to live in a body that took an unexpected turn,”. For so many of us, life has taken an unexpected turn. How great to be able to read from one who has overcome her turn and is using it for God’s glory!
Stopping by from the #HeartEncouragment Linkup
Lynn is definitely an encouraging woman. And she’s had many reasons not to be! But by the grace of God, she’s continued to spread joy and hope instead of gloom and despair. I feel grateful to have “met” her online several years ago.
You’ve shared a book, but you’ve also shared an inspiring life story, Lisa. Thanks for your continual encouragement through your writing.
Lynn definitely has proven that it’s possible to remain joyful and hopeful despite long-term challenges. She inspires me.
My dear Lisa – not only did I find ‘you’ in my email box this morning, I found ‘me’!!
What a way to wake up seeing ‘my book’ through your eyes – heartfelt words from one who knows the journey well. I am most appreciative.
Many thank yous!
I’m glad you found yourself here, Lynn. 🙂 You’re a treasure. Thank you again for your diligence and faithfulness in writing these devotionals, matching them with pictures, going through all you did with publication, and now here’s the book. Praise God!
I never realized you write devotions for Rest Ministries, Lisa. I used to get them, but I quit a couple of years ago, I think. This sounds like such a helpful book. I love that Lynn doesn’t dismiss the reality of the pain, but that the light of God’s truth still shines through. I so identify with your words here – “Accepting the reality of our situation instead of denying it helps us increase our faith in the one who does understand the big picture.” Love and hugs to you!
It’s been a few years since I’ve written for Rest Ministries, but I still continue to read other authors there from time to time. Lots of encouraging men and women with stories to tell! I’m so grateful for forums like that so we can all hear that no one has to be alone in challenges.
sometimes such beauty arises from pain. What neat to read this today. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, beauty often does rise up from pain, even though it’s hard to imagine in when we’re in the very middle of the pain. Lynn’s life is a living example of this.
This sounds like a great devotional! Thank you for sharing this review.
You’re welcome, Valerie. It definitely is a beautiful devotional, both for the words and meaning as well as for the photographs. I like to see as I read. 🙂
After coming off a very painful “flare up” of my own chronic illness (nothing compared to Lynn’s) this encouragement is just what I needed today, friend. Thank you.
“Physical pain not only hurts our bodies, it also hurts out hearts, our activities, and, at times, our faith.” This is so true. When you’re in the midst of it, it’s difficult to focus on more than the pain, but if I can focus on just one other thing I want it to be Him. His presence brings me through, back to the light. Looking forward to reading more of Lynn’s encouraging words.
My illnesses are nothing at all like Lynn’s either, but nonetheless our pain is each our own, and we do have to bear it, however small or large it may be. So I hear where you’re coming from, June. Lynn’s words have helped me as well in dealing with my own pains, even though they’re small in comparison. Praying your flare up is now behind you!
I am just thrilled seeing Lynn being “posted” everywhere. She has been a great mentor to me for several years now and I am grateful for every new thing God uses her to teach me. The fact that this book has been published is such a blessed doorway for those who may be suffering and think they are alone in their suffering. They now have a gateway to let them know they are never alone for Someone is always watching over them.
Your words are a beautiful testimony to Lynn. Thanks for sharing here, Shelby. I agree with you; I, too, am grateful for the things God teaches Lynn because I know she’ll spread them around to us as well. We are blessed to have her example in how to deal with challenges.
Dear Lisa, Thank you for this great review. I just went over to Kindle and purchased a copy now, since these words are such a longing in my own heart as well: “I desire to dwell in the buoyancy of your light that lifts me above a world that can clamor, wanting to pull me down.” I look forward to reading and finding God’s Grace in the pages of her book! –Blessings to you!
I pray that Lynn’s words will bring comfort to you, too, Bettie! Her writing is very grace-filled and real.