Just One More Day: Meditations for Those Who Struggle with Anxiety and Depression. By Beverlee Buller Keck. Kindred Publications (2009).
Book review by Christine Guth
ust One More Day: Meditations for Those Who Struggle with Anxiety and Depression, by Beverlee Buller Keck, offers encouragement, coping strategies, and companionship in the journey for readers who, like the author, struggle with depression and anxiety. Each of the book's forty daily meditations, framed with scripture and prayer, offers encouragement for "just one more day," and invites a modest but concrete step toward growth, hope and recovery.
Just one More Day is realistic. Keck knows that longer-term goals can be overwhelming when we are living with depression and anxiety. The aim of getting through "just one more day" is more likely to be achievable. Keck does not sugar coat or minimize the courageous effort it takes to go on living with these often-debilitating conditions. With honesty she recognizes that faith does not remove the struggle, while she affirms the small steps readers are able to take. Her personal testimony bears witness to God's faithfulness through difficult times.
As someone who has suffered with depression and anxiety and who is not often attracted to devotional books, I sense in this book the ring of authenticity. The strategies for healing Keck shares include many that I, too, have found helpful. Their uniqueness or creativity is not the point, but rather that they are offered here with warmth and sympathy and in small bite-sized pieces of encouragement that may be approachable for a person weighed down by depression and anxiety.
By sharing her own journey toward self acceptance in the midst of depression and anxiety, Keck points to God's acceptance of suffering people. She invites her readers to take simple, manageable steps toward the self-acceptance necessary for healing. The blank pages she includes for the readers' own reflections invite active dialogue with the author and reinforce her suggestion that journaling can contribute to healing. They offer silent affirmation that a reader's reflections in dark times will have enduring value and will be worth coming back to when re-reading the book.
Uneven editing has left places where the quality of prose may distract some readers. For example, although leaks in the desert might have been welcome to thirsty Hebrews escaping slavery (p. 199), it is the leeks of Egypt for which the wanderers hungered. Yet on the whole these spots should not get in the way of benefiting from the book.
Ordering Just One More Day could be a next step toward self-care by someone who is living with depression or anxiety. It would be an appropriate gift from someone who cares to a loved one who is struggling. The book would also be a good choice for church libraries.
Beverlee Keck speaks not as an expert with all the answers, but as a fellow-traveler in need of God's grace to survive one day at a time. One day at a time, God's grace shines through these reflections, offering healing and hope.
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