Karen Elizabeth was emotionally and sexually abused as a young child. Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Joy is her first-person account of recovery from the depression and self-harming behaviors that resulted from the fear and shame she felt. She wrote her book to help readers know that “they too can have victory over abuse through God who loves them.”
This book concentrates on the healing process; it doesn’t provide details about the perpetrator or the exact nature of the abuse, except that it began at age four. Elizabeth speaks of loving parents, the Christian environment they raised her in, and their support throughout her recovery. A ladies’ Bible study became a turning point for her when she was led to John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” While she felt defeated by the “thief” (the devil), God called her to live life to the fullest, in His power.
The book contains 15 tightly focused chapters covering topics such as perseverance, forgiveness and prayer. Elizabeth explains her personal battle and skillfully weaves in the scripture that was integral to her healing. For example, she writes of anger over past injustices: “Sometimes, without realising it, I overthink things, playing what happened over and over in my mind…which can allow the devil to bring thoughts into my mind…” She follows this with scripture from James 1:20: “For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
The author is Australian and uses British spelling, punctuation, and terminology. Her writing is candid and inspiring as she shares her struggles and strategies, and a few typos don’t detract from the book’s message.
Although written for abuse victims, this volume will also provide hope and a plan for anyone dealing with poor self-esteem, depression, and self-destructive behaviors. Counselors and pastors will find this book a useful resource as well.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.