I am delighted to be part of a blog tour to introduce a new author Joy Margetts. Her debut novel “The Healing” is published by Instant Apostle and being released today! This is an engaging story of historical fiction set in the 13th century. We are very quickly drawn into the lives of the two main characters as they travel from France to Wales. But it is their spiritual journey, revealing the healing and restoration power of God, that brings a message of hope to us all.
Review – The Healing, Joy Margetts
Philip de Braose wakes from an injury induced fever to find himself being cared for in a French Abbey. He is a battle-weary soldier who was found in a roadside ditch by Hywel, one of the monks. Philip is an angry, and at the same time despairing, young man, tired of life after all that he has seen and experienced.
Hywel speaks words of life and hope over Philip and slowly his physical injuries begin to heal. He finds out that Hywel, is a visitor to France, from an Abbey in Wales. He decides that as soon as he is strong enough, he will travel back to Wales with Hywel. Philip’s noble birth and family heritage will not be welcome everywhere on the journey and so for his own safety he will disguise himself as a monk.
Philip attends Easter service in the Abbey just before they leave. This forces him to confront memories that he is desperately trying to bury. Shame and regret are tormenting him, and the source of his despair. Through Hywel there begins a spiritual journey for Philip, that true repentance brings forgiveness and healing.
The gospel is unwrapped through the physical and spiritual journey of these two fictional characters. Each chapter closes with a Scripture for further reflection. This fits perfectly with their discussions on matters of faith, which sit naturally and convincingly within the storyline.
They travel back to Wales and there Philip immerses himself in Abbey life, as God restores him, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Will he take the next step and commit to becoming a Cistercian monk, or does God have other plans for his life?
Reflection – Jehovah Rapha
Through the story the author weaves a beautiful, and relatable, Scriptural lesson. Many of us will have experienced feelings of regret and disappointment, possibly even shame and condemnation. When harsh circumstances of life hit, and things do not turn out the way that we think they will, and we don’t behave in the way that we would have hoped for. It could be a sudden bereavement, rebellious children making poor choices, the unexpected loss of a job, a sudden illness, or relationship problems…. We can be left with many questions of faith – even with feelings of anger towards God.
When everything seems fragile and broken we can turn to Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. It is possible to move on from those experiences and emotions that bring us to despair. God is able to heal our brokenness, and more than that to bring forth something new and beautiful, with promise and hope for the future.
God desires to make us whole – into the fullness of who He calls us to be. To bring us into the knowledge of His love, as a reality in our lives. The place where we know and believe that God is good, that He is for us, even through the most difficult times.
God knows every step that we take, and we need have no fear for the future. God has gone ahead of us, He is already there. This beautiful translation of Psalm 139 spells out that God also hems us in from behind, to spare us from further harm from the past. We can leave our past behind and be released, set free into the fullness of all that God has in store for us.
‘The Healing’ brings an authentic message of restoration and hope. It has been written out of the author’s own journey of healing and from the lessons that she has learnt in her life. God never leaves us, He is there with us, and will prove Himself faithful as we place our trust in Him. The book closes with:
“I am the LORD who heals you (Jehovah Rapha)Exodus 15:26 NKJV (emphasis and brackets mine, Joy Margetts.)
If you want to read more of Joy’s testimony, and the story behind the book, then visit her website where you can also purchase a signed copy of the book (UK only).
I received a complimentary copy of ‘The Healing’, but the review is impartially my own. Some of the linkups I join can be found here.