This might be one of the most fun book reviews I’ll ever get to write.  A dear friend of mine and elder at my church is releasing an excellent book called Live to Forgive: Moving Forward When Those We Love Hurt Us. I got a preview copy so that I could share my thoughts with all of you. ( A little note of thanks to anyone who buys books through my links.  I get just a tiny bit of payment that helps me keep this blog going.  Thank you for blessing me).

First, who exactly is Jason Romano?  Well if your family pays any attention to the sports world it may be a name you might be at least a touch familiar.  Jason was a producer at ESPN for around 17 years.  He worked on such shows at Mike & Mike and others.  He served for a time as the social media person for ESPN’s football programs.  Through his time at ESPN Jason came to be known in the sports world for his active Christian faith.  That faith led to many excellent connections with well known Christian sports figures.  Last year Jason stepped away from ESPN to pursue ministry full time.  He now travels speaking at churches and conferences sharing the story he shares in this book. He also hosts a great podcast for Sportspectrum that you absolutely MUST check out, especially if you have any sports-loving Christian family members around your house. In this podcast, Jason gets to chat with some of the best Christian sports figures in our country.  Now about this book.

Is there even one of us on this earth who hasn’t been hurt by someone we love?  If you haven’t experienced that pain, then you are indeed a rare exception.  So many of us have faced our lives with an absentee parent, family members who didn’t approve of you, friends you thought would be there forever and just aren’t, or children who grow up and reject us.

In Jason’s book, he shared his gut-wrenching testimonial about what it was like to grow up with a toxic, drunk, and often absent father.  Through his words, we feel the very raw emotions that a relationship like that will bring into our lives.  Even if your own story is different and not one of a parent with an addiction problem I promise you you will very much see yourself in these pages.  I know I did.

The book is broken up into four section:

  • Feeling the Pain – in this section, Jason greatly encourages his readers to allow the emotional pain that hurtful relationships can bring.  I know I for one try to stuff that away, be strong, and “not let it get to me.”  Jason advocates for precisely the opposite.  It was refreshing to hear that it is ok to hurt.
  • Evaluating the Trauma – this expands on that last section.  It is ok to explore the hurts to heal from them.
  • Transforming the Wound – Jason has turned his greatest hurts into something that brings glory to God. He talks about how to set up boundaries and protect ourselves as life moves on even with the hurtful person/people in our lives.
  • Forgiving the Abuser – how do we let go of bitterness?  Is it even possible?

Jason explores the process of feeling, evaluating, transforming, and forgiving and how all of these things can ebb and flow as we need to return to each part throughout our lives.  As he says in the beginning pages….

The goal of the book is to help you fully feel your emotions and objectively evaluate your pain so that you can truly transform your wound and enter into the peace and freedom of forgiveness.  

And that quote right there is precisely what my friend has accomplished with this book.  This book is compelling.  Jason shares his story in a way that makes you want to keep turning the pages to read more and more.  If you are like me be prepared to feel a lot of emotions that make you set the book down and walk away from time to time.  His story will make you face your hurts, and that can be difficult at times.  Yep, I cried myself to sleep a time or two while I was reading this book.

You’ll be left feeling like it is right and healthy to feel the emotions that come with being hurt.  You’ll learn how healthy it is to establish boundaries against those who do hurt you.  And you’ll be left with a plan to heal and forgive, just as Jesus would want you to.

Jason and his Dad

Jason is a tremendous sports fan and stories related to sports do flow throughout the book making it a great read for any other sports fan.  I, however and NOT much of a sports fan.  I couldn’t tell you the first thing about much of anything sports related, and I have no desire to learn.  If you are like me, don’t let that sway you away from this book.  It is written in a style that even you and I can appreciate.  Moments of hurts in my life may not have happened on the Little League field or at that big Cowboys game I had been looking forward to for months.  But I have my own stories in my world that I immediately thought of with each of Jason’s.

Live to Forgive releases in just a couple of weeks.  Make sure you pre-order it today.  I can’t wait to buy my physical copy.

I recieved a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulation.