I finished reading the last chapters and wow! Sure didn’t expect that ending!
I really enjoyed reading through your words. You really made the emotions and feelings come alive. I think for me, and maybe that’s part of my journey and passion, is that I was looking for that restoration . . . restoration of husband and wife, Papa and Mary, whatever it might be. But there is never an end right? We journey together and love each other, share with each other and really develop our hearts, make them whole!
My honest thoughts and feelings were that I really wanted to keep reading to see what happened next, to see how Papa was going to work. I now have a deeper understanding of how you, Tom Gale, work when you walk with brothers and sisters. The journey is really, really, about the heart. Everything else is just, well, just everything else.
I can now really see the dynamics of one person living from the heart and the other living from the head . . . two cars on opposite sides of the road.
I look forward to the next book!
Doug from Wisconsin
I just finished Mary’s Story. Talk about a cliff hanger.
The book has really been thought provoking for our marriage. My husband talks about things so much more openly than he did in the early years of our marriage. I love it and him too! We have had many great conversations because of this book. I see him embracing the depth of conversation more now and, in addition, he is the one initiating them. That is new!
This book takes a look at the depth of evil that exists in the world but then focuses more on the immense power of love that can heal even the worst wounds. It spotlights a method that uses gentle guidance into a way of listening to one’s heart and finding a way to heal the soul and move on with a happier full life.
Mary’s Story is a thought-provoking book that can lead to deeper thinking and paying closer attention to what our heart may be trying to tell us.
Tom we are both so proud of you and the work you are doing.
I am looking forward to Crystal’s Story.
MaryAnne from Illinois
I just got done reading your book. You are truly a blessed and talented writer. Wow, what a journey Mary is on!
I really liked your transitions, for example, how you share your story along with Mary’s story. You take a short pause, and then you let the reader know you are getting back to Mary’s story. I am not a big reader but I was really glued to this. I read it straight through. It kept my attention the whole time and that is hard for me to do. I also loved the descriptive writing. For example, "It was as if the faucets had been turned on and love was pouring thru her eyes right into the depths of my parched heart." I was heartbroken for Mary when the parts of her heart were showing her what she had experienced as a pre-teen and as a teenager. But through her healing journey, this proves the power of love, and that the parts of our heart can be seen, heard, and accepted, just like you say in your book.
Shannon from Tennessee
I finished the book and enjoyed it all the way through. In fact I did not want it to end. I loved your book. It is awesome. I don’t know of anything available like this that will be useful in this way, helping us live from our hearts. This book goes to the heart of the matter and actually cracks open the door of our hearts and ushers us in. It holds our hand while we do so. It models. I can’t say enough good things about it.
The book definitely connects me to my heart with ease.
I will be interested to see how others who are not familiar with asking "Who is that?" will respond to Mary’s Story. I would love to give the book to several people I know and I don’t feel that way very often about a book. In fact, I don’t read books very often any more. But this book is different because it brings the reader into contact with their own heart. How wonderful is that! The reader can go on a journey right then and there - many times over, as they read the chapters.
Another thing I like about the book is that it is very sweet because it allows me to process at my own pace. I like that very much, very non-threatening, and for me easier. Perhaps many will find this a wonderful way to walk the road of loving one’s self, making friends with one’s heart, and walking in love with ourselves and Dad.
Even though you have walked mainly with abuse victims, and even though this book is about a sexual abuse victim, this book is for everyone. All of us have parts that are stuck and need to be loved and accepted and become whole.
Bravo Tom. Great job. Kudos to Daddy. I am so glad He wrote this book with you. His finger prints are all over it. So glad you sat down and did this. I am highly in favor of Journeys of the Heart.
Marlene from Virginia
Just finished the final chapters, not the ending I expected. I keep thinking it would come out that Dan was having an affair. The women’s stories are all very sad and I found myself crying a lot. But a lot of my emotion would come whenever they mentioned you and how you helped them. You are a special person! After reading certain chapters I found myself asking if I listen to my own heart.
Dave from Illinois
This book visually represents a journey to be had by all of us, The Creator's creation. None of us have been left unscathed by the brokenness of our world and unique experiences.
We've been left wounded and desperately attempting throughout most of our existence to "fix" the brokenness. How simple it must sound to proclaim that "loving our hearts" daily, while relating to God and each other with our hearts, can bring greater wholeness. I recommend this book to any and all who desire to hear or have already sensed the desperate cries of their own heart wanting recognition, love and acceptance.
Jan from Virginia
There are rare times in my journey when a discovery has come my way that has changed the entire course of my life. Tom Gale came to our town for a conference a year ago and stayed in our home. The first night we met, he shared a little about what Papa had been showing him concerning loving our own heart.
We had both been trained and had spent many years in another ministry of healing/mind renewal that required going into the memories where pain resided and inviting the Lord to bring healing truth. When the mind received truth, peace would come. I witnessed many lives that were being changed. Tom proposed that we didn’t have to go down "memory lane." He also suggested we didn’t have to figure out what our heart believed in that place. We could connect to the "one" who is feeling the emotions and through loving and embracing them, healing would follow.
It sounded too good to be true. I invited him to come to our training class and demonstrate what this would look like. I’m a bottom-line kind of person. What I saw drew me to want to see more.
Tom was willing to stay in town for several months, sharing life with us, spending hours talking about our heart and what it looked like and sounded like to love it and to begin to live from it.
As those in our prayer group took on our own journeys of the heart, we found a much greater wholeness and strength coming to our hearts then we did after 7-10 years of mind renewal.
In this book, Tom showed us practical ways of loving our hearts, how to take our own journey, and hopefully find others with whom we can walk it together. This is for everyone. All of us have suffered blows to our hearts that leave it limping, paralyzed or even feeling dead.
The great revelation to me has been love really does have the power to change us. Love undoes what unlove did. Love brings life, unlove brings death. Love binds up, unlove breaks down. Love gives hope and joy, unlove brings depression and hopelessness. Love comforts us, unlove leaves us feeling alone, unseen and valueless.
When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment in the whole Jewish set of laws was, He replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Until Tom, no one had ever shown me what it actually meant to love yourself. It is truly life changing.
Terri Diehl - Prayer Minister, Chesapeake, VA
Mary’s Story is engaging. It draws the reader into a very personal story in a way that is not offensive yet does not skirt reality and the hard truths. It tells a story that needs to be told. This book is a wake up call to a church that marginalizes the broken.
- you set up the relationships well
- it is clear that healing is both a choice and a process
- it is clear that LOVE is the reason Jesus meets us
- the need for "safe" men and people in our lives was modeled
- we learn that it takes honesty and courage to make change
- we learn that not everyone will track with your process and that is OK
- we see that God is faithful to provide people and resources to us
- we see that there are consequences to our actions (shutting down our heart)
- we see that we can make adult decisions to break unhealthy and addictive cycles
- we learn that we heal best in community
- we learn that wounded people heal and help other wounded people
- we learn that when we are vulnerable it makes room for others to be
- we learn that others see changes in us and then they ask about what they see
- we learn that Mary, still in the acute stage of healing, is able to reproduce what God has done in her so far with someone else. Why? because it is not her but God who does the work in us.
- I am glad you are not afraid to rattle some religion and challenge thinking in this story.
Sandie Brock- Massage Therapist, Prayer Minister, Cincinnati, OH
Thank you so much for writing Journeys of the Heart - Mary’s Story. Although I never experienced the specific abuses Mary did, the book was no less relevant to my own heart. The idea of head knowledge versus heart knowledge is so simple, yet profound, and produced a paradigm shift in the way I approach myself and others. Although I have always considered myself a heart person; I began to see how much I relate to the heart (my own included) with the language of the head. I also see how that is not conducive to the basic need of relationship. Seeing this has begun to help me relate better to myself and others. As a father, friend and counselor, I have begun to step away from the “fix people” approach and focus on knowing, valuing and hearing them. This removes the “do’s and don’ts” and meets every person from a place of love and honor, which is the basic need of every part of the heart.
The book was informative but what amazed me while reading it was the increased awareness of my own heart’s cry to be heard, seen, recognized and affirmed. I started reading with the intention of feeding my head but strangely it began to awaken my heart. The more I read; the more I experienced the distinction of head and heart in my own life. As a counselor I thought I knew these things, but this took me to a whole different level. Sure enough, I began to connect with various parts of my own heart that I previously discounted. The more I connected, the more connections I made. Truthfully; I began to love my own heart through relationships and the more I embraced my heart; the more it embraced me back. Wholeness ensued!
I use to avoid looking at certain times, events and stages in my life. Now I am excited to do so, because the emphasis is not on the event or experience but rather relating to the person I was at that time an event (or non event) happened. The first night I read the book, my heart began to make me aware that there were parts of me still remaining (trapped) in certain times of my life. As a counselor I am aware this dynamic is common to all and have seen how this happens many times before to myself and others. What was vastly different since reading Journeys of the Heart was the willingness of my own heart to reveal its feelings and perception from the past. The hidden part of my heart was happy to open up when my objective was to know, love and honor versus fix.
An example of this was how I was always aware of my heart’s need to be loved and affirmed and valued by my father. One night my heart revealed to me its deep need, disappointment and longing to “express its love to him.” This was huge for me. I had always viewed my father/son relationship deficit from what I did not get. That is a “no brainier:” What floored me was when my heart revealed to me the deep need it had and was denied to “love my dad.” I saw this was bigger than I realized, till my heart could show it.
After the first night of reading the book, I had several incidents of connecting to past hidden parts of my heart I sat there for almost 15 minutes to a half hour just saying “wow” and thanking my own heart for what it did on my behalf. I was thankful for how it protected me and bore the burden of hidden pain. I gained respect for the nobleness of my own heart. This is transforming, because where I previously viewed and carried shame, I now appreciated my heart for those times when it did its best with its given circumstances and experiences. In most cases, my heart was more honorable than I had previously given it credit. The good news was, even if my heart was “not honorable” at that time; I treated it honorably and made peace with it, just like God does with us. My house (heart) was becoming less divided and better able to stand.
As a counselor, I use to fix and enlighten that part of my heart that was struggling in the past. Since listening to my heart; I focus on creating a safe place for the child (younger part) in me. Now the child in me has been enlightening the adult. The student has become the teacher! Even events and experiences that I had previously visited and addressed are now being seen in a different light, a more complete insight, and relationship is being established.
Tom – I could go on forever but thank you for this book. I do not know if this is “the fixer” in me, but I want to get it in as many hands as I can. I definitely will ask the members of my counseling team to read it and will probably recommend it to the clients I see. What I love about this book is that it will enable people to journey through their own heart. Once they do that, you and I may be out of a job. I know that is okay with you (and it is okay with me too) because you have never gotten your value from what you do. You have gotten your value from God, relationships, loving people and heart to heart connections!
John Knopping Counselor,Denver, Colorado
The ease with which this powerful book was written placed me right there in the living room with Mary and the team. The gentle, relational descriptions of the healing process even spoke to traumatized places in my own heart. I am so encouraged to see in print and hear the walking out of an approach with such transforming potential for those of us with abuse backgrounds.
I thank God for revealing a remedy for our brokenness which is all at once; simplistic, effective and respectful.
Matthew Bradley LMFT, Waynesville, North Carolina