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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
160 pages
Jul 2005
Bethany House

A Dad-Shaped Hole in My Heart

by H. Norman Wright

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In his book A Dad-Shaped Hole in My Heart, Dr. H. Norman Wright shows how a girl's relationship with her father leaves an impression that shapes the rest of her life. In a positive dad-and-daughter relationship, Wright points out, the daughter sees her father as heroic, strong, and dependable. Thus, she feels secure around him and trusts him with all her heart. In childhood, if she cries out he will be there to soothe her with consoling words that provide stability and comfort for her life. Later, during adolescent years, the father demonstrates he cares by providing a balance of discipline, encouragement, patience and wisdom. Finally, when she becomes an adult, the daughter will be shown the ultimate act of unselfishness by her dad when he allows his princess to walk down the aisle to join a life with another man.

But what if this idyllic relationship is marred by divorce, neglect, or even incest? Many young girls often blame themselves, thinking they caused their grief rather than were victims. They can become scared to trust other men in their lives, or can suffer from low self-esteem, terrible bouts of depression, or even become recluses from society as a whole. It is to this hurting group of females that Dr. Wright directs his book.

Using the heart as a metaphor, Wright explains the feelings of emotionally injured females by discussing their various heart stages. The "Bruised Heart" is when a daughter is broken down emotionally because she feels unloved, unneeded, and unnecessary. The "Performance Heart" is when a daughter considers herself a failure because she never measured up to what she feels were her father's expectations for her. The "Hardened Heart" is when a daughter's anger, resentment, and isolation turn her against everyone around her. And, finally, the "Addictive Heart" is when a female tries to compensate for the loss of a dad's love by overindulging in food, drugs, alcohol, sex, or even seemingly positive things such as exercise. Wright explains how and why such conditions develop, and he tells real-life incidents of women facing such crises. In each case, he provides a positive result by relating the story of a woman, who through the love of Christ and the support of fellow Christians, ultimately found peace and self-acceptance.

Wright has counseled many women who have asked the questions, "Why does it hurt so much?" and "Why do I feel guilty over my dad's behavior?" and "How can I ever forgive my dad for the turmoil he caused me?" He responds to these and other pertinent questions in his text. This is not an easy book to read because it is somewhat graphic and painfully honest about heart-wrenching circumstances. But there is a plan for healing. Women who have holes in their hearts can find emotional surgery here. -- Clatrice Moore, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Is There a Hole in Your Heart in the Shape of Your Dad?

Every daughter knows how important "Daddy" is. And when dads disappoint us we can be profoundly affected for the rest of our lives. Whether your dad abused you, neglected you, or left you, the result is an emptiness that cries to be filled. Here you'll find the help you need to face your hurt and find healing. Topics covered include:

     Losing your father through divorce, death, or abandonment
     Seeing denial for what it is - and how it holds you back
     Discovering how to improve your relationship with your dad
     Finding your real - and perfect - heavenly Father

Using Scripture, honest testimonies, and insights shared from Norm Wright's many years of counseling experience, this book can take you from pain and heartache to renewed joy as you realize that your heavenly Father has always been there for you.