Dear Susan: Letters of Comfort, Hope, and Peace for Women Facing a Life-Changing Illness – Ronda Barney

Dear Susan: Letters of Comfort, Hope, and Peace for Women Facing a Life-Changing Illness by Ronda Barney
Published by Author Academy Elite on March 22, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Devotional
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Are you or someone you know facing a life-changing illness?
When we experience the shock, the losses, and the harsh demands of pain and endless recovery, often devastation is all we see. Locked in a prison of unknowns, our hearts cry out, but the deep anguish goes unspoken as though it is our secret to bear alone. As hope dissipates, we wonder how to get through another day.
Ronda Barney is intimately acquainted with devastation, hopelessness, and the haunting unknowns of illness. Forged out of her own healing journey, she was led to write letters of hope to a fictitious Susan. But, for two years, the letters laid quietly in Ronda's journal. Then, miraculously, and right on time, she met a woman named Susan who was facing a terminal illness. Ronda began sending these letters to her new friend, opening a pathway of comfort, hope, and peace amid her suffering.
Ronda is inviting you on the same journey. These letters will address the complexity of your anguish and loss while providing a bridge to finding
- New joy, unconditional love and meaning
- Strength to give voice to your pain
- Freedom to be fully alive
You can do more than just get through today. You can experience life fully alive! Come. Goodness and beauty await you, even now.

In Dear Susan, licensed counselor Ronda Barney shares short reflections for women facing chronic or terminal illnesses. Her own history with illness contributed to her writing this book, but she keeps the letters general enough to apply to almost anyone. Rather than focusing on a particular illness or problem, she addresses common questions and struggles that sick women experience when processing a new diagnosis or dealing with ongoing problems. She speaks to common physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges, validating the emotions that her readers are going through and sharing comforting advice.

The letters are just a page or two long, and they conclude with a Bible verse and some journaling prompts. There is designated space in the book for women to journal their responses next to the letters, and Barney also encourages women to use the questions as a jumping-off point for meaningful conversations with their loved ones or caregivers. Overall, Barney designed this book with sick women’s needs in mind, keeping the letters brief and easy to process. She also did a wonderful job balancing personal disclosures with general examples, being vulnerable about her own experiences without making the letters too specific to her circumstances.

Dear Susan: Letters of Comfort, Hope, and Peace for Women Facing a Life-Changing Illness is a wonderful book for Christian or spiritually curious women who have just become ill or have already been dealing with a life-changing health problem for years. The letters are gracious and wise, and they share biblical and personal encouragement without oversimplifying life or veering into platitudes. I highly recommend this book both to sick women and their support systems, and Dear Susan would make a wonderful gift for a woman who is going through difficult health circumstances.