How many people who experience trauma secretly condemn themselves for the anxiety that continually surfaces in their thinking? Books have been written about the relationship between anxiety and trauma from a psychological perspective. But for the Christian, the spiritual dimension and the Scriptural comfort and direction are usually left out of the book.
William Woodington, man with chronic anxiety, has written a book for any child of God who struggles with anxiety. The genius of the book is that is not wordy. You will find no stories or illustrations and not a lot of exposition and application of the Bible passages that fill the eleven chapters that fill this book. What is said, however, is enough. The author connects the passages on a topic with a concise flow of comments that introduce or illuminate the passages on each chapter’s topic.
This tiny book can be read in a single sitting (109 small pages), but I wouldn’t recommend reading it that way. Each chapter is worth reading, taking notes or marking in the book, and reflecting on what you read. I do not struggle with anxiety, but I imagine that those who have that struggle will want to absorb the contents of Whatever Is True and make it part of their thinking. This would be an excellent tool for a support group of people who struggle with anxiety or survivors of abuse. The group could discuss a chapter at each meeting and better appreciate what God has said to them in their distress.
William Woodington credits the book Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Claire Weekes for her concepts of “Facing, Accepting, Floating, and Letting Time Pass.” As helpful as the concepts were, he concluded that she didn’t have the full story. As a Christian, he sees a dimension not mentioned in her book and so he writes “in the context of dealing with anxiety and panic. That’s the way God chose to discipline me to bring me closer to him.” As one who suffers chronic anxiety, Woodington does not offer pat, promising but ultimately frustrating advice – rather he changes the reader’s perspective.
Whatever is True.
Author: William Woodington
Reviewed by James Behringer on June 7, 2021