Judy Hoff is a longtime pastor and counselor who helps women start over their lives after they have experienced abuse, chemical dependency, and many other seemingly defeating experiences. In her new book, Healing the Hole in Your Heart, Hoff has gathered the stories of 11 women in such situations who tell how they overcame their obstacles to know God in their lives and to find a better way.
One of Judy’s favorite projects, which has helped countless women, is the Queen, It’s a New Day program. This program is designed to remind women they truly are queens. It allows women to look their best, be pampered, have makeup applied, receive manicures, and be part of a pageant to show their outer beauty.
But Queen, It’s a New Day is far more than a beauty pageant. Judy realizes that changing one’s exterior does not heal the internal pain. The program also assigns a mentor to each woman, and it includes a series of classes they can take to help them re-enter the workforce as well as become closer to God.
Now Judy has assembled 11 of these women’s stories into this book; the stories are heartbreaking in places, but ultimately, they tell of triumph over all odds, and they are written with the intent to help other women overcome the obstacles facing them.
Judy states: “Like Queen Esther, God is calling each woman reading this book to follow His plan for her life. No matter what your beliefs are regarding your Higher Power, if you believe there is one, you must recognize you are more than an animal, born to eat, sleep, and procreate. Every Queen has a story, and every woman born was born a Queen. To all the homeless hearts who have been broken and left empty, Queen, It’s a New Day brings hope, a necessary and trustful expectation. With hope and God’s guidance, people find confidence, a guarantee that He does have a plan for us to prosper; He does not wish harm for us, but to bring us to an expected good.”
The women in this book speak honestly, without holding back, about the pain in their lives — mothers who did not love them, uncles who sexually abused them, fathers who ignored them; they tell of early teen pregnancy, how drug addictions destroyed their lives and kept them from their children, and even battling forms of mental illness and experiencing a spiritual deliverance from evil. Not only did this book make me feel grateful for the blessings in my own life, but it emphasized how powerful and healing it can be to share your story with others.
More than anything, this book reveals the power of love. Early in the book, Judy recounts a powerful experience she had trying to help a homeless woman by providing her with a home, furniture, and everything she needed to start a new life. But even shelter did not make this woman feel better because her heart and spirit were broken. Within days, she had trashed her apartment and returned to drinking. Judy realized material comforts cannot heal pain; first we need to heal the hole in the heart. Judy’s efforts to make women feel like queens is a reminder of each woman’s special value as a child of God and how only love can ultimately heal and solve life’s problems.
Reading Healing the Hole in Your Heart made me realize, whether we are male or female, how much love is vital for us to feel whole, and how through the Grace of God, broken lives can be restored. Anyone who has ever known what it is to feel lonely, broken, or hopeless, will find new strength in these powerful stories of women’s transformations.
For more information about Healing the Hole in Your Heart, the Queen, It’s a New Day program, and Judy Hoff, click here.