Toni Ann Vivienne Johnson
‘Crumble or Stand; The Power of Forgiveness’ is a book that provokes a lot of strong emotions. Sadness, anger and irritation all come to mind.
The author, Toni Ann, writes in a very direct way about the breakdown of her marriage as she discovers her husband is having an affair. The words are raw and authentic and we see in detail what happened as her marriage crumbled around her head.
“It’s a very painful journey,” said Toni Ann, “full of lots of turmoil and lots of ups and downs. It’s an incredibly rewarding journey because God has shown me how to be amicable.”
The book is written in the style of a journal. The sentences are short and candid and the writing style is chatty. She does not cross the line of accusation, anger or self-pity. There were times when I disagreed with her train of thought or her action but also times when I applauded her.
We have all been in situations where we realise things could have been done or said differently. This is when we need to forgive ourselves as well as the person causing the problems.
I have never been in a situation of such betrayal I think Crumble or Stand will stir the memories and emotions of anyone who has. There is also a unique chapter in the book where Toni Ann gives a voice to the other people who were affected by the breakup of the marriage. These include her
children, parents, in-laws and close friends and neighbours.
There is a vein running through the book of God’s love and support as He prepares Toni Ann for the difficulties ahead and her journey to finding that forgiveness is the key to freedom.
It isn’t an easy journey for Toni Ann, there are struggles and knockbacks but by listening to God’s voice and practicing forgiveness again and again she comes out the other side.
The book raises a lot of issues, if you find yourself mulling over thoughts of forgiveness in your own life, I recommend you move on the workbook that Toni Ann wrote to accompany the original book.
The Crumble or Stand Workbook has 10 sessions using key elements of the original book and shows how you can put the principles of forgiveness to work in your own life.
“The ten sessions are suitable for anybody.” explained Toni Ann. “Maybe they have issues in their life that they haven’t dealt with. Not everyone is going to agree with me but it gives people the opportunity to explore what they would have done. Would they have done it differently, are they walking in amicability with their ex-partner right now? If not how could they do that? If not how could they put methods in place to walk and have a positive outcome with their family?
“That’s basically what the ten session work book is all about. People can do it on their own, in a group environment or with a councillor. It’s very gentle and it’s a workbook that will appeal to different people.
“I’m not a counsellor I’m not a doctor I’m not anything like that I’m just a mum who single handedly brought up three teenage children and decided to write my story to help.”
Toni Ann lives in Reading with her three children.
The book is available through www.lulu.com/wordsbydesign