Thank you to author Noah Kling for providing me with a copy of From Salvation to Survival: One Heart’s Journey through Faith and Sexuality as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Due to my own upbringing and coming of age story I find myself repeatedly drawn to memoirs about escaping religions and cults. From Salvation to Survival is one such memoir about a gay man’s struggle with being raised a Jehovah’s Witness and successfully moving past the cycles of abuse both church and self inflicted.
Author Kling knew he was gay from a young age but was raised to believe that that was a serious sin. Because of this he became suicidal and turned to self harm as an outlet for his dark emotions and incredible shame. He abused alcohol and painkillers and also became extremely reckless. He would drive like he didn’t care if he made it home alive, because he wasn’t sure he actually wanted to.
I knew with absolute clarity that if my parents accepted me for who I was, then I may have never been sitting on the bed ready to end my lifeNoah Kling – From Salvation to Survival
It was a long and painful road that led Kling out of the church. Eventually, he found himself volunteering at a camp for children with HIV. Through this loving group he was able to see the difference between the conditional love his family and the Witnesses offered and find the unconditional love of true friends.
From Salvation to Survival is told with the standard memoir life stories in chronological order but also showcases the author’s other healthy emotional outputs. He adds personal illustrations and many lovely poems to enhance the demonstration of feelings throughout different points of his life.
The end of the book is all poetry which is a huge bonus if you love that style of writing but may be tempting to skip for other readers. Fortunately, you won’t miss any of the major messages if you do decide to skim those sections. Let’s admit it, poetry just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
The book at times felt a bit repetitive or long winded but the overall story is magnificent. It’s so important for kids and teens to be able to see how escape is possible. They need this sort of hope in order to resist the temptation of suicide. Even adults who haven’t been able to show their true selves can benefit from this memoir and others like it.
From Salvation to Survival is not anti-religion. Kling never states that it is wrong to believe in a god, even the Christian one. He wants to elevate any church that embraces acceptance and love and does not demonize the people who decide not to be staunch atheists. Faith isn’t inherently evil, it is just used for evil by some people.
4/5 pride flags 🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈
in order to keep me up to my ears in books please consider using the following links to purchase this product. it’s at no extra cost to you and would really help me out, thank you and happy reading!