There is reassurance in I’ll See You Tomorrow’s titular phrase. It contains the promise that there is more beyond today, that there is even a "tomorrow" to look forward to. From the beginning, co-authors Heather Thompson Day and Seth Day work not to merely instill hope in their readers but to remind them that hope exists as an option. Heather states "that life has pages, and pages don't determine endings" (13). That said, I'll See You Tomorrow is not a self-help book. I know what you're thinking: not a self-help book? Yeah right. The word "resilience" is in the subtitle, for crying out loud! And granted, at the end of each chapter are questions for readers to engage with the text, which are common attributes of self-help workbooks. But both writers are clear: self-reliance is a myth (19). If anything, I'll See You Tomorrow is a book of petitions. The Days are far from superficial writers–they dig deep, pairing research and biblical counsel with personal anecdotes and gentle, loving reminders. If Heather says, "you must," it is not written as a command; it is a coaxing, a pleading, towards a better life.
Each chapter, each paragraph, discusses 1) what it means to be human, including our biological makeup and the correlation between mental and physical well-being, and 2) how our humanity has and will continue to affect our relationships, both with ourselves and with each other. Seth summarizes the book's lessons to be discussions about:
-Stress, the impact on our bodies, and the antidote (hint: relationships make us whole)
-How waiting for the ideal can prevent us from both doing and discovering what is still possible
-How life is about finding a sustainable pace for us
-That no is not a bad word, and some relationships have to be "dumped"
-And finally, in connecting the dots of our time with each other, we're reminded that new experiences are the only way to break out of the cages formed by traumatic experiences (190)
Seth's list may seem easy to accept. I can get behind setting boundaries for myself, taking more time to rest, and hanging out with the people I feel understand me. But the book is not a feel-good read; it encourages change and critical thinking. In his chapter, "Do What's Possible," Seth writes about his brother's hope despite dying from cancer: "…sometimes God gives us more than we can handle. Sometimes the ideal gets totally obliterated. And so we look to do what is possible" (40,41). In the chapter "Chaos or Community," Heather says, "Accountability is important, but I hope we leave room for people to change" (174). Prayers are included at each chapter's end: "Give me strength and confidence to try new things and make new invitations. And give me the time and patience to notice those whose invitations I have ignored" (144).
Heather and Seth Day are the friends we desperately need in our current age—they are humble, abounding in love, and slow to speak. Their words are bathed in nuance, encased in genuineness, and overflowing with grace. I'll See You Tomorrow is the read for you if you desire growth in and a healthier understanding of your human relationships, as well as a deeper insight into the promise of that which is “abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).
Brenna Taitano is a recent graduate of Indiana University Kokomo's English Language and Literature program. She plans to begin working on her MLIS next spring, but until then, will spend her time writing screenplays and reading poetry.
Photo by Thomas Nelson Publishing / Spectrum
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