Jay Roberts is fearless and unflinching as he chronicles his personal transformation from a tortured child to a strong man who reluctantly finds himself on the path to forgiveness. Along the way, he grapples with life’s most serious issues: family, faith, and even his own imminent death. Break the Chains is a deeply compelling story of endurance, courage, and ultimate transcendence. It will convince you that miracles not only happen–they are necessary.”
Julie Mars, author of Rust and other novels and the memoir A Month of Sundays: Searching for the Spirit and My Sister
If you were abused over and over again, would you become an abuser, or would you learn to forgive? Dr. Jay Roberts had to go to prison to learn the answer.
In 1999 Dr. Roberts was in at-home hospice care preparing for his own death from a neurological disease. At the point where he finally gave up, he experienced a spontaneous, overnight healing. It was not the first time he had ‘cheated’ death. He had survived a fifty-foot fall from a cliff, a plane crash, and attempts on his life by rebel insurgents in remote areas in the Philippines in the 1970s. This near-death escape was different, though, because it was the culmination of a turbulent, lifelong dialogue with God that started when he was a child being bull-whipped by his alcoholic father. Yet even after his complete recovery from disease, it would take a maximum security prison environment to reveal to him the mysterious power of forgiveness.
In the telling of his fascinating story of extreme abuse, of the compulsion to become a pain and wound-care specialist, of medical school in a third-world country against a dangerous political backdrop, and of his return home to deal with the demons he’d left behind, Dr. Roberts tackles the big questions illuminating physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Break the Chains affirms faith in both God and the human spirit. It is as revealing and inspirational as it is truthful and poignant.
Break the Chains
Ironically, Break the Chains is written by a medical doctor whose whole life has been devoted to healing wounds, and yet for many years was unable to heal his own. Like many victims of severe child abuse, Dr. Jay Roberts lived for years on the painful edge between faith and doubt. This vastly inspirational, beautifully written memoir not only demonstrates how traumatic issues from childhood can impact us as adults, but also proves that miraculous solutions abound for those who bravely seek to understand their faith. Follow Dr. Roberts’ amazing journey from his turbulent childhood to his medical studies in the Philippines, to his practice among the rich and famous in southern California, to his near death experience, and his spontaneous healing when he finally ‘Let go and let God.’
LeAnn Thieman, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Answered Prayers; and Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Book of Miracles
A compelling, heart-wrenching story of one doctor’s struggles to heal not only his patients’ wounds but his own, literally carved on his back by an abusive parent. Whether battling his own childhood demons or overcoming a debilitating, life-threatening illness, Jay Roberts is proof positive that one man, committed to his faith, can transform his own broken spirit into a driving force for good in the world. Break the Chains is a powerful, inspirational memoir, a journey into the mystery of healing.”
Minrose Gwin, author of novel The Queen of Palmyra, the memoir Wishing for Snow, and other titles
Dr. Roberts did not plan to do prison ministry work. In fact, in his darkest moments he had so little compassion for prisoners that when he first learned he was dying from a neurological disease, he actually wished his disease would be transferred to inmates. Break the Chains is the wonderful, honest and spirited story not only about how Jay Roberts came to defy death but how he found the truths he needed to embrace inside a detention center.”
Joan Schweighardt, author of Gudrun’s Tapestry and other novels