The Emmanuel Promise

Discovering the Security of a Life Held by God

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"Here is a tender and helpful book with a pastoral voice. Summer teaches her readers the essential elements of attachment theory and then helps them partner with God for their healing. This book will bless all who read it."--Lore Ferguson Wilbert, author of The Understory (forthcoming), A Curious Faith, and Handle with Care


God's face is always shining toward us. Our God is not asleep, nor indifferent. But we don't always experience His nearness or the depth of how beloved we truly are--especially if we have experienced neglect, abandonment, or emotional distance in our formative human relationships.

Drawing from the deep well of Scripture, attachment theory, and her own personal story, Summer Joy Gross invites you to experience Emmanuel, God-with-us, as the One whose love toward you is secure and unchanging. She teaches you simple, repeatable practices grounded in biblical teaching and our rich and ancient church traditions that will equip you day-by-day to build a secure attachment with the God who holds you in a sure hand.

Because when you are rooted in God's nearness in the ordinary moments, you can rest in God in the midst of life's storms.


"Here is a tender and helpful book with a pastoral voice. Summer teaches her readers the essential elements of attachment theory and then helps them partner with God for their healing. This book will bless all who read it."

Lore Ferguson Wilbert, author of The Understory (forthcoming), A Curious Faith, and Handle with Care

"As followers of Jesus, we know that He promises to be with us always. Yet, either out of personal hurts, distractions, or ignorance, we do not realize the power, balm, and consistency of God's presence with us. Summer Gross opens one's eyes with insight and practical help to know Emmanuel--God-with-us--in all aspects of one's life."

Foley Beach, archbishop and primate, Anglican Church in North America

"The Emmanuel Promise blends centuries of spiritual practices with the science of attachment. Everyone can improve their attachment and interactions with God, but can we maintain awareness when life is busy or bumpy? The Emmanuel Promise provides us with stories and simple practices for building secure relational spirituality. Your brain, heart, and friends will be glad you did."

Rev. Jim Wilder, PhD, chief neurotheologian of Life Model Works and coauthor of Escaping Enemy Mode

"Many of us can sing the words, but we struggle to believe them: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so." We long to live in assurance of that good news, but it feels too good to be true. ln sharing her own story as well as wisdom she's gained from years as a spiritual director, Summer Joy Gross offers both a compelling diagnosis for our spiritual disorder and a gentle but firm path toward healing. This is a book I wish I'd had years ago."

Richella J. Parham, author of Mythical Me and A Spiritual Formation Primer and board chair of Renovaré

"Summer Joy Gross recognizes that the deepest ache of the human heart is to find a safe place of belonging and non-comparing love. Through The Emmanuel Promise, Summer takes us by the hand and gently leads us to the sacred space of divine security and soul rest, integrating cutting-edge insights on attachment theory with the ancient art of spiritual direction. Summer provides the reader with a much-needed, Spirit-filled guide that draws them into intimacy with God. The Emmanuel Promise is a treasure trove of insight, inspiration, and practical application, desperately needed at this precise moment."

Terry Wardle, author of Healing Care, Healing Prayer and founder of Healing Care Ministries

"We've been told God is a loving parent, but do we feel deep down that this is true? If you're nodding, but your heart isn't entirely sure, this powerful book is for you. Only a few chapters in, I could hear with much more clarity the tender voice of Emmanuel saying, "Welcome home." A book like The Emmanuel Promise does not come along very often. Here a talented writer with a depth of wisdom and experience helps us both diagnose our wounds and pursue healing practices. Do not miss this excellent book."

Christie Purifoy, author of Placemaker and Seedtime and Harvest

"Love and presence. Two important words so easily underestimated. But, oh, the depth and necessity of this pair. In her book, The Emmanuel Promise, Summer Joy Gross acts as a nurturing guide, as she helps us make our way to the transformative dynamics of presence, attachment, and God's love. Be seen by Summer's own 'safe pair of eyes' as she draws you to the table of the Beloved. Grow in your awareness of the nearness of God's love and make your way to the connection you long for. Summer is a caring and trustworthy guide in matters of the soul."

Gem Fadling, founder of Unhurried Living and author of Hold That Thought

"While many us know information about God, read the Bible, and pray, we can often feel a disconnect between what we believe, how we live, and what we experience of God. Summer Gross reminds weary believers that God's nearness--in the language of attunement and attachment--can be known through practices of resilient hope in a worn-out world. Rather than simply providing us with more information, Gross leads us back to attachment with God through prayers and practices, showing us that it's never too late to grow in wholeness."

Ashley Hales, director of research at the Willowbrae Institute and author of A Spacious Life

"The Emmanuel Promise is a book you'll want to read slowly--not because it's difficult to understand but because it's deep, layered, and confronting in healthy, meaningful ways. Summer Joy Gross manages to combine the wisdom of Scripture and church mothers and fathers with current, evidence-based research on attachment theory in order to help us better understand ourselves, our relationships, and how we perceive and connect with God. It is not a book for consumption but for prayerful and thoughtful application. The Emmanuel Promise is a gift for those in search of a gentle, experienced guide on their journey of spiritual formation."

Adriel Booker, author of Grace Like Scarlett and Tethered to Hope (forthcoming)

The Author

  1. Summer Joy Gross

    Summer Joy Gross

    Summer Joy Gross (MDiv, Virginia Theological Seminary) is an Anglican priest, retreat leader, and spiritual director whose work is guided by the belief that our stories can be transformed by God's invitation to make his love our home base. She is associate...

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