Chapter 6 Discussion: Healing is a Choice

Moving along with our discussions from Healing is a Choice. I’m determined to get through all my discussions. Life continues to keep me busy however. But I’ll keep posting when I can nevertheless.

Chapter 6 “The Choice to Embrace Your Life”

Big Lie: “If I just act as if there is no problem, it will finally go away.”

I liked the point the author made on page 113, where he talks about embracing all the bad moments in our lives and later God will make it seem like those bad moments were part of his plan for your life all along.

Must embrace the good with the bad. Don’t segment our lives. It’s the same life whether things are going good or bad. Good can’t be good without having the bad to compare it to and vice versa.

Part of embracing life is adjusting our expectations of life. pg.114 when we want things to go one way and they turn out differently; embrace life and make the adjustments.  Ultimately God has something better in store.

“He will make the best come out of the worst if you will trust him to do so.” pg. 114

Embracing the abrasive. pg.115-116 God uses people around you as “grace growers.” They cause you to grow/stretch and help develop your character.

Difficult moments create great testimonies for God to get the honor in our lives.

When we embrace our lives, it can draw others to Christ through us being a living testimony

QUESTIONS:

1. What are some things you’ve experienced in life that have forced you to make an adjustment? How did you handle the adjustment? In the end, how did that adjustment help further the plan God has for your life?

2. Describe a “grace growing” moment in your life. How did you feel going through that moment/experience?

3. Why is it important to embrace the good and bad in our lives?

Chapter 5 discussion: Healing is a Choice

I know that I am behind on my discussion posts and I apologize. Even when you plan as hard as you might, life still happens. =(  However, I am posting better late than never. I am still interested in continuing this journey of healing.

Chapter 5

The Choice to Help Your Life

The fifth big lie: “I can figure this out by myself”

General Thoughts:

-The fifth big lie alone is the story of my life! How easy it is to believe that we can heal ourselves if we just figure out the right solution. But without new information and someone to hold you accountable, you can’t fix the problem by yourself.

-Pg. 91 proverbs3:5-7 beware of self-deception. This is what keeps our minds trapped in our own world instead of going outside of ourselves to seek help. God doesn’t want us to lean to our own understanding. There are some things in life not meant for us to understand, but to trust in Him and know He knows the best plan for our lives.

-pg 92 “when we don’t treat the wound, the wound infects other parts of us and spreads out into other relationships.” Yes, more than true. Been there, done that. If we aren’t honest about the healing that we need in our lives it will easily begin to affect other unexpected areas of our lives. The infection starts from the inside out; some infections spread slowly, others don’t. I encourage you to seek healing today for whatever it is you need and not to wait any longer.

– The biggest deception of thinking we can figure it out by ourselves, is that a lot of the times we find that we get comfortable. Even though we know we need help, we find ways to “justify” whatever it is we’re going through. I agree with the author on pg. 97 as he talks about reaching a place where we no longer make excuses, but get to a place where he honestly seek help. He has a point where he ask if you have become accustomed to your brokenness. I’ve been there and I know some others may testify to this as well, that it’s so much easier to give up and be defeated vs. putting in energy and effort to fight; especially if you’ve been in the same slump for a while. But I am here to encourage you to fight, no matter how many times you get knocked down. If you fall down 8 times, you get up 9. Don’t stay down, don’t get comfortable, you can be healed and God does have something greater planned for your life!

QUESTIONS:

1. Why might people be embarrassed to receive help?

2. What are some dangers of relying on our own mind to heal us?

3. What can be the deception with self-help books when it comes to trying to get healing in your life?

Again, I apologize for posting late, if anyone was following along. Please feel free to post and comment; share your thoughts below. I would love to hear feedback. All my Book Club post are open forums to start discussions of whatever may be on your heart.

Please be sure to be on the look out for Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 discussions coming soon!

Chapter 4 Discussion for Healing is A Choice

I apologize for the late posting, but nevertheless here it is:

Chapter 4 : The Choice to Heal Your Future

The big lie: “Time Heals All Wounds”

Here are my notes and commentary:

-It’s not the time that heals the wound, it’s how that time is spent dealing with the roots of the wound.

-Cleansing ourselves from our past helps heal our future.

– pg 82 “..let go of the concept of God in which he is supposed to protect us from all hurt and pain.” So many Christians fall for this lie. Being a Christian does not mean God will save you from hurt.

-The longer we live with our wounds and accommodate for them; the more damage we do to our lives.

-Heal the future by letting go of the past. No hope for the future if you let the past become part of your present.

-Can’t invest in our future, when our hearts are still invested in our past.

-In Hebrews 12 it talks about casting aside anything that might weight us down as we run the race for Christ. For me, this was my past. I had held onto so much baggage that I couldn’t freely run the race with all the extra weight. It wasn’t until I let it all go and gave it to God that I could run with a new found freedom in Christ.

Questions

1. Why might it be hard to let your past go?

2. Why do you think people easily fall for the lie “time heals all wounds?”

3. Share an experience where you had a hard time letting go of something from your past. What did it take for you to let it go, get healing and move on in that area of your life?

Discussion3: Chapters 2 & 3 Healing is a Choice

Welcome back to another discussion for Healing is a Choice. We are now officially on to discussion 3. Today we’ll look at Chapters 2-3.

I hope everyone is enjoying reading the book. There’s so much in this book that could be used during a healing process. There’s always something we need healing from. Even when we think our lives are perfect, God is always healing us to make us even better vessels for him to use.

Chapter 2

The Second Choice: The Choice to Feel Your Life

Second Big Lie: “Real Christians should have a real peace in all circumstances”

 

Question#1: Why is feeling pain good for a healing process?

In chapter 2, the author talks about the concept of dying to self. Just because we feel something, doesn’t mean we have to bow and worship that emotion. When we choose to do that we give it more power over our lives. We can choose to resolve the emotion and heal or choose to revolve around the emotion because we haven’t gotten proper healing.

Just because you’re a Christian doesn’t mean God is going to stop you from experiencing pain. Sometimes it’s through the pain that we grow. Not all pain is bad. God will use some pain to push us to purpose. There’s so many examples of this in the Bible: Joseph, Samson and David to name a few.

Know that whenever we go through something, God is always going to provide a way out. The victory has been declared, it’s just our responsibility to endure during the journey. God has already given us what we need to get through and fight.

 

Question# 2: Why do you think so many people fall for the big lie # 2?

Chapter 3

The Third Choice: to Investigate Your Life in Search of Truth

The Third big Lie: It Does no Good to Look Back or Look Inside

Question#3: What’s the value in revisiting your past for the healing process?

Everything that God has taken you through is never in vain. Even the hurt from our past has purpose in our future healing. God knows just what trials to give us so that he may have the glory in our lives.

Question#4: Why don’t people like revisiting their past?

Through my mentor I’ve learned the value in having a person of accountability during your healing process. We all need that one person we can be naked and unashamed with. And by “naked” I mean, we can lay our emotions before this person and they aren’t going to judge us. This is the person we can always trust to have our best interest at heart, through the good, the bad and ugly.

My mentor is that person for me. Because I felt safe with her I can trust that when I come to her, she’s there as a helping hand through my healing process. My suggestion would be to make sure the person is stronger than you in their faith walk with God. That way you have someone stronger to draw from who has enough strength to keep you going and it won’t feel like a loss to them per say.

If we never revisit the past, then we can never confront the root of where the pain really began. Although it can be scary, it’s worth it. I’ve had to dig deep in my own life’s past and there were thing hiding inside that I didn’t even realize until I really thought things through. Sometimes, it takes having moments to yourselves to think it through and allow yourself to go there again. But when revisiting that moment, let the pain go and allow God to enlighten you of the purpose.

Feel free to respond, leave a comment or share on Facebook with your friends and loved ones.

Next week we’ll discuss Chapter 4 of Healing is a Choice. Chapter 4 is the choice to heal your future and the lie: time heals all wounds.

What are you thoughts? Looking forward to feedback and praying that others are being touched while reading through the book. #amen

 

 

 

Book Club: Healing is a Choice

Lately I’ve discovered that I have come across some really great Christian books and I’ve been wanting to find a way to share them with others. What better way to share them that to start an online book club through my blog! I’m really excited about this project and I hope that I can get others ( like yourself on board with me.)

So for the first book club session, the book that we’ll be reading is:

Healing is a Choice by Stephen Arterburn

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Synopsis ( From Amazon)

The power to heal—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—is in God’s hands. But the choice to be healed is yours. Everyone, at some level, needs healing. You may have prayed for healing many times, for many years. Perhaps you have lived with your brokenness so long that you have become accustomed to it. Maybe you wonder just when God is going to take all the hurt away.

He can. But you also must choose to let the hurt go and let the healing begin.

In Healing Is a Choice, author Stephen Arterburn offers  ten choices crucial to receiving healing. Embracing these choices means rejecting the lies we often tell ourselves. These are not hoops God requires you to jump through to earn your miracle; they form, instead, the journey He desires for you. He can—and will—walk with you. But you must put one foot in front of the other and choose to let the hurt go and let the healing begin.

“His Word affirms that God wants us to experience His healing, but many times we make choices that stand in the way. Healing Is a Choice is a helpful resource that lays out the path of healing God’s way.”

Here’s a helpful list of where you can find the book to join in on the discussion of healing:

Amazon.com

Barnesandnoble.com

christianbook.com

I’m sure there are other sites to find good deals on books, but the ones I’ve listed are more popular. Also these websites offer e-books for Kindle and iPad users. If anyone else has suggestions of where else to find the book and get a good deal, feel free to comment and share with others.

Also don’t forget you can always check the book out at your local public library and used books are always an option.

The official discussion will start next Friday, July 25th. Each week we’ll go through the book chapter by chapter.

Every Friday, I will post a few of my thoughts and then a few questions to get feedback from other readers.During this time feel free to share your own thoughts on the book, or even revelations God has given you while reading etc. I really want this to be an open forum, where we’re able to be open with one another and really venture into the journey of true healing.

 On July 25th our discussion will begin with The Introduction

I know most people skip over the introduction, but this introduction is what really drew me to the book. I hope after you read it for yourself, you’ll understand why I don’t want to simply skip over it.

Also I wanted to note, it’s okay to read through the book at your own pace and chime in whenever you wish to share. I understand that people have their own schedules of life. But I also know some people like going through it chapter by chapter and sharing that way. Either option is available, whatever works best for you.

Please join me in this journey of reading Healing is a Choice. I would really enjoy hearing feedback from others. Because I read a little bit ahead in the book, I know good things will come from sharing with others.

If you have any questions before the 25th, leave a comment below or email me: Alexandramcclain1989@gmail.com

Scatterbrained

The feeling of instability has always scared me. It’s something I’ve had to deal with since my childhood. Things in my past were always “up in the air” so to speak. We moved a lot because we were on the run from domestic abuse. As a child, I never realized the fear this created in me.

I said all of that to say, that as I got older I started to live a life of control once I felt I was able to take care of myself. For years, I’ve always been a great planner and making sure things go from point A  to point B. At times I can even be slightly annal about it. I’ve just always thought I was an organized and orderly person. But recently I’ve realized some of this control comes out of fear. I don’t ever want to feel the fear of instability that I felt as a child when I was younger. So I’m always trying to make sure I know what’s happening next, or what direction I’m trying to move forward in.

Often I cross a fine line between genuinely being a strategic planner and simply planning to be in control. God brought it to my attention a few days ago, when I was sitting at work and my mind began going on this tangent about some weekend plans I had. I kept trying to figure out how I was going to make my busy schedule work. My Saturday was full and in my head I kept trying to piece the pieces together of getting from one place to the next and being sure I had enough time in between to simply breathe. Maybe I was doing too much, or maybe God was teaching me a lesson.

When I sat down with all of that going on in my brain, on top of work related tasks I was I had to complete; I became so overwhelmed. I literally had to go outside, take a deep breathe, get some fresh air and walk away from my desk. My mind felt really cloudy. I had to say a small prayer for God to take control of my mind and give me a sense of peace. Sometimes, the controlling part of me can easily get upset when I feel like I’ve put all my thought and effort into planning and then it doesn’t go how I thought it would.

Time for a “side note” to help connect:

So, my pastor has been doing a series of sermons on fighting the good fight of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-5) One of the key things he’s spoken on is making sure we fight the right battles. So, slowly God is showing me that no matter how much I plan that sometimes things will be out of my control. But, in that I have to learn to trust him and know that he’s still going to work things out for the greater good. Control is a big battle I’ve had in my walk with God. I only realized 2 years ago that it was actually a problem. So, daily God has to work on easing my mind and helping me lower my defense in this area.

I’ve learned that trying to out think God will leave you scatterbrained. It’s important to remember that God is all knowing. I think about the scripture in Matthew 6:26-27 where it talks about how God takes care of the birds and that if God is concerned with making sure birds are fed, how much more would he take care of our needs? We never see the birds stressing out about how their needs will be met, right?  Everything we need or could ever want, is already in His will for us.

If you struggle with control like me, stop what you’re doing now and say this small prayer: God, help me to release control and trust you to guide my life. Help me not be scared to lose control to gain more faith in my relationship with you. Amen.

I know, it can be scary.  Trust me I know. It can even almost be frightening in a sense. The idea of letting someone else fight for you and not know their every move, or which way they’re going to take you in life. But what I’ve learned is that God is trying to show me that without him I can’t do anything. Literally, me making plans doesn’t solidify anything if it truly isn’t part of God’s will. But God allows me to experience moments such as this one to slowly “break me” in a sense; to help soften my heart and my defense in this area. I’m so glad that he does things out of love to help me grow, and for that I say thank you and amen.

 

xoxoxo – #Learning to Release

Fighting for Me

Fighting for Me by Anthony Evans blessed my soul. I’ve been talking to my spiritual mentor the last two weeks about me fighting God about being in control of certain areas of my life. I opened up to her about how I’ve felt that I’ve had to fight to protect myself . At a young age , because of how I was raised, I always felt like things were out of control. So I built up a lot of internal mechanism to protect myself from pain and hurt and for years it made me feel safe.

But during our morning prayers we’ve been talking about letting God take complete control of my life. She’s been telling me that it’s okay to let my guards down and let God fight for me. That it’s okay to be a co-labor with God and that he wants the best for my life. But he can’t go against my will if I don’t let him inside.

I was randomly listening to the William McDowell station on Pandora and heard this song and had to pause what I was doing at work. I’m so grateful how God confirms things in his own way and how he uses even the smallest things to speak to us. He knows just how to hit home in the areas we need healing in.

When I looked up the lyrics I could’ve broke down in tears. The lyrics describe my current battle to the “tee.” God you are so great in all things.  I read the lyrics and they left me speechless. I know I’m not alone, because I can only imagine others who also struggle with letting God fight for them too. Especially if they’ve lived like me and are so used to defending themselves. To let your guards down can be hard. It seems scary not knowing what’s going to happen next or how, but the irony of it all is; we don’t have to know what’s going to happen next. All God wants us to do is follow him. God has the plan, so if we follow him then we will be included in the plan.

Man this song has really been a blessing to me this morning. During our prayer time this morning my mentor said the Lord gave her three words: embrace, endure, and yield. This is how we overcome our inward battle of trying to fight for ourselves: we must embrace God’s word and his way, we must endure with his word and his way so that we can be made whole, and we must yield to his truth so that everything can come full circle in our lives.

Lord, I thank you for consistently showing me who you are. How powerful you can speak through the most unexpected things. #amen

 

 

Fighting for Me lyrics

By Anthony Evans

When I first met you I must admit
I was fighting and losing
But I wouldn’t tell You ’cause
I knew that You’d take over
I wanted to undo all my mess
So it looked like I did it on purpose
You had my solution
But I knew that You’d take over

I wouldn’t let you in ’cause
I’d have to begin
To let it go
And I held onto my pride
Cause I wanted to be in control
But then You showed me

YOU’RE FIGHTING FOR ME
NOW I DON’T HAVE TO ANYMORE
YOU’RE LOVE IS HOLDING ME
WHEN I CAN’T HOLD ON ANYMORE
MY HEART WAS BREAKING
BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO ANYMORE
I DON’T DESERVE IT BUT YOU’RE SHOWING ME I’M WORTH
I’M WORTH FIGHTING FOR
I’M WORTH FIGHTING FOR

I’m glad I chose to do
Not what I felt but what was true
I finally did it cause I knew that you’d take over
I’m grateful now I see
This pain is the reason I believe
I think it’s incredible
How Your loss could win me over

I wanna let you in ’cause
I need to begin to let it go
And for my pride I apologize
‘Cause I know
You wanted to show me

CHORUS

The size of the fight
Is measure by the prize that will be won
You showed me what I’m worth
When You poured out Your love
And now I know (You’re fighting for me)
Now I know (You’re fighting for me)
So when my battle comes
My faith is strong because I’m not alone

CHORUS [2X]