Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reclaiming Your Heart by Denise Hildreth Jones

Reclaiming Your Heart is one of those books that, had I picked it up from the library, I probably would have returned it after Chapter 1 because it didn't seem to fit my situation.  Sure, I have my struggles...but I couldn't relate to being so shut down that I didn't even know who I was.   But since I had agreed to review the book, I pushed through and read to the end.  I was pleasantly surprised that from Chapter 3 on the insights shared can be beneficial for all women - so I'm glad I kept reading!

I love a good analogy that takes everyday experiences and weaves spiritual insight into them.  Chapter 3 was by far my favorite because Denise relates our lives to the game of golf.  She writes "Imagine that life is a golf game.  We each have one course to play.  In the process of playing that course, we will encounter all kinds of situations, positive and negative.  Sometimes we'll find ourselves on velvety greens...and sometimes we'll find ourselves wildly off course...Life is happening to us, and we've got to respond one way or the other."   Just as you respond on the golf course by choosing which club to use, we respond to life's situations by choosing how we react.  And just as a golfer depends on a caddy to give helpful advice, we choose to either listen to the Holy Spirit or fall for the lies of the enemy.

The remaining chapters focus on different responses (or "clubs") we sometimes use that are damaging to ourselves and those around us.  Denise teaches what each of these responses looks like, what lie is at the root of it, and how we can overcome and reclaim our hearts.  The heart issues discussed are performance, disappointment, control, criticism, shame, anger, fear, and weariness.  It would have been nice to have some discussion questions to go along with these chapters (for small group use), but none were given.

One example that stood out to me concerned the disappointed heart and how we miss many of God's blessings.  "It is the enemy of our souls who still gets in our heads and hearts and convinces us that if life isn't working out the way we pictured it, that means God doesn't care about us. What a sneaky lie.  First he convinces us that we are entitled to something, that our life is supposed to go a certain way.  Then, when it doesn't happen, we are left with a disappointed heart."  I don't know about you, but that's a lie I've fallen for.

Overall this is a relevant book with good insight in how to overcome some of our struggles.  I do think that some women will relate to it better than others, depending on where they are on life's journey. However, there is something in it for everyone.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

No comments: