It started as a compilation of all my posts on healing from the past. It became a free book for my newsletter subscribers. Then it morphed into a real, live physical book. I’m thrilled with how it turned out. It’s 95 pages of snippets of wisdom, hard won, stolen from the pages of my life. It’s my great, big wish that you’d find soaring healing, deep freedom, and impossible joy. I absolutely believe you can live an uncaged life.
Here’s the introduction for the book, showing you my heart in writing it:
I write this book for you. Why? Because I want you to be free from the shackles of the past. I want to see you living beyond it. I want you to fully heal from what happened in your childhood, your teen years, your early adulthood, or even last week so that others would never guess you endured such a mess. I want to free those who have been seemingly irreparably burned by serving Jesus (often by other Christian leaders).
I write this book from a position of weakness, as one who has walked several painful paths, who has learned that if I had to fix myself, I’d end up crazy. I’m just a broken girl who’s learned I can’t walk the crooked path of this life.
Simply put, I’ve learned throughout my life that Jesus is available to us all, right now, to hear our painful stories, to bear them, and then heal us. He is the author and finisher of our stories, the Once Upon a Time and the The End. Resting in that, really believing that, will change your life. It’s changed mine.
This isn’t a typical “booky” format. I don’t present the problem, then build a case for the solution. What I’ve done is culled my blog posts for anything that related to wholeness and abundance and living uncaged, and then organized them into three parts. You’ll notice a lot of my nakedness on the page. To be honest, it’s a little scary for me to be so raw on the page for you. But I trust you’ll be tender with my heart. I’ll also tell a lot of stories because I believe stories help us understand God’s truth.
I don’t apologize for my reliance on Jesus here. My experience in being healed from sexual abuse, neglect, several parental divorces, and so much more came at the beck and call of Jesus. (If you’d like to read the nitty gritty, pick up my book Thin Places.) When I met him at fifteen, He began the beautiful and painful process of making me whole. So I speak from experience. If you don’t know Jesus, please accept my words as my personal story of restoration and make of it what you will.
This past year, Jesus has moved me to a new phase of life. Where I used to look chronically backwards, rehashing the past and worrying my way through it, I am now, finally, looking forward. I’m relishing the Great Right Now more than I ever have. I’m here to say that it is possible to move beyond your cage, to step outside into freedom, and eventually fly. (Click to tweet.) My heart for you within the pages of this book is that you will fly. I’m reminded of this verse:
“We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:7-8, NIV).
The day(s) you read this book, my prayer for you is this: that you will escape the snares of your past and pain, and that you’ll understand that the God of the Universe will free you. In fact, He already has!
Mind if I pray for you?
Dear Jesus, I pray for my friends reading this book. I pray You would open their minds to believe how great and capable You are. I stand against those awful lies spoken over them that whisper their unworthiness, un-loveliness. I stand against a core belief that hollers, “You will never be set free.” None of that is true. Because of what You have done on the cross, You’ve already uncaged my friend. I pray You would make them brave and courageous, to move beyond that which was comfortable, to fly. Make them like children skipping rope or swinging high into the treetops. Restore what’s been taken. Redeem what’s been lost. Replace what’s been broken. Only You can do this. We trust and wait for You. Amen.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m organizing this book into three parts. Those sections are based on my favorite Oswald Chambers quote. It’s haunted and encouraged me for several years now and so fully fits my “live uncaged” tagline. It’s this:
Let the past sleep,
but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ,
and go out into the irresistible future with Him.
So the first section is about the past. We must not ignore it, deny it, or stuff it. What happened must be faced honestly and with courage. But in light of all that, we inevitably come to a place where we put the past to sleep like a father putting his toddler to bed.
The second section is about what Christ can do for you, how He takes the pain of your past and transforms it into something beautiful. If we stay in the past and never let it rest on Jesus’ chest, we’ll miss the most significant part of our healing.
And last, we’ll look at the irresistible future, of what it looks like to live uncaged right now.
I’m so thankful you’re on this journey with me. I pray this book blesses the socks off you! (Maybe you could email me a picture of your bare feet as proof!).