In March of this year, I had something happen in my life that was outside of my control and it ended up setting me on an entirely new growth track. While the circumstances were not ideal, I can see that God used the circumstances to help me grow into a healthier and more mature person.
When this happened, I had a mentor sit down with me and speak into my life. She noticed that through my reaction to the circumstances that had surfaced that I was: codependent, a control freak, and more! At first, I just kind of brushed it off, not thinking much about it. However, the more I evaluated how I was reacting to the situation, the more I realized that she was right.
She recommended reading some Henry Cloud books. To be honest, I had read Boundaries when I was in my early twenties and it didn’t really connect, so I was a tad pessimistic, but I was willing to give it a go and so I got the book.
When I got the book, the woman said to me, “Did you get the workbook?” “No…” I responded. “Ohhhh…. so you think you can just read books and not actually work through the principles presented in them? That sounds like a great plan!”
I bought the workbook.
I’ve been working through Changes that Heal and several other Henry Cloud books since March. It has absolutely changed my life. I found out that I have a lot of issues that I have to face head on if I am going to become the person and leader that God wants me to be. I have started working on those issues and it has set me free from a lot of bondage in my life.
The book focuses on four major shifts:
1.) Bonding to Others
- What is bonding?
- When we fail to bond
- Learning to bond
2.) Separating from Others
- Understanding Boundaries
- Crossing Over Boundaries
- Learning to set boundaries
3.) Sorting Out Good and Bad
- What is the problem?
- When we fail to accept good and bad
- Learning to accept both good and bad
4.) Becoming an Adult
- What is adulthood?
- When we fail to grow up
- Learning to become mature adults
From a glance, it may not seem like the most exciting topics to dive into. When I saw them, I thought, “Ok… maybe I struggle with one of these areas…” WRONG! I have issues in all four areas! This book opened my eyes to blind spots I had in my life that I didn’t even know I had!
I am grateful for Henry Cloud’s work and for the mentor who was willing to point out issues in my life that I needed to address. While I certainly have not arrived in these areas, I am way further than I would have been had I not gone through these books.
I would encourage you to buy the book and workbook. Read the book and do the hard work of working through the workbook. See what God will do with it. He’s used it to grow me and change me. He’ll do the same for you.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. I believe God has different purposes for different seasons in our lives. In each season, there are specific lessons we need to learn and issues we need to address. I’m not sure why it took me until I was 28 to start dealing with some of the issues presented in his books, but I am glad I am dealing with them now!
Give it a go. Regardless of how hard some of these issues may be to work through, it’s worth it. The more you grow, the better your life will get, that I can guarantee!
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