How Reading Helps Me Through Tough Times + Book Recommendation

Growth means change and
Change involves risk, stepping
From the known to the unknown.

-Author Unknown

Well, hello again! I know it’s been a while since I’ve written here. After the craziness of the holidays, we jumped in and focused on house buying. We moved a month ago and are now slowly settling in (meaning boxes remain to be unpacked!). But, I’m back and I intend to catch up here at work and bring you more light, love and inspiration.

That said, we are always looking to improve the quality of our content so we thought, let’s provide book recommendations that have touched, moved and inspired us. And today is the day we begin. YES, finally! I’ve only been thinking about this for the last couple of years because reading inspirational and motivational books is truly one of the things that helped me get through the toughest times of my life. When I’m in the midst of darkness, I don’t know what else to do and I want some answers, I search for books or anything at all to read that I feel will somehow guide me. They are not always straightforward of course, but when you’re in constant search of comfort, I find that you really don’t need the exact answers you’re looking for. A slight hint, a metaphor, a peek of that vision of light is enough. And that’s why I read. Books help me see a different perspective and guide me in my own growth...mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Books to me are a combination of powerful, inspiring words that provide some truth to what we are looking for through our own interpretation. And with that, there’s a sense of comfort that touches my heart and my soul, and for a moment, I believe that everything is going to be okay.

Today, I’ve decided to share with you the one and only, “The Shack” by WM. Paul Young (movie is currently showing), one of my favorite books ever. I first read this book back in July, 2009 and probably a few more times since then. (OK, nerd alert: I put a date on the books I read, to remind me and bring me back to the time I was reading them. Ha!) I was in the middle of my separation from my first marriage, months before I decided to file for divorce. It was truly one of the darkest days of my life, when I thought I’d live and stay forever with this one man, but then made a choice to leave the marriage. It was a rough time, mixed in with feelings of extreme guilt, doubt, questions and yet, relief at the same time. I questioned my decision. I questioned my faith. I questioned my life, my choices, my thoughts, my feelings, so I lost myself, ultimately leading to another episode of depression and anxiety.

I didn’t go to church for a while. I prayed only, to question God why such things had to happen in my life. I felt like I had gone through enough hardships in my life since I was a little girl. Yet, there I was, faced with another hurdle. So, I searched for answers, a meaning in my life, some purpose. During this search, a friend/yoga teacher recommended The Shack to me, which now I see as an answer to my prayers at the time. The Shack is a fictional story where a father lost his daughter, which led him to feel so much anger, bitterness and question his faith and God.

The one thing I loved about this book is the series of questions the character had, that truly resonated with me. I was in a different kind of struggle, but I had similar questions. And as these questions were brought up and all the conversations with God were highlighted, it moved me and brought me to tears. It was as if God was responding to me as well…. So, it gave me some light and it gave me some hope. It made me think and realize how strong my faith really is... If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it and I hope that you will find some light as well and find some answers to your questions. And I leave you with one of my favorite (highlighted in my book even!) excerpts in the book:

“So why do I have so much fear in my life?”
“Because you don’t believe. You don’t know that we love you. The person who lives by his fears will not find freedom in my love. I am not talking about rational fears regarding legitimate dangers, but imagined fears, and especially the projection of those into the future. To the degree that those fears have a place in your life, you neither believe I am good nor know deep in your heart that I love you. You sing about it, you talk about it, but you don’t know it.”


Click the link below if you're interested in checking out the book.
I say, you should. It's really an amazing book! ;)

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