I do not like you Chapter 4.
I do not wish to read you anymore.
No taking notes, or digging deep
My hurts and pains I wish to keep.
Keep hidden, that is and never known.
Just the thought of them makes me groan!
I do not like this anymore,
Maybe if I stop reading, my head won’t be so sore.
Ah but I know this is not to be.
Moving forward is what He asks of me.
Ok, so I am not a poet. Please forgive me! LOL
Sitting down to write the introduction for chapter 4, I was hit by many thoughts and reasons why I wasn’t going to write about it. Quite honestly, the mere thought of what’s ahead for us brings up anxiety and a strong desire to flee as if my hair were on fire. I’ve argued with myself all morning … do I really have to write about this? What if I let it slide for one day? Who will really miss THIS lesson?
The Housekeeping Choice: Coming Clean. Just the title is enough to make me squirm! How about you?
This week we will look at Choice 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.
Ugh … really? Haven’t I already done enough to address my hurts, habits & hang-ups? You really expect me to go THERE? I’m supposed to think about the father who walked out on my mom & me when I was 4, only to return via phone call 6 years later. Hmm, not much fun there. I’m supposed to think about the ex-husband who caused more hurt & pain to me & his family and how it affected me. Uh, yeah, that’s another good one. Oh wait, I’m supposed to look at myself and how I had an affair during my first marriage. It just gets better and better, doesn’t it?
On page 102, Baker writes “If we are ever to recover from the hurts, hang-ups, and habits in our lives and know the joy of a pure heart, we’ll have to learn how to let go of our guilt and shame, and how to gain a clear conscience.” Are you ready to put your heart & mind right so that you can see God in the outside world?
So no matter how much I don’t want to do chapter 4 (did you expect a study leader to ever say something like that?), I see this chapter as being a critical part of our recovery. Before I can fully understand my behavior patterns and triggers of today, I need to understand some about my yesterdays. I need to forgive myself for the choices I’ve made, just as I need to forgive those who brought me pain.
Psalm 32:12 The Message:
Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be— you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean.
Count yourself lucky— God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him.
And, the same passage from The New Living:
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!”
Don’t you just love the hope we’re giving in this passage? A clean slate, nothing held against us, complete honesty. Oh, how I want this for my life … and yours!
We’ll see this week what guilt does to us, and how to move past it. There’s so much packed in to this chapter, I’m thinking maybe we should have given two weeks to it! Baker tells us (page 105), “Choice 4 is the one that brings our painful past out in the open so we can deal with it, be cleansed of it, and then move on to health and happiness.” It is this hope that gives me the strength to face chapter 4. Hope in the health & happiness that I’ll find on the other side.
So as you all prepare for the coming week, please know that any apprehensions and fears you may have are shared. We’re getting in to the meat of the process, and it’s not all going to be pretty. But in the midst of the muck, just remember the glory & hope that awaits us all.
1 Peter 5:10 NCV: “And after you suffer for a short time, God, who gives all grace, will make everything right. He will make you strong and support you and keep you from falling. He called you to share in his glory in Christ, a glory that will continue forever. “
Let’s go, my friends, side by side we’ll travel through chapter 4. Spring cleaning will start early this year, but what joys await when we’re finished!
Reading Assignment for Week 4:
Chapter 4: “The Housecleaning Choice”
Monday: Laurie will discuss Principle 4: The Housecleaning Choice
Tuesday: Leslie will discuss Moving Past (Part 1 – steps 1, 2 & 3)
Wednesday: Kim will discuss Moving Past (Part 1 – steps 4 & 5)
Thursday: Amy will discuss Make The Choice & Moral Inventory
Friday: Laurie will bring it all back home with a recap of our week
Lord, I admit that the information from chapter 4 brings apprehension and an element of self-protection & pride. I feel myself becoming anxious and defensive at the mere thought of going through this process. But I know You love me and want only the best for my life. I trust in Your word that You will make me strong, support me, and keep me from falling. This is a promise given to all who know You and call You, Lord. Bless the hearts of the ladies in this study. Keep them focused on the tasks ahead. Do not allow them to be discouraged but to always hold firm to You. Amen.
Power Verses for Chapter 3:
1 Peter 5:10
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