Lisa wants you to know you are beautiful. That's what this book is all about.
Lisa has created a “Circle of Friends” where women learn the concepts of acceptance, authenticity, affirmation, accountability and action.
Acceptance. Lisa carried a secret. It was years before she told anyone about the inappropriate behavior of a teacher toward her. She thought she was keeping herself safe but she was building a wall, keeping others from helping her. “As well hidden as your secret is, that's how deeply lonely you will be.” Though she married and had a loving husband, Lisa was depressed. She miscarried and fell apart emotionally.
Lisa has learned, “Finding a place to belong – where people notice you and care – begins with accepting that God notices you and cares.” “Acceptance means being willing to receive from God...” It took years for Lisa to learn to let family and friends stand by her. Because we are valuable to God we are valuable to each other.
Authenticity. Lisa realized God was bringing hurting people across her path. She knew she had found her ministry calling. But Satan put her down. Who would want her?
Lisa learned to be real. She says first be real with God. Trust Him with your secrets. Be real with one other person in your life. Admit it when you are wrong. Pretending everything is OK when it is not will not work.
Affirmation. Lisa dares you to enrich the lives of those around you. Being real with people allows you to touch their lives. Lisa wonders “...what could happen if more Christians embraced a sense of responsibility to care for people with a personal touch.” She reminds her readers that your place of ministry might be as close as your doorstep, at your work, or in your circle of friends. God wants to love someone through you.
Accountability. When you find a place to belong, you are accountable to those who journey along with you. Finding an accountability partner or group is an important step in moving to freedom. “You need a few friends to whom you can say anything and everything.” These friends point each other toward the life God wants for each of them. (Lisa includes some cautions – such as don't try to be another person's savior.) Remember that accountability is mutual. Lisa shares her own experience of the “loving arms of accountability.”
Action. Lisa wants you to step into your journey as others walk alongside you as you discover what God wants to do with your life. No one else is you. No one else has the gifting you do. Get out of your comfort zone.
Lisa suggests you keep a journal. Write what comes to mind and remember you life is a process.
Get started. Watch for opportunities. Lisa intersperses practical ideas in this section. Lisa says, “It is time for action. What are you waiting for?”
Lisa has included questions for reflection after each major section in the book. There is also a discussion guide at the end of the book for group use. Also included is a plan to read through the Bible in a year, tips for leading a small group, tips for setting goals, questions for small group accountability, and recommended reading.
You can find out more about Lisa's ministry at www.ourcircleoffriends.org. The website includes a blog and daily inspirational readings. Visit the author's website at www.lisatroyer.com.
Buy this book from www.ChristianBook.com.
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.