Have you ever read a book that you want to tell everyone about?
In my search for answers to my ongoing battle with depression, it seems I’m always reading something related to becoming healthier emotionally. And I’ve come across some great ones in the past few years which I hope to write more posts about in the future. But, two years ago, an exceptional treasure of a book landed in my lap.
I love when God brings a book into your life and you know without a doubt it’s not a coincidence. Like when you hear about a book three times in one month from three separate people in your life.
That’s how it was with Voice of the Heart by Chip Dodd. First, my health practitioner mentioned it during an appointment. Then my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) leader says she attended the counseling center in Tennessee developed by the author, Chip Dodd. And then I find out another friend in my BSF group is being counseled by a counselor that uses Voice of the Heart as the foundation tool for his counseling. Wow! The only thing missing was the neon sign saying, “Buy this book!”
Although it took me awhile to start reading it after downloading it on my Kindle, God proceeded to use The Voice of the Heart at just the right time to heal my heart in two different ways, two years apart! First, it helped me deal with anger and realize that anger can actually be a good emotion. Recognition of this anger led to forgiving someone who had deeply hurt me.
Life got busy and I set the book aside for awhile. A year later, due to my hubby reading it and seeing the positive affect it was having on him, I picked it back up. God’s timing was perfect as it related to a situation I was going through at that exact moment. It helped me consider a part of my life I hadn’t acknowledged before: shame. Coming to grips with my shame actually tore down walls in some of my most precious relationships. I wish I had time to go into the amazing miracle God did in me this summer concerning shame but it would take too long to explain here. But if your interest is piqued, you should definitely check out the chapter on shame.
While Chip Dodd’s concepts were hard to wrap my mind around at first, they have been life changing in the way I look at emotions. Like someone who observes something in nature and classifies it (like primary colors for example), Dodd identifies the eight primary emotions in life and how they can take a positive or toxic bent in our lives. He explains how God always intends to use those emotions to draw us into deeper relationship with Him and/or with others, if we recognize and accept what each emotion is telling us. Essentially, this book teaches you how to listen to what your heart is telling you, hence the title, The Voice of the Heart. I’m learning that being an emotional person does not mean that I have a clue as to what is actually going on with my emotions! You would think that by my late thirties, I would have some of this figured out. But this book is teaching me how.
And as a result, I’m not stuffing as much emotions as I used to. In turn, I’m not feeling as depressed.
I’m grateful for God bringing this book into my life and I hope you’ll check it out.