I Blog For Books

02 November 2013

Let Hope IN


Before you wonder if my finger got stuck on the caps lock key, let me reiterate the title: Let Hope IN.  No, Pete Wilson did not title his book that way (well, I say that, but then again, the book title is in all caps ... ).  After reading this book, however, it has become increasingly clear that I can read book after book, listen to a plethora of speakers, or search the Internet all day long for answers, suggestions, or ideas - none of which will come to fruition if I do not make the conscious decision to internalize whatever piece of advice or words of wisdom that my eyes see or my ears hear.  Simply reading words do not make them a part of your vocabulary or life, you have to understand and apply them.  You have to make a conscious decision to make a change.  

I will be the first one to admit that I am stubborn, at times set in my ways, and *gasp* even overly confident if I am certain of my ideas.  One of the biggest struggles that I have currently is an inability to step away from the past.

This is the first of Pete Wilson's books that I have read, but it will not be the last.  The subtitle of this book is 4 Choices That Will Change Your Life Forever.  I have read so many books that claim they will change you, change your life, change your mindset ... you know the drill.  I am sure I am not the first to read with a "show me" attitude.  Pete Wilson grabs you and pulls you in from the beginning. His four choices are simple, and for some, may be eye-opening.  It certainly was for me.

Choice One: Choosing to Transform instead of Transfer.  Think about it.  If we don't truly make a change, we end up rehashing the same things. Over and over again.  In terms of the past ... "your past is not your past if it's still impacting your present." No, it's not. If you do not change something, you will continue to have the same problem. Remember this: "God is bigger than your history and more concerned with your destiny."

Choice Two: Choosing to Be Okay with Not Being Okay.  Does that sound like a big change from many so-called self-help books? Think about it ... sometimes, it is NOT going to be okay.  No matter what you do, there are going to be times of self-doubt, worry, and maybe even fear.  You are not alone in your struggle, remember that.

Choice Three:  Choosing to Trust Rather than Please.  I think this particular choice ties in rather well with choice two.  Instead of killing yourself trying to be perfect to please anyone, everyone, or because you think it is what God wants from you, remember this: He knows all of you, and loves you just as you are.  Can you step outside yourself for just a minute and trust Him with that knowledge?  He loves you just as you are.  Trusting in Him, even though you feel that you are not as "perfect" as you should be, is a big step.  I don't have to try and please God by becoming perfect, He loves me and all my imperfections.  He accepts me as I am.

Choice Four: Choosing to Free People Rather than Hurt Them.  This was a big step for me.  I mentioned earlier about the past.  There are parts of my past that I replay in my head, far more often than I should.  Wondering why I did what I did, and why I can't simply forget about it and move on.  Why? Because I have not yet let go.  Reading through the first part of choice four, a chapter titled Breathe Grace, I was floored by a few simple words.  We know we should forgive and move on.  Do we? Not always.  When we forgive, however, we are saying that we recognize that there was a wrong, and we are choosing to move past it.  "My understanding of God's forgiving me despite me enables me to forgive others despite others."  Make sense? It will ... The next sentence clarifies it.  The bold, italic emphasis is my own - that is how much it affected me. "And while this act of forgiveness may not erase your past hurt, it does erase the power it has over you.  It allows your past to truly become just that - your past."  You are not going to miraculously transform your past into perfection, the scars of past pain are not going to go away. They will, however, begin to heal.  And that, my friends, is the true power of forgiveness.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”