Marilyn Hontz' book, "Shame Lifter" was worth having just for the gorgeous cover art alone, but I must tell you--I wouldn't have missed this journey with Marilyn for the world.In her book, Marilyn truly bares her soul, sharing episodes in her life and thoughts from her mind that may shock some, but most likely will make others think "Oh, praise God, I'm NOT alone!"Marilyn talks about talking with an accent--an accent of shame. She shares how one moment--a compliment, actually--created a break-through for her. How even the thought of writing a book caused shame based thoughts to race through her mind.I'm SO glad she didn't listen!!As one who has lived nearly my entire life battling the voice of shame inside my head and my heart, I drank in Marilyn's book like a thirsty sponge. The power of her message will join the ranks of Beth Moore's "Breaking Free" and books like "The Relief of Imperfection" to help Christian women (and even men) blow aways the clouds of shame in their lives.Marilyn makes the quick distinction between guilt and shame, and talks about how shame can be used to motivate people to change. This isn't the shame Marilyn sets us free from.The shame she has been held captive by, and the shame I still battle, is a sense of "why am I even breathing air" kind of shame. An over-the-top sense of unworthiness that keeps one bound and unable to serve God in freedom.Also included in Marilyn's book is 'The Father's Love Letter', used with permission from the original authors, along with some other useful additions to the story she shares with us.Each chapter concludes with questions, shame lifters, and prayers to guide you in your path to healing and deliverance from unhealthy shame. I cannot recommend Marilyn's book to you enough. This is one I will be buying and handing out to others I know who battle with shame.
Wow! Marilyn's story was so open and honest that it was hard to read at times because I wasn't sure I wanted to suffer the pain and heartbreak that she felt throughout her life. When I first started reading this book, I didn't really think I would fall into the category of having "shame." After all, I'm a pretty cheerful person. But, when you really listen and hear Marilyn's story, there are many places where I could have inserted my name instead of hers.What I really enjoyed about this book was the frankness and sincerity of Marilyn's words. This is her story;one that many of us may share or mirror with our own lives. The sad part is that many of us may not recognize that we are filled with shame. (Myself included.) This book will make you more aware of your past hurts, but more importantly, give you ways to move beyond those hurts to be set-free of the shame and doubt in your life! At the end of each chapter there are focus questions, as well as a section that gives ideas for becoming Shame Lifters. There is also a scriptural-based prayer that deals with the subject matter of the previous chapter. At the end of the book is a beautiful Love Letter called Father's Love Letter.I think many of us need to be reminded every now and again that we really DO MATTER. That God really does love us-even if we don't live up to our own or someone else's standards. There are also lists of behaviors that classify people as shame givers and receivers,and, some beautiful letters that were written by Marilyn. I am actually going to buy several copies of this book for MANY of the women in my life. Even if you are not normally attracted to "this type of book," please read it anyway. I'm certain that there is someone in your life that could use it for themselves. If nothing else, it will help you become more of a Shame Lifter in the lives of people around you.
I was excited to get the chance to read this book - it is dealing with such a huge issue - shame. Marilyn approaches this issue from the heart because she dealt with it her whole life, sometimes not even realizing it. She tells her personal story and it is so interesting and gripping that I read through this book in two days. I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing that, because it is meant to really help you dig deep and work through shame issues you might have. But you need to understand that while I can read a non-fiction book in a day or two, I struggle through most non-fiction books. I didn't struggle here at all. Marilyn's writing is wonderfully light and easy to read, while incredibly engaging. Her story will pull you in while the end of the chapters will help you heal. At the end of each chapter she has 3 things to do...1) How About You? There are a few questions that get you thinking about whether what Marilyn dealt with in that chapter might be something that you need to deal with too.2) Shame Lifters. Here Marilyn mentions some things you can do to start working through these issues, practical self-help, along with scripture to lift you up.3) A Prayer. The chapter ends with a prayer that you can pray that helps pour your heart out to your Heavenly Father.I can't even begin to tell you the list of people that I want to pass this book onto! It is wonderful! Shame Lifters could change the body of Christ one reader at a time by letting them see themselves as God sees them instead of through the eyeglasses of shame that they usually wear.