A Heart Set Free and a Giveaway

It's here! My book is here! The baby that I gently carried and nurtured into existence has finally been birthed. On Wednesday, my book will officially be available for sale and I'm so excited to share it with you.

For those who have read my writing for a while now, you know that I often write about emotions. I can't help it; I am trained as a counselor. My goal in writing about emotions has always been to point my readers to the truth of the gospel and the hope they have in Christ. And that's the goal of my book as well. 

Are you often led by your emotions? I am. I think many of us are. Our emotions often rule us. They guide our decisions. Sometimes, they even hold us hostage. 

When hard and difficult emotions enter our lives, we often have go-to responses. We have usual ways we handle our emotions. We might pretend they are not there. We might try to distract ourselves from them. We might try to control them in some way. But how often do we turn to God in his word and in prayer when our hearts are breaking or we are frozen with fear? How often do we cry out to God when we've been hurt by others or when life is overwhelming? How often do we bring our cares to God in lament?

A Heart Set Free is about the art of lament. It is about learning from the Psalms of Lament so that we might then voice our own laments. It is about following the structure and pattern of the laments, a pattern which moves from sorrow to joy; from fear to trust. But it is ultimately about Christ, the one who lamented for us and who has fulfilled all the cries of our heart. 

Here are a few more facts:

1. It's not a Bible study: That's one of the first questions everyone asks. No, it is not a Bible study. It is a book about the Psalms of Lament. It could however be used as a book study with a friend, counselor, or small group.

2. It's a primer on the art of lament: We don't know how to cry out to God when we are afraid, lonely, abandoned, or filled with sorrow. This book follows the structure and pattern of the laments and shows us how to cry out to God.

3. It's not a cure-all or ten-step program: We all like how-to lists. We all like to follow ten steps to freedom from some problem. This book is about journeys and about the process of bringing our sorrows and fears to the Lord. Coming to God with our heartaches often results in greater joy, but not because we followed a particular program. Difficult and painful emotions will be a part of life until Christ returns. This book is about finding our hope in Christ, not in methods or false substitutes. 

4. Though lament is about sorrow, the book is ultimately about joy: This book teaches the art of lament, of crying out to God and seeking his help and salvation. But it is ultimately about coming to the place in our tears where we can trust, praise, and worship God even when life is hard. It's about joy linked with sorrow. It's about knowing that one day all our tears will be wiped away forever. 

Here's what a few others have said about the book: 

"Some days feel like a roller coaster ride--up and down, and if possible sideways ... Christina doesn't ignore our emotions, rather she drives us from the wild ride to the freedom found in Jesus." ~ Trillia Newbell (Author of Fear and Faith and United)

"Christina shows us from God's Word the importance of trusting Jesus with our emotions, even when we are weeping. With theological integrity and practical suggestions she tenderly teaches us the language of lament and how our lamentations can take us to the gospel." ~ Susan Hunt (Pastor's wife, former Director of Women's Ministry for the PCA and author of several books for women and children.)

"... I wish I had Christina's book back when I became a believer. It would have saved me a lot of painful emotion-stuffing and foolish emotion-ignoring." ~ Gloria Furman (Author of Glimpses of Grace, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, and The Pastor's Wife)

"... invites us to vulnerability, transparency and trust - particularly when life is hard ... offers practical, empathetic help for those whose emotions have taken them captive in a time of upheaval." ~ Jen Wilkin (Author of Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Mind)

To read a review of my book, visit Rachel Miller's blog

To learn more about my book, or get your own copy, click here: A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope through the Psalms of Lament.

This is a week of giveaways. So keep coming back to enter! Today's giveaway is one copy of my book, a journal I had hand painted from Sarah Vrooman Designs, a purple (my favorite color!) ESV Bible and a stamped bookmark from The Hand Stamped Heart. Enter below. US residents only. Update: Kim is the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations, Kim!