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Donna Partow shares stories from her life and solid Bible teaching to show women that no matter how life has disappointed them, God can bring new life and hope where there was destruction, unforgiveness, or suffering. The audiobook, condensed to three hours, is read by the author.
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Donna Partow is a bestselling author and Christian communicator with a compelling testimony of God's transforming power, making her a popular guest on more than two hundred radio and TV shows, including Focus on the Family. Donna's honesty and vulnerability speak to women who have broken dreams and less-than-perfect lives. As Donna says, "I'm on the planet for one reason: to demonstrate that God has absolutely no standards--he'll take anybody in. If you are willing to turn your life over to God, no matter what a mess you've made, he will astound a watching world with what he can do!"
Her books have sold a half million copies worldwide and have been translated (in part or in whole) into numerous languages. She is also a regular speaker for women's groups and retreats. Donna and her family live near Phoenix, Arizona.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
I Didn’t Sign Up for This Life!
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
Key Points to Remember
No one signs up for the challenges of life, but in the real world, tough times are inevitable.
When faced with life’s heartaches, we have a choice: stay stuck in the place of pain or move forward to find hope and healing.
God sets choices before each of us every day; every moment we are making choices that lead either to life or death.
God could have created a world filled with flawless humans who had no choice but to do the right thing; he chose to give us free will instead.
We are created in the image of God, and I believe he finds more joy in one person who chooses to love him—and to keep on loving him even in the face of tragedy—than he finds in all the beauty of every other created thing combined.
This book is about truth, and some of it will be hard to hear. "The truth will set you free, but first it’s gonna hurt your feelings."
An easy life isn’t necessarily a good life, and a good life is rarely easy.
It’s time to let go of the need to be right and start pursuing the need to be healed.
1. Have you ever felt trapped in the middle of "the life you didn’t sign up for"? Perhaps you feel that way now. Describe.
2. What are some of the heartaches and challenges you’ve faced in your life?
3. In the past, have you chosen to stay stuck in the place of pain? Describe the results.
4. Are you now ready to move forward to find hope and healing? If so, what has motivated you to do so at this time?
5. How do you typically respond when someone tells you something you didn’t want to hear?
6. Recall a time in your life when the truth set you free ... but only after it hurt your feelings.
7. In what ways have you felt as though life has been unfair to you? Why?
8. How have you responded in those times, and do you feel as though God was pleased with your actions?
9. What is your definition of getting real?
10. What keeps you from getting real?
11. What do you hope to accomplish in getting real?
12. What percentage of your suffering is likely the natural consequences of your own choices?
13. If you had to honestly rank your lifelong level of suffering on a scale of 1–10, what number would you choose? (1 = just-about-perfect life; 10 = bankrupt, quadriplegic, sole survivor of a plane crash in the jungles of Ecuador)
Read Isaiah 61:1–3:
What does God promise to do for us in times of trials if we trust him?
What will he give us instead of ashes?
Why did he promise this?
In what area of your life do you need to exchange your ashes for beauty?
Read 2 Kings 20:4–5:
What does God hear and see?
What does he promise to do?
Meditate on Psalm 139:
What does God know about you?
Is he surprised by your life circumstances?
What comfort did you find in this psalm? Express your gratitude to the God who made you, loves you, and knows all the days ordained for you.
Look up each of the following verses and note what you discover about hope and/or healing:
Working It Into Your Life
Make a list of the top five things you didn’t sign up for. Pray over each one and ask God to show you how each one "worked together for good" by teaching you valuable life lessons.
If you are completing this study as part of a small group, gather personal items or photos to represent several of the top ten things you didn’t sign up for, and be prepared to briefly describe the lesson you learned or one good thing that came out of the experience.
Review your list and ask God to show you someone who is currently facing a similar challenge. Either call or write that person a note of encouragement, sharing one Scripture God used to encourage you.
Rewrite This Week’s Key Verse
Your Prayer in Response
Heavenly Father, you know this isn’t the life I signed up for. There have been heartaches and disappointments along the way—some of them because of my own foolish choices. I ask you now to send the Holy Spirit to do a work of healing in my life. Fill me with hope for a better future. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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