In August I went to an event called New Wine.
It was an amazing week of God moving and worship.
There was one thing I never touched on in any of my posts about that week, and that was the bookshop!
For those of you who read my post of my favorites of 2017, you will already know that I adore books. If you haven’t read it and you’re a book lover, check it out. You might find something that you enjoy.
My inner book nerd loves the bookshop at New Wine. It’s so rare to come across a book shop that just talks about God and trust me when i say this one is bursting at the seams.
I love it.
However, due to being on team this year, I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to spend exploring all the books, most of my free time in the market place was spent talking to the stall holders.
One of these stalls was Mercy UK.
I’d come across what Mercy UK does before. In the thick of my eating disorder, my mum had stumbled across their site. We discovered that they had a 6 month residential program to help women with life controlling issues, just like my eating disorder.
Personally, I think the idea behind Mercy is incredible.
I cannot give higher praises for what the people in the UK are doing. Unlike other programs, Mercy revolves around God’s love. It’s saturated in the bible and has such a focus on God. The idea it’s based on is truly amazing.
But after careful consideration, I decided that I wasn’t going to apply to their residential program.
It just wasn’t the right thing for me at that time. So, I carried on with my recovery in my own fashion.
Fast forward to New Wine and I’m not all that better. I’d made some leaps and bounds in my recovery, but there was still a long road ahead of me. Even to this day, I’m still on that journey but I know I’ve come so far.
One of the days I ended up breaking off from the group of friends I was with. They probably thought I was being off, and I was. However, I wasn’t being off with them. After a hard-hitting morning I ended up having minor sensory overload in the market, what led me to going outside and breaking into a full panic attack.
But God had my best interests in heart, and was not about to leave me alone sitting in a ball in an alleyway alone.
A matter of minuets later, my mum walked past and spotted me.
There were 14,000 people at that event and in that precise moment my mum had felt that God had told her to head towards the market place. Out off all those people, she found me when I needed her the most.
She managed to talk me into eating and after some calm down time, she suggested going back into the market and checking out the books.
looking through the books, I found Keys to Freedom.
Wrote by Mercy Ministry Uk, this 8 week interactive discipleship course won’t be your magic cure, but it will give you the keys to unlock your freedom.
I really wanted to share with you some of the activitys and thought-provoking lessons that it contains, but I’d been very vunrable when doing this course and all my notes inside are slight too personal to be splashing over the internet. However, I have separated this post to talk about some of the things I specifically like about this resource.
Group or individual?
You can do the course as part of a group and work through it, or you can go through it by yourself.
I worked through Keys to Freedom by myself and I found it extremely useful. Doing it alone allowed me to be more vulnerable in my answers and thoughts. This vulnerability made the course all the more beneficial.
If you are part of a group and would like to do it together, that’s great. You can have a book each, or if you’d like, you can all work from one book with someone leading the sessions. If you all had your own journal or notebook to write things down, then that would work just fine.
How versatile this course is, is something I very much liked.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy having small projects to complete, especially in notebooks. I like notebooks.
As Keys to freedom is interactive, it allows you to grab a notebook and write thing down. Or, you can write directly into the book itself. It gives you well sized gaps to explore bible passages and write down anything God might be saying to you.
It’s not all copy and paste work either. Whilst it does encorage you to write out the passages, instead of just reading them, as this does slow you down and really make you soak in the passage. Some things ask you write down what the passage means to you. What challenges does it provoke within you. Other parts as you to draw, other create diagrams.
Everyday that you spend on this course will give you something new and exciting to work with. It’s by no means samey or boring. I was always excited to work on it on an evening.
So who is this book for?
At the start of every week you are given a story of someone. You learn a bit about their teastemony that nicely leads on to that week’s theme. Some people talk about their addiction, other talk about their struggles with depression and some talk about the feeling of being neglected.
There’s a range of story for a range of readers. I came to this book with anxiety and an eating disorder, some people come to reading it whilst suffering from depression, childhood trauma, addiction.
We live hectic lives
Being in college, you’d think I’d have some sort of spare time and a relatively calm life. The truth is the polar opoest of that.
I’m a full-time student, a student representative so attend meetings when needed, have a part-time job, am a guide leader and run meetings, run Lost In The Story all by myself, exploring working with other organisations as a writer and look after my mum when she’s not doing too well.
Not to mention I’m recovering from anorexia and managing my anxiety.
I don’t have a lot of spare time, what is 100% my own fault.
So, where did I fit in doing Keys to freedom?
The good thing about this course it that it asks you to give 20- 25 minuets a day to it.
I found this worked best before I went to sleep. In-stead of playing on my phone before bed, I’d put it down for a few minuets, curl up on my bed with this book and my bible and just see what God has in store for me that night.
It’s not asking a lot of time from you.
Yes, you read that correctly.
You gets days off!
This does tie in nice to the point above, but the course has 5 days of material per week and two rest days. It’s up to you how you use those days and it what combination.
I liked working on it Monday to Friday and then spent my weekend as my rest days. However, you could work really long shifts at work on Wednesdays and Fridays, so you could take those two days off.
Having days off is one of my favorite aspects of how the course is wrote
Keys for FREEDOM is by no ways the end of all your problems, it’s never pretends it is either.
What it is, is a stong and powerful resource that really makes you dig deep.
It won’t solve your problems, but it’ll point you in the direction of someone who can, and that person is God.