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I decided I would add a page for my ‘self help reading list’, a list of the books I’ve read in an effort to educate myself and learn coping strategies and techniques that would help me let go of the damage of the past and continue to grow.

If you visit my ‘reading list’ you’ll find that I’ve focused on a few areas. I’ve read about coping in stressful and emotional situations, family and parenting, adoption, adult relationships, disabilities and Christian ‘self-help’.

The Christian reading is solely authored by Joyce Meyer.

A friend of mine, a woman who had been my school bus driver when I was in Middle School and High School, also was my son’s bus driver. When we spoke, we realized we were both dealing with similar health issues and she shared with me that she was looking for hope, maybe another way to deal with her disability. She’d found Joyce Meyer on television and started watching her every morning before work. While she thought some of what she had to say wasn’t ‘for her’, she was able to find something helpful to take away from her daily ‘lessons’.

I was struggling, at that same time, with being ‘connected’ to something, feeling like I ‘belonged’ or was ‘part of something greater than myself’. I had just begun attending Church regularly with my husband (who had had a lifetime of religious education, while I had had no more than a year’s worth of exposure to church teachings), when my friend introduced me to Joyce Meyer’s books.

I bought book after book, reading everything I could. I found things in them that were helpful, I could see myself in some of the situations she described, but I was very disappointed by the ‘solutions’ offered my Ms. Meyer. It was comforting to recognize that other people had experienced the same things I had, that they struggled with similar situations, but aside from that, and giving me cause to reflect, I didn’t really develop new ‘strategies’ or experience much growth.

No matter how hard I searched, how hard I tried to learn, to understand, I could not accept everything Christianity taught. Some of Joyce’s books contradicted one another, as did the different denominations of Christianity that I visited and explored, the Bible itself and many of the people I’d been exposed to who professed to be devout Christians. I was more confused and conflicted, when it came to ‘religion’, than I had ever been before.

I was able, like my friend and former bus driver, to pull things from the texts that I found helpful, but I had to continue to search for what I needed.

I included Joyce Meyer’s books on my self-help reading list because there were helpful passages, ideas and suggestions in their texts. I think if I could pull something helpful and meaningful from them, surely others could as well.

If you’ve ever read one of the books on the list, please let me know what your impressions were about the book(s) and whether you think you were helped.

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