About the author
Eliza is a young woman who was burned by legalism, but then discovered that Jesus already kept the law for her. Her desire is to get to know Him better. She was in ATI for over 20 years.
More posts by Eliza
You do not walk this journey alone. You may be asking what books will help as you seek healing from the emotional and spiritual trauma you have been through. There are a few books that stand out in my mind as having been really helpful to me. I am sure there are many other resources available, but these are some of my favorites:
His Princess: Love Letters from Your King
As someone who had a horrible time receiving love and affirmation, this book gave me a small, daily dose of both. Eventually, the truth began to sink in. It is also a beautiful book, which was very good for me. I desperately needed to learn how to take time to see beauty and appreciate it. The author has also written series of books like this, including one for men.
Joy Bonds DVDs or CDs by James Wilder
Joy Bonds is an excellent resource on how the emotional parts of the brain develop. I will warn you, because the message of Joy Bonds is so opposite to what we learned in ATI, it may be difficult to grasp at first. At least, it was for me.
The Life Model: Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You
This book explains how to remedy deficits in your emotional maturity. The Life Model laid out a map of sorts that gave me hope that I could heal and grow into emotional maturity. However, care should be taken not to let it become just another formula.
Waking the Dead: The Glory of a Heart Fully Alive
This book broke down a major wall of lies that I was believing. I learned that God delights in me. That He loves who He created me to be. That I can live in joy because He has made my heart good.
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul
This book helped me see my value as a woman. It also deals extensively with healing.
Walking with God: Talk to Him. Hear from Him. Really.
This book helped me see that my relationship with God could really be a RELATIONSHIP instead of a list of rules to follow.
Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy
Ah, what do I say here? Hillary McFarland (the author) has been a mentor and become a friend. She totally understands the pressures we faced growing up in legalistic families. Her gentle words have often comforted me. Her grace toward friend and foe alike have inspired me. Her book and blog (www.quiveringdaughters.com) have been such a huge part of my healing that I’m not even sure how to explain it.
Boundaries: When to Say YES, When to Say NO, To Take Control of Your Life
Everyone should read a book like this. Did you know that it is okay to say no sometimes? To take care of yourself rather than help someone else if you are exhausted? That you are an individual, not an extension of another person? This book explains what boundaries are, how to set them, and how to maintain them.
A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life
This is a hard book to read, but necessary for anyone who was involved in IBLP/ATI.
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
This explains the mindset of abusers (male and female, despite the title) and how to respond to them. I tend to ask “why” a lot. This book answered so many of my questions. It also gives detailed instructions on how to get away from an abuser if necessary. Not an easy or short read, but well worth it.
When Sparrows Fall: A Novel
This one is an easy read, except for possible triggers. It takes various things we were taught and explains them to those who have never heard of them, as well as exposing why they are inaccurate – all in novel form. This might be a really good book to hand to relatives who want to understand why we were raised so differently.
This Is Your Brain on Joy
This is a rather technical book, but it is written in plain English. It explains the various sections of the brain and what they do (as far as we currently understand it). Dr. Henslin also explains how to help your brain get or stay healthy, including specific recommendations for foods and supplements that may help fight depression, anxiety, anger, etc.
As you explore these resources, you may come across something that will trigger unpleasant memories or something that may illuminate a lie that you have believed. One of the things that helped me most at such times was to talk with a supportive friend or counselor who would first listen, then give feedback or remind me of other facts or memories that might help make sense of whatever it was I was processing.
Also, in my opinion, there’s no particular order in which you might want to explore these resources. Maybe start with what interests you most and if you feel overwhelmed, set it aside and explore another resource for a while. Remember, it’s not a race to get them all read (high achiever/perfectionist speaking here)! As you explore, let the truth soak into your soul. You may very well find the truth you need will vary wildly from one day to the next.
Your bookworm friend