The soul is living art, composed of mind, will, and heart. This mixed-medium masterwork is filled with emotions, memories and a resilience that exceeds physical limitation. Your soul is a masterpiece and it’s the most priceless possession in the universe. So incredibly valuable, Jesus paid for its liberation with his own life. It's through your heart and soul that everything you love about life is experienced—joy, adventure, wonder, dreams, romance and relationship.  The only way to enter the "better life" is for your heart and soul to become one—united—whole.



"I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." — Jesus (John 10:10 MSG)

What is the life you have dreamt about, but haven’t yet explored or maybe even put words to? What if everything you need to transition from your current “environment” into a whole new way of living was already inside of you, predestined, yet untapped? What if all you had to do was take a breath, and enter in? The path from one way of living to a more expansive one is always scary, wonderful, and wild. But if you’re going to soar into something new, you’ll have to leap off the branch into the void. If you’re going to experience the vast beauty and wonder of the new life lying before you now, you’ll have to jump in yourself and seek the unknown that waits in your soul.

Your soul and heart are not metaphorical poetry. They are fact. Almost everyone has experienced a moment of heartbreak—endured a betrayal, a bad break-up or lost a loved one—you don't need me to tell you the wearying effects a broken heart can have on your mind, will, and body. When your heart and soul are wounded, the rest of your life limps. Indeed, there are splits and cracks in all of our inner lives, and until these are fully restored, united and matured, we will not be able to fully realize a life, Jesus described as, "better life than they ever dreamed of." 

The truth is that God is pouring out more than enough life to abundantly overflow our lives, but like a bucket with holes, our lives rarely have the chance to fill up.  As David connected in Psalm 23, the Lord must first “restoreth my soul” before “my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:3, 5 KJV). Much of the abundant life God extravagantly pours out slips through the holes in our heart and soul. I’ve felt it and so have you.  If you want to enter the life you have dreamt about—soar into something new—you'll have to leap in yourself and seek the unknown that waits in your heart and soul. Let's get started!


1.) What is one of the most courageous or brave things you’ve ever done? 

(If you’re answering this in a group setting, partner off. Then take turns asking your partner the question above. Both individuals should be prepared to introduce your partner and share their brave deed to the others in your group.) 


2.) Did you recognize any coping strategies from your past? How have they influenced your life?

3.) Did you recognize any agreements you may have made in your past? How have they impacted your life thus far?


Skill 2: Courage

How might have you attempted to sooth (self-satisfy) the wounding you experienced after your shattering story? One way we do this (most of the time, unknowingly) is to construct an approach to life, that will keep us from having to feel our wound(s) or ever put ourself in a position to be wounded in a similar manner again.

Approaches may include (Strategies According to Oz):

  • Munchkin - Shrink themselves. Consistently relegating oneself to the background or hiding (rarely speaking up, not drawing attention to oneself, rarely putting oneself “out there”, etc.)
  • Wizard - The “all-knowing,” consistently presents themselves as competent, confident and in control—rarely revealing their true thoughts or feelings. 
  • Western Witch - Consistently takes an offensive position, using attack to distance themself from those who might expose their wound or potentially inflict another one. They consistently strike first, believing that the best defense is a good offense. 
  • Scarecrow - consistently presents themselves as non-threatening, unwaveringly loyal, controllable and endure just about anything from anyone.
  • Cowardly Lion - Consistently presents themselves as unconfident, timid and meek.
  • Tin Man - distance themselves from emotion and primarily lean on logical thought. (Attempts to divide their “Mind” (thoughts & emotion)).

(Many of us are naturals at this last one (Tin Man). I know I was. Yet, we’ll need emotion if we are going to love anyone well, fully embrace those once-in-a-lifetime moments of joy and enter the abundant life promised to us. We can’t fully experience the better life we long for, without being emotionally connected.)

There are a million different approaches (or strategies)—and every combination thereof—we use to cope with the hurt we’ve experienced.

As you’ve already experienced—a wholehearted journey takes courage—especially when your seeking to vulnerable answer the soul-searching questions presented in this Your Wholehearted Journey section. The next questions I’m about to ask you, are no different. But, you wouldn’t have made it this far if you weren’t hulking with copious amounts of intestinal fortitude. Once again, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Remember, that the initial discomfort you may feel when answering the following questions, will pail in comparison to the better life you'll be experiencing on the other side of them!

  • How did you respond during the shattering episode you’ve written about? (Did you fight, flee, freeze or fawn (some animals fawnor “play dead”to deceive those seeking to harm them)?
  • Did your regular disposition or personality change in some way after the event?
  • How did you attempt to sooth or cope with the pain of your wounding after that shattering event? 
  • Does that strategy influence your life in some way today?

If there are any details that came to light, in your answers above, that have not yet been included in your written story, please take a moment and add them now. Additionally, please take note of any coping strategies you may have identified. If you have identified one or more strategies (approaches to life), answering the following questions will likely bring more clarity concerning them and how they may presently be influencing your life. (Please write the answers to these questions in a convenient space below your story. Additionally, your answers to those questions will be extremely beneficial for you in a future exercise you'll engage in at the conclusion of Skill 6: An Unveiled Face.)

  • What coping strategy or mechanisms did you identify? (If, per chance, you identified more than one, you may also include it here.)
  • Did this strategy help you to make it through the wounding experience of your past? If so, how?
  • Do you sometimes (or often) use that same strategy today, do you see it limiting your life or keeping you from entering your better life in any way? If so, how? 
  • What coping strategies might be operating in the temple of your heart? Asking Jesus to help reveal them and “clear them out” is the best action you could take. He’s more than ready to help you—as the Scripture reveals, “zeal for [your] temple consumes [him]” (John 2:17).

Skill 3: Spiritual Smarts

Agreements often come to us when we least expect it—when we’re young, vulnerable or weak.

A few agreements that we can make with our Enemy (Lies) 

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy….” (John 10:10a NLT).

  1. I can’t forgive myself for ___________.
  2. I can never get it right
  3. I’m a looser or failure.
  4. It’s impossible to ever get ahead
  5. Love always leaves.
  6. I am not worthy of love.
  7. No one can be trusted.
  8. I’m on my own.
  9. Life is up to me to make happen.
  10. I will never be poor like my parents.
  11. I’m average.
  12. I am ugly (or this part of my body is ugly)
  13. I can’t forgive them for __________.

Agreements that we can make with God and Scripture (Truth) 

“…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10b NLT).

(The following scriptures numerically correlate with the agreements that our enemy temps us to make (above) and will serve as truth-filled rebuttals to those lies. We wield Scripture as a weapon against our Enemy and his agreements, just like Jesus did in his wilderness testing.)

  1. “…He has removed [my] sins as far from [me] as the east is from the west” (Psalms 103:12 NLT)
  2. “…[I am] more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 NIV)
  3. “The Lord will make [me] the head, not the tail…the top, never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13 NIV).
  4. [I] will be blessed when [I] come in and blessed when [I] go out (Deuteronomy 28:6 NIV).
  5. “nothing can ever separate [me] from God’s love (Romans 8:38 NLT).
  6. I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; [I am one of] your works [so] I am wonderful, [worthy of love], I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14) NIV).
  7. “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close” (Psalm 27:10 NIV).
  8. “God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV).
  9. “The Lord himself goes before [me] and will be with [me]; he will never leave [me] nor forsake [me]. [I will] not be afraid; [I will] not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV).
  10. I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread (Psalm 37:25 NIV).
  11. “[I am] altogether beautiful…there is no flaw in [me].” (Sol. 4:7 NLT).
  12. “For [I am] God’s masterpiece. He has created [me] anew in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:10).
  13. “[I will] love [my] enemies and pray for those who persecute [me], [because I am a child] of [my] Father in heaven…[I will] be perfect, [in this way] even as [my] Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-38).

One more question...

Did you identify any “agreements” you may have made? If so, please write them down in a convenient space below your story. 

If you did identify any agreements, let’s take a moment to renounce them now. It would be beneficial to return to the prayer at the end of Skill 3: Spiritual Smarts (chapter 6) and pray it now. (I’ve included it below.)

Thank you, Father for sending Jesus to die on the cross, resurrecting him and seating him on a throne in deep heaven. He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus, thank you for liberating humanity with your own life. Please enter the captive and imprisoned places in my heart and free them now. Make my heart whole. Thank you for releasing me from the Enemy’s enslaving captivity. You have delivered me from the kingdom of darkness and transferred me into your kingdom of light. The Enemy has no more “legal claim” to me—my heart and my life. I renounce every, known and unknown, agreement I have ever made with the Enemy. [If you know of any agreements you have made, renounce them specifically now]. Today, I choose to make a new agreement with your Scripture, the highest level of law, and what you say about me. I give myself wholly over to you—my spirit, soul and body; my heart, mind and will—to live for you always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

(There are also “”Spiritual Smarts” scriptures and prayers in the Appendix that will be very helpful in forming new agreements with what God says is true about you in Scripture.)


Podcast on Session 1