Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This book features 10 women from the Bible and how they turn heartache into life experences that help them live happier. Each chapter discusses a different woman from the bible, describing her hardships.. Its nice to see the struggles women inthe bible have and what they turned it into
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Laurie Pawlik runs a popular blog and tells her difficult stories in this hope-filled book. She has endured so many challenges and tells her stories with honesty and joy.

In each chapter, she applies a beautiful growth metaphor to one of the Bible’s famous women. Even though I was familiar with each of these ladies’ stories from the Bible, I gained great insight from Laurie’s insights into their pain and faith. She also weaves her own stories and stories of other modern women into each chapter, making the flow of words highly engaging.

I love practical theology, because I can take a truth from a book and apply it right away. Each chapter is loaded with practical applications for growing forward in everyday life. This helped me really appreciate this book, because it has lots of helpful tools to help me get over my hangups.

Favorite Quotes from Growing Forward:
Jesus is your kindred spirit. He knows your name just as intimately as He did Mary’s. He accepts your feelings, problems, and fears.
Practice meeting God in the clamor, noise and distractions of daily life. Tune your heart so you hear Him above, below, and through the roar. If you can sense the Holy Spirit in the hubbub, you’ll see Him anywhere and everywhere.
God uses tragedies to lay the foundations for triumphs–even when we can’t see how, why, or where. His endings lead to fresh beginnings; life springs from death.

Thanks goes to Bethany House and Netgalley for providing me a review copy of Growing Forward.
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I am unable to review this book because I cannot get my copy to download.  If I finakky get this to work, I’ll read it and review.
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If you're struggling to move forward after a time of setback, loss or trauma, this book provides valuable encouragement to help you find your way.
The author weaves together her own story with the experiences of eleven women from the Bible to point to hope that, even when we encounter circumstances that will change our lives forever, there is still a way to move forward into something new.
The book is empathetic and realistic. It doesn't provide simplistic solutions or advocate a one-size-fits-all approach, but it brings the stories of the women from the Bible in a way that is relatable, fresh, and applicable to life today.
Each chapter contains five "Blossom Tips" - practical exercises or steps to take towards healing and flourishing.
I think this book will be helpful to many in pointing them towards a way to blossom and flourish despite difficult or tragic circumstances.
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The book is nicely organized in the following manner. “Every chapter begins with a peek into a difficult loss I or one of my readers have faced. Next, a biblical woman offers a unique, refreshing glimpse into her story, followed by a Blossom Tip for you to explore and weave into your own life.” Each chapter concludes with: Questions for Journaling and Discussion.

Let me share eight little nuggets that caught my attention.

Your Identity

“I began to realize I was basing my identity—and my future—on my sister’s approval and love.”

What do you base your identity on? I think too often we let our families, friends, employers, communities and culture tell us who we are and how we need to act. This is not who we are. We are each unique individuals and loved by God. God wants us to feel free to be our true self: the person Gods wants us to be.


“In fact, most of my biggest regrets are the impulsive decisions that I didn’t take to God first!”

I agree! As much as possible, I try to take both small and large decisions to God. God is my daily partner in life. We both need each other. I often consult God for wisdom, patience and understanding. I am the eyes, ears, hands and feet of God. God needs my action in the world.


“Today, retreats can give us a chance to reconnect with God, deepen our relationships with others, and even change the direction of our lives.”

I encourage you to take a weekend or even a one day retreat. I have done both and I always walk away enriched by the experience. I have created new relationships with people I previously did not know and I deepen my relationship with God.

Loss and Death

“Loss and death often contain the seeds of new beginnings.”

Loss can be the death of a loved one or friend. Our loved one does not want us to stop our lives. He or she will want us to move forward. Loss can also mean the loss of a job. As difficult as it can be, it might be the door to a new and wonderful opportunity.


“It was a fifteen-minute writing exercise that invited us to picture ourselves the way God sees us, and write ourselves a letter from His perspective.”

I once had a spiritual director recommend this to me. In my journal she had be place my name and then write my thoughts to God. Next she had me write God and have God respond to what I had just written. It was a powerful exercise. God always seemed to write from a loving and compassionate posture.

Comfort Zone

“You can’t grow without taking risks, much less blossom into who God wants you to be.”

If you want to grow you must get out of your comfort zone. Clarity comes with action. Each day we need to try something that scares us a little bit. My barometer is that if it excites me and will not harm me or others that I should probably do it.


“Silence and solitude are wonderful places to hear His voice, but they’re not always available. Practice meeting God in the clamor, noise, and distractions of daily life.”

“But now those distractions remind me that God isn’t just found in stillness. He’s alive and waiting for us in life’s daily noise, distractions, and chaos.”

I practice a form of silent prayer called centering prayer. Centering prayer prepares me for my non silent times. Centering prayer is great practice for living my daily life.


“There’s no use worrying about the past, present, or future. Fretting wastes your time and energy. Walk through your worries once with Jesus, if you must. Then leave them with Him.”

During centering prayer I let go of all thoughts, emotions and physical sensations. This includes my worries. I leave them with God. I then get up from my sit and resume my day. My worries will not help me to accomplish my daily tasks.

I encourage you to check out this wonderful book.
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Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back is a women’s Christian living book by author Laurie Pawlik. I read an ARC of this book. The publish date is January 1, 2019.

This book features 10 women from the Bible and how they blossom – heart, soul, and mind. The author reveals her own setbacks, disappointments, and the death of an important figure in her life and how she overcame.

My favorite chapter was the one about Sarah. It took Abraham and Sarah years to finally have a child, even to the point of acting ahead of God. It reminds me of when I first started menopause and realizing my days of childbirth are over. As much as I love my boys and couldn’t think of life without them I have also always wanted a daughter. At the onset of menopause, I knew I would not be blessed with a biological daughter, even though the Lord had given me her name years ago, Katrina Nicole. So I keep praying for Katrina Nicole, wherever she may be.

I recommend this book to all women regardless of what season of life they are in.

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Whether you are hurting, lost or just hoping to move forward Laurie Pawlik will walk you through healing from hurt and loss in her new book Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back. 
I’d not read anything by the author before this book, but she writes in an honest and forthright manner. She weaves personal stories in with nuggets of wisdom and tips to guide us to become a better person. 
Each chapter also includes a struggle and lesson from one of the women in the Bible. 
“You'll discover how God shows His presence and power in the valleys, deserts, and storms. And you'll feel a fresh sense of hope that, with God, you can redefine yourself, remake your life, and grow forward into a beautiful new season.”
If you are struggling or in a valley, I would highly recommend this book.  And if you’re on a mountaintop, I’d recommend stocking up for the next valley or storm. 
**I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The chapters of this book bring Biblical characters to life.  Each one focuses on a different woman from the Bible, and offers up her story of hardship and overcoming.  Interwoven in those chapters are the author's personal stories that relate, as well as scriptures.  The author gives relevant Blossom tips and self-exercises that go along with the hardship-at-hand, providing encouragement to the reader.  It's a book of overcoming together.
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This is a very good book. It's not a book that you just read through then forget half of what you read, it's a book that you work through. Each chapter has five Blossom tips to read and work through and Laurie Pawlik has a blog that you can go to so you don't have to go through your battle alone. This is a book that you will read many times, and if you are like me, it will be very marked up when you finish reading it. Thank you Bethany House via NetGalley for the free copy of this book. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. I highly recommend this book.
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