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  • Writer's pictureDawn Ward

Book Review - Half the Battle, Healing Your Hidden Hurts

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


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Where Do Your Hide Your Pain?

Once in a rare while, a book crosses my path that I can say is truly life changing. Half the Battle by Dr. Jon Chasteen is such a book. When I first agreed to review the book, I admit I wasn’t sure if it would apply to me personally. How could a book with a sword graphic on the front cover, premised on fighting battles, have anything to do with where I am right now? I had only to flip open the book sleeve to know beyond a shadow of a doubt this was a book I needed to read.


Here are a few notable quotes, just to name a few:


~You can never tear down the walls of Jericho unless you first let God tear down the walls of your heart.


~God can take whatever pain, whatever rejection, and whatever shame you carry and use it for His glory and for your good.


~God is there in your situation. He’s there in your predicament. He’s there in your pain.


As I read the first few paragraphs, I was immediately intrigued by the battle analogy. I mean, guys like these kind of books. They crave war movies. They love a good battle. They like to fight. They’re into weapons. So, I get why this would be a book that would appeal to men. As a woman and non war-movie watcher, I wasn’t sure if I would identify with it. (Hold on a minute! I do know some women are really into this stuff…just not this woman!) But take a few seconds to re-read these quotes. These words immediately captured my attention, “ You can never tear down the walls of Jericho unless you first let God tear down the walls of our heart.” Hmm… maybe I had won a few battles, but I certainly had not won the war. Or maybe in winning half the battle, I needed to admit I lost the other half, the one that kept me stuck in the pain of rejection?


Somehow, the author managed to put his fingertip on the pulse of my pain, and in doing so, pointed out the protective wall built around my heart that held me captive within its confines.


“Think about it this way: as Christ-followers, we are residents in a household that is built by, held up with, and guided by a stone that was initially labeled as rejection. The beauty of Christ, His Church, and everything we stand for was established on a stone called rejection. Is this a beautiful story or what? God takes the things that other people see as worthy of rejection and builds something beautiful.” ~Dr. John Chasteen, Author of Half the Battle, Healing Your Hidden Hurts

About the Book

Half the Battle is available on Amazon well as other retailers.


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Do you feel like you’ve spent your life hiding behind a mask? Attempting to wear the “good Christian” façade, you put on a happy face and pretend that everything is well with the world. After all, your problems pale in comparison to the suffering you’ve seen in the lives of your family, friends, and the world in general.


So, why do you hurt so badly? Why do you feel rejected, unseen, and unloved? The problem is that the pain you buried and tried to hide keeps resurfacing, revealing itself in unexpected ways, and reminding you that it has never been dealt with. You are not free from it. Maybe you never will be…


For Mary and Martha, who just experienced the devastating death of their brother, Lazarus, their pain was tucked behind the stone of a tomb. They buried it there along with his body. Why did Jesus let this happen to him? Why didn’t he come when he heard Lazarus was sick? Didn’t he care? Their wounded hearts, grieving the loss of their precious brother, now bore the pain of feeling rejected by their dear friend.


Like these two sisters, Jesus knows where you hide your pain. He knows what is causing you to stay stuck in feelings of shame and rejection. As you read this book, you will learn to acknowledge the battles you are facing and partner with Him in your healing. You will face the heavy stone of rejection that is weighing you down and, instead of trying to carry it by yourself, learn to lay it at the feet of Jesus. Pain holds us back from fulfilling our purpose. Keeping it hidden is no longer an option. Lessons learned from Half the Battle and its accompanying study guide will help you find freedom and lasting peace.


“Jesus refused to allow the pain of rejection to hold Him back, even as He was on the cross.” ~Dr. Jon Chasteen

Why This Book Matters to Me

I, like most of you, have experienced rejection in one form or another for most of my life. As a child I felt the blow of painful words spoken by those who should have accepted me unconditionally. With adulthood, came the sting of rejection from close friends, family, and even within the church body. Being the mother of a child struggling with addiction, I felt misunderstood and rejected by those whose support I longed for. It broke my heart to watch helplessly as my son carried the burden of shame, rejection, and the scorn of others when what he really needed was compassion and acceptance.


Rejection stings, but it also stinks. And when we hide or bury it, like forgotten leftovers spoiling in the back of the refrigerator, its stench permeates every area of our lives. It hinders us and keeps us from moving forward in the purpose to which God has called us. Half the Battle matters to me because my pain, our pain, matters to Jesus. I encourage you to read it, and let Jesus roll away the stone and heal your hidden hurts.


Dear Healer of the Broken,


Thank you for reaching behind the walls we built to reveal the pain we have carefully hidden. You know better than we do where we have buried our pain. Lord, we ask you to teach us to let go of shame and regret. Help us to remember that you were rejected so we could be accepted. Please redeem our pasts, and set us free. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen.


Beautiful Blessings. Dawn



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Bio: Dr. John Chasteen is president of The King’s University in Southlake, Texas. He and his wife, Michele, also serve as lead pastors of Victory Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Jon’s greatest passion is to empower and equip the local church to live, move, and be in the fullness of Christ. “In Him I live, and move, and have my being.” Acts 17:58



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