Phase 1 Chapters

While what happened to us in the past is significant, what’s more important is what we learned to believe about ourselves because of those experiences. By looking at the past events of their lives, participants are able to identify the lies they learned to believe and how those lies affect their current thinking patters. Armed with the truth, participants learn how to effectively apply the truth to their own lives. As a result, their past experiences no longer contaminate what they want to do and be. Phase 1 has a reading component and a small group component. The reading material covers a variety of topics that enhance the small group process. The title of each lesson indicates the time period of a person’s life that will be shared during the small group experience.

1. Getting Ready for Group Work

This lesson explains the overall objectives of The Ultimate Journey. The small group will provide a safe, confidential place for sharing each week.  A foundation for how the small group process works, as well as the Support Group Covenant that each group member will sign, is outlined in detail. The small group component will focus on getting acquainted with your group members and signing The Ultimate Journey Support Group Covenant

2. Discovering Your Perception of Yourself

You cannot deal with something until you become consciously aware of it. When you see it, you will be able to see what it is doing to your life. Many of the perceptions we have of ourselves are picked up from childhood, and their effects may not be realized until they play themselves out in adulthood. Often times this happens in damaging or dysfunctional ways. We need others to help us see what we may not be able to see for ourselves.

3. Our Entrance Into The World

Every child born has been affected by the results of sin in this fallen world. The degree to which a child is affected varies, but no child grows up unscathed. We learn that many of the ways we have tried to deal with the pain of our childhood have been unsuccessful and may have created even more pain. New, more effective ways of dealing with and processing our pain are discussed.

4. Your Early Childhood Years

Each of our lives is like a seed that needs gardening. Do we see what our lives can become just as a gardener views a seed, or do we look at the “seed’ we are with the idea that it is not good enough, in essence that we are not good enough? In this lesson we will learn God’s gardening ways as opposed to the ways of a critic.

5. Your Elementary School Years

Many of us carry around shame for what we have done or what has been done to us. This generally results in self-rejection, chronic inner turmoil and emotional distress. It often produces abuse of self and others, addictive behaviors and an inability to have healthy, nurturing, intimate relationships. The only cure is to “get real,” in the light of God’s truth so we can experience his love and acceptance. As we do, our true, God-given selves can emerge.

6. Your Life Story

You are not what happened to you. You are not what you did or failed to do, or what others have led you to believe you are. You may not even be what you are doing now. If this is true, then who are you? It is discovering who God really made you to be that sets you free to be who you really are! Each person will write a “Fairy Tale” of their life. This will be the true story of one’s life, not what they wished it would have been.  The story will be presented in a fairy tale format which will help bring greater understanding to the family system.

7. Your Middle School/Jr. High Years

Children videotape whatever they see their caretakers doing and store it away for future reference. Later, they act out those patterns as an adult. By analyzing our family systems, we can become aware of any negative patterns that we are repeating or don’t want to repeat so they no longer affect us and the generations after us.

8. Your High School Years

When we have grown and developed enough to know God for ourselves, he summons us to cut the cords that bind us to false, temporary God-substitutes. We discover the things we began using to fill the pain and void in our hearts during these years and how we continue to do that today in similar or different ways. An important objective of this time period is to feel forgiven for choices that were made during these years that many still carry shame over. Shame, when allowed to continue, usually fuels further poor choices into adulthood.

9. Your Young Adult Years

Our struggle during these years is to fight against the tyranny of old patterns that can destroy our growth and dreams in life. We need to outgrow them by adopting and practicing new ones. To do that, we need to strip off our old mindsets and deliberately install new ones. Ephesians 4 calls us to “lay aside the old self” and “put on the new self”. We must stop siding with Satan’s lies against ourselves and start siding with God’s truth for ourselves. This is a necessary change in order to have healthy relationships with other adults as well as with any children we might bring into the world.

10. Your Adult Years

Refusal to acknowledge reality with its problems, needs, limitations, ignorance, sin and personal responsibilities will not make the issues go away. It just renders those who deny it incapable of effectively dealing with reality. Sooner or later we will have to face the fruit of the seed that was planted earlier. The good news is, we can now plant new, better seed and see to it that it is gardened to growth and fruitfulness.

11. The Joy of Grieving Your Losses

Grief is the feeling that ushers in healing! But, in order to grieve, we must first face, accept and count our losses without trying to push away or manipulate reality. We must be willing to feel the feelings, express the emotion and discharge it so it doesn’t remain blocked and trapped within for years and years. As grieving takes place, wounds start healing, the heart lightens and the mind will no longer have to keep bringing the pain back up, over and over. At this point, joy-filled life really can begin!

12. Saying Good-bye and Moving Forward

This lesson empowers participants to finally cut the cord from the lies they learned to believe and patterns that resulted from them. It also enables them to release all the emotions that have been triggered by the painful events of their past. And, it equips them to now take responsibility for their own lives so they can be prepared for what God will reveal in Phases 2 and 3.

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