Monday, March 22, 2010

‘Damaged Goods: An Autobiography’ by Charlotte D. Hunt – Book Review and Autographed Copy Giveaway

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Have you ever received a Facebook Friend request from a person with whom you have no familiarity?  I usually write these people off – ignoring their request – without taking a look at their profile.  Instead, I learn what I can about them (such as whether we have mutual friends, etc…).  One person that requested my Facebook Friendship is Charlotte Hunt; I had no idea who she was!  I decided to accept her Friendship – and am so glad I did!  Among other admirable qualities, I found her to have the gift of encouragement; she was one of the most optimistic people I have ever encountered!  When I found out she had not had a perfect life (what a shock!) – and was still so joyful – I wanted to learn more!  I discovered she had written an autobiography; it was immediately added to my ‘Reading Wish List’!

Damaged Goods: An Autobiograpy’ is Charlotte’s story.  Here is the description on the back of the book:

Based on the author’s abusive childhood, turbulent past, and remarkable restorative journey, ‘Damaged Goods’ is an emotionally charged and ultimately uplifting journey of God’s invitation to recall and read her battle-scarred life through his plans.  During the telling of her journey to a mysterious stranger she discovers a legacy of hope, witnesses the perfect plans of God, and unlocks a life-changing secret from her past.

I try to read and review books in the order in which I receive them.  But I felt a ‘check in my spirit’ about reading Charlotte’s book too soon.  In the interim, the Lord had me process an exercise (in preparation for a women’s small group presentation) in which I wrote out ‘My Story.’  That happened about two weeks ago.  Then I felt I received ‘permission’ to proceed in reading Charlotte’s book.

What a revelation!  There were so many parallels in our journeys; it can only be a ‘God Thing’ that Charlotte and I were connected via Facebook!

Despite all of her trials, Charlotte has led a very accomplished life.  Here is her biography at the back of the book:

Charlotte D. Hunt is an author, Christian radio personality and counselor, vision casting facilitator, and favorite lecturer for district attorney offices, educators, addiction treatment programs, women’s shelters, and child advocacy centers.  She has been a national motivational and inspirational speaker for over two decades speaking with diverse audiences in the areas of childhood trauma and abuse, overcoming obstacles, women’s issues, personal and spiritual growth, impacting leadership, casting vision, and reclaiming lost dreams.

Here is Charlotte’s perspective on how her life was unfolding:

….God began my life with a strange and daunting plan that seemed cruel, unfair and illogical.  In the insanity of his plan, through my eyes, his choice was the opposite of what a loving and holy God would allow.  However, that plan would eventually bring an emotional and physical healing and restoration that could only be described as miraculous and as a joy, overwhelming love and passionate relationship with a Father that could be utterly undeniable.  Through his seemingly brutal plan, my life was forever changed and thousands of other’s lives have been greatly impacted.  That plan would require me to walk a journey through hell and back for a purpose that I would not realize until forty-three years later. (p. 35)

Charlotte became a Christian in high school.  Things did not go as she was led to believe:

…Based on the words of some older Christians, I expected to enter a pain-free, stress-free life and that Christ would stop all my lonely, shameful feelings and immediately give me a sense of sanity.  Looking back, after 27 years of living the Christian life and journeying with God, I can say without hesitation those people lied!  Although I did not understand the cause of my anger, depression, and feelings of worthlessness, I found out quickly that my expectations of having a reset button for my emotions and hurt did not come as part of the deal in accepting the Lord. (p. 72)

Charlotte went through many trials in her life, including sexual abuse, unhealthy relationships, an eating disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, control issues, and more.  She fell away from the Lord, but ultimately decided the Lord was the only way (a good decision!).  She struggled with thinking she had to be perfect and that her performance defined who she was as a person.  With the help of a counselor – and the Holy Spirit – she worked through many of these issues, and established a close relationship with her Savior:

My counselor’s simple exercise of confronting God was proving to be an introduction into a real and honest relationship with the Lord.  Similar to a human relationship, my love and depth with him came from his drawing of my heart into areas of conflict and exposure… I was learning that God was truly good and always did the best for me.  However, I was also learning that the road in moving toward intimacy and maturity in him was not safe.  (p. 94)

Charlotte recounts her relationship with her mother, who was very strong and controlling.  As Charlotte – and her mother – grew up, their relationship improved.  They came to a saving relationship with Jesus, which was a healing balm to both of them.  Madelyn ultimately succumbed to pancreatic cancer in August 2006.  Charlotte was able to spend the last few months with her – months which she recounts with great peace and joy.  She learned (as I did with my mother) that people can’t give away what they don’t have.  As Madelyn was loved by her Heavenly Father, she had that love to give to Charlotte.

Charlotte came to understand why the Lord asked her to write this book:

God placed a passion and a burden to move in the lives of the hurting and wounded.  He placed a passion in me to influence, encourage and exhort lives first toward the heart of Christ and second toward all God created them to be.  He placed a burden in me to let hurting people know that there is no past too broken or place too low that God cannot heal, redeem, and use for his glory, our good and the edification of others.  That was the plan from the start.  That plan and the miraculous level of ministry he continues to birth leave me breathless and humbled only because of remembering all that I experienced in believing, “Charlotte, God will never use you because you’re damaged goods.” (p. 150)

That last quote was what a pastor had told her at one of the first churches she visited after she became a Christian – and one reason why she walked away from the Lord in the first place.  God uses damaged goods – and He uses Charlotte on a daily basis.  I am grateful that she yields to His leading, and am blessed by her friendship. 

Charlotte is currently residing in Dallas.  I look forward to seeing the next adventure in which she embarks with the Lord!  I highly recommend ‘Damaged Good: An Autobiography’ to both the hurting and the healing and anyone who wants to know how the Lord can redeem a broken life.  She is a beautiful person inside and out, and I am privileged to call her my friend!

You can order this book here.

This book was generously provided to me by the author for review and giveaway purposes.

I have an autographed copy of this book that I would love to pass along to one of you!

There are several ways to gain entry:

1) Leave a comment here on the blog, telling me how you ‘dream madly – pursue wildly – trust completely!’  Please make sure to leave your email address in this format – sample[at]gmail[dot]com.

2) Follow me on Twitter; I will more than likely follow you back!  If you are already a Twitter follower, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

3) Follow me as a Google Friend on this blog; if you are already a Friend, that counts, too!  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

4) Become my Facebook friend.  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

5) Follow this blog as a NetWorked Blog Follower after you’ve become my Facebook friend.  Please leave a new comment to that effect.

So there are five chances to enter!  Please limit one entry per option.

This give away is for U.S. residents only.  The deadline for entry is Monday, April 12, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  A winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 and will be contacted via email.  The best to all of you!


Linda said...

I dream madly about working with newborn infants, but I'm not able to pursue it wildly because of back issues, but I am trusting God to completely heal up my back!!!

Charlotte's book is so realistic and inspiring. I definitely have some "issues" I'm processing. This would a helpful book. Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I follow you on Twitter!

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I follow as a Google Friend.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I'm a FB friend.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Linda said...

I follow your blog as NetWorked Blog Follower.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I trust my husband completely. He is my rock!

rubynreba said...

I follow your blog.

Judylynn said...

I dream about connecting people in the realm of Christian thought and worldview - one way I think that can happen is through my blog. I am pursuing that as well as other avenues of making my dream come true as I trust God to work out His plan in my life!

Judylynn said...

I follow you on Twitter!

Judylynn said...

I sm a Google friend!

Judylynn said...

I am a Facebook friend!

Judylynn said...

I am a NetWorked Blog follower!

nmetzler said...

dream madly – I hope to work with children who have been neglected and abused. To have a chance to show them the healing power of Jesus.

pursue wildly – I am in the process of becoming a foster parent and I use every chance I have to work with children.

trust completely - it comes down to believing. Do I believe that this is what God has called me to? Am I willing to follow, even when I can't see the end result?

natashasiegrist at hotmail dot com

Julia said...

My dream involves my writing whether published or not being able to encourage women on their Christian journey. I am pursuing adoption. I am trusting God to work these plans in His own way.

Julia said...

I'm a subscriber.

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Friends -

Thanks to everyone for your comments so far. Charlotte is a wonderful lady, and I encourage all of you to make contact with her - via Facebook or her blog. She is an encourager!

Blessings -


Sheila Anne said...

I just joined you on facebook. Carmen sent me.

true_sheila at yahoo dot colm

Sandee61 said...

I'm a new follower! I would love to read Charlotte's book. Bless her that she had faith to get her through all the trials she's faced.
She sounds like an amazing woman.

Thank you!



JesusAvenger said...

Hey! I just read your blog about Charlotte Hunt's new book, Damaged Goods, and I wanted to let you know my dream. I dream about being married someday to the man God has chosen for me, and that our marriage will be pure and holy before Him. I pursue a future of redemption from my past sexual abuse, all of them close family members. Recently last year, an incident happened that could have shattered and broken me if not for God. I am now walking towards complete and whole restoration for myself. I think this book would be a key in helping me go through the healing process.Thank you!

Linda Kish said...

I dream madly of a happy life

I pursue wildly..happiness

I trust my son's goodness

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Winning Readings said...

Dream madly - pursue wildly - trust completely... Those are all things I WISH I could do, but never seem to get there! They describe the person I want to be.

I guess I do dream madly - about being all things to all people; about never wavering in my trust in God. I can't seem to focus on any one thing.

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Shawna Williams said...

fb,twitter, and google follower. :)

Nancye said...

I dream madly by trying to do things I didn't think I could do.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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