My friend Dinah Monahan's Breaking the Shackles of Shame and Giving God Your Worst are eye-opening. At a time when abuse, neglect, addictions, broken families, and other family dysfunctions are more common than ever, we all need to know what is in these books.
Dinah tells powerful stories not only of the hurts and shame that real women have experienced, many going back to their "families of origin," but also their stories of resilience, hope, and healing through the steps that Dinah's workbooks provide. Her stories give concrete meaning to the mysterious expression "lay it at the foot of the Cross."
Dinah's own family experiences, along with her gifting as a writer and teacher -- plus her faith in the Lord and knowledge of His word -- give these books a unique clarity and relatability along with power and authority.
No matter how you view yourself as a woman now, you will learn from these books. I recommend them wholeheartedly to every woman who wants to know more about herself and her innate dignity, and to all who work with women in Christian ministry.
- Peggy Hartshorn, Chairman of the Board, Heartbeat International
As a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, I came to the workshop pretty well informed and acquainted with the effects of shame in our lives. I’ve taught others the subtle ways it shows up in our bodies and in the things we say. Dr. Brené Brown’s curriculum, The Daring Way, is based on over 15 years of research, interviewing thousands of people across racial lines and cultures. She has 2 of the top 5 most watched Ted Talks of all time. Those topics are Shame and Vulnerability. The fact that shame resonates with that many people says something.
Your curriculum, Giving God Your Worst and Breaking the Shackles of Shame, covers many of the same points about shame and what to do with it. I think, for me, the difference between the two curriculums is the concept of surrender. In order to obtain the freedom we so desperately need/want, we must first surrender what’s in our hearts to God. Only then can we truly come to acceptance. I especially liked this quote…. “As you start surrendering those things that you’ve previously denied, it creates freedom that you may have never experienced.”
I loved your quick definition of forgiveness calling it “the absence of malice” for another person. The time you spend explaining forgiveness really helps the reader understand what it is and what it is not.
Surrendering to God our worst is ground level work for true acceptance of ourselves. We must start there in the long process of healing our past, accepting ourselves and others, and moving forward. Thank you for this labor of love born out of your pain in order to set so many others free.
"Thank you so much for sharing. Your message was so powerful and helpful to me. I love the focus on how to have a contrite heart through surrender. The flow of your message and illustrations were spot on and the use of scriptures was so wonderful. This is going to be so helpful to me in my walk with Christ. Surrender, forgiveness, humility, selflessness and a broken and contrite heart are the path to bring a woman after God’s own heart. Thank you for showing me how I can give up the worst of myself to God so He will work these things in me."
Carol - Choices Pregnancy Center
"Choices Pregnancy Centers staff and volunteers were truly blessed to have Dinah present “Giving God Your Worst!” As Christian women, we are so often tempted to “perform” Christianity, burying those shames, hurts, sins, hateful feelings and anger down deep in our souls, pretending they don’t even exist. When we make the transition to “surrendering” those things instead of hiding them, we become less entangled by them, much more genuine and much more approachable and available to others. Dinah guided us through this process using examples from her own journey. All of us came away with a deeper understanding of the tremendous love, compassion and forgiveness of God! The majority of women we serve are not Christians; however, deep in their souls they long for the kind of acceptance that only Christ can bring. Having attended the “Giving God Your Worst” seminar, we believe we are better equipped to extend the love of Christ to our clients. Thank you, Dinah!"
I absolutely loved the transparency of the entire seminar. Many subjects were touched on that many don’t want to address because it can be an ugly truth brought to light. Thank you for sharing your Godly wisdom with us. It was refreshing to hear that we all have something to surrender and how important it is to be obedient to do so. Thank you for your obedience in sharing your story to encourage many.
Liz, seminar attendee
“I am blown away with God's presence in your message, Dinah. God's power ... His Sovereignty, His forgiveness, mercy, and grace shine through in your teaching. The workbook is like a vessel that leads the reader to the cross. The pervasive feeling of "No condemnation" and "Only God" ...wow. It is aligned with Scripture and engages the reader in critical thinking. It draws the reader in and allows her to activate her own prior knowledge in terms of personal experience, joy, pain, suffering...struggles.... Self pity... What a dynamic ministry our Lord has given you.”
Yakima Chandler, RN, Mom, former aide to Hillary Clinton
I received the most cherished gift for my 70th birthday. It was a simple, spiral-bound bible study entitled, “Giving God Your Worst.” And yet it was not simple. It was scripture-driven, gut-wrenching, wisdom-packed truth. I am a blessed woman. I love the Lord, my precious husband of over 50 years, my delightful family and my amazing friends. I enjoyed a successful career as a speaker, author and columnist. Yep, my life was wrapped up tightly in a perfect raffia twist tie bow. But I knew better. On the inside I was unraveling. For 70 years I bounced back and forth like an undirected pin ball, trapped in a loud and enticing arcade game. One paddle drove me towards the deep-seated, albeit valid, Christian guilt of being an unworthy sinner. The other paddle swept me into the unrewarding secular silliness of self love. My faith in the Lord was rock solid, but my ability to find His love was illusive. And then Dinah Monahan put a word to my battling emotions: “Shame.” Shame defined a broken woman, wounded from a violent childhood who spent her life stuck in the quick sand of self loathing. And day by day, page by page, bible verse by bible verse I began to heal. Dinah is a loving instrument of a mighty God. I pray every broken woman finds their way to her bible study, “Giving God Your Worst.”
Tamara (Tammy) Hall, author, motivational speaker