Tag Archives: Jo Saxton

Review: The Dream of You, by Jo Saxton

The Dream of You, by Jo SaxtonThe Dream of You, by Jo Saxton (WaterBrook, 2018)

This book’s subtitle invites women to “let go of broken identities and live the life you were made for” – and if that calls to something inside you, you’ll find practical insights that make it worth the time to read and reflect.

The Dream of You is more than a collection of verses telling women how God sees us, although it does include Scripture. It’s more than a list of self-help steps to empower us. Part memoir, plus examples from present-day and Bible times, it’s an honest, sometimes unsettling, look at the damage done by circumstances and people – and it tracks author Jo Saxton’s personal fight to reclaim her identity as the woman God made her to be, for the purpose He intended.

A Nigerian raised in England and now living in the United States, Jo Saxton has something to say to all of us about the need – and the possibility – of rediscovering our true identities in a world that wants to define and limit us. Reading her story and those of others in the book showed me how sheltered I’ve been. Still, I found key points to sit with and apply.

The title could imply a self-indulgent book, warm and fuzzy. Don’t expect that. Instead, this is a valuable tool that can make a significant difference. It presents truth and hope, and each chapter has simple questions to ponder and act on. If you skim them on a first read, go back and dig into them on a second read. Don’t miss what God wants to say to you.

The book begins with a look at God. Knowing who He is – and thus whose we are – is foundational. In turning from what life has made us believe, we need to know the truth to turn to.

Then it addresses some of the things we may need to turn from. More than other books I’ve seen, it’s very direct about this being a process. A sometimes difficult process, with wilderness times when we expect an easy victory. Because the wilderness times are teaching times that God will use for our ultimate growth.

I love how it illustrates the ongoing battle to wield the truth of God’s Word against the lies we’ve internalized. Again, we look for a one-swing cut, but if the chains are solid-forged and wrapped in layers, it will take time to make them fall. Jo Saxton shows us how to do that.

Another strength of the book is that it doesn’t end with free, happy women basking in fulfilling lives like Disney princesses. It ends with the call to take the stories we’ve lived – and the Good News about Jesus giving us our true identity –to share with the people around us. Like the original disciples, we’re on mission for the rest of our lives.

For more about speaker and author Jo Saxton and her ministry, visit josaxton.com. For more about The Dream of You, including the book trailer and sample first chapter, visit josaxton.com/the-dream-of-you.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Expectations and Limitations – And Freedom

But the people who know their God will be strong and will resist him.
Daniel 11:32b, NLT*

The context of this verse is a prophecy about a future king who will “flatter and win over those who have violated the covenant.” (Daniel 11:32a, NLT*)

What protects God’s people? They know Him, and they act on that knowledge. They rely on Him.

The last two weekends I’ve been blessed to attend worship conferences. Both highlighted the importance of knowing who we are in Christ – defining our identity and measuring ourselves by what God says instead of what people say.

Knowing God sets us free.

My notes from the most recent event include this: “Because I don’t feel like I’m what I’m supposed to be, I limit what God can do through me.”

That’s not a direct quote from our speaker, Jo Saxton (ALIVE Conference simulcast) but she said something close to that.

The main point I took from her message was that we often accept limitations from individuals, society, or ourselves, when we need to live by the truth of who God says we are. When we hold back, God respects our choice and we miss the chance to bless and to be blessed.

What limitations or expectations have you and I accepted? From whom? Or what are we measuring ourselves against? How does this impact what God might want to do through us?

If we know Him – and choose to believe what we know about Him – we can live by His grace and strength instead of holding back in fear of what others might say.

Here’s where I think today’s verse applies. We know who the Liar is, who wants to get our eyes off of God. Those lies include things like “you’re not good/ smart/ old/ young/ gifted (etc.) enough.”

If we know and believe our God, we can resist the lies with truth – “For I can do everything [that God asks me to do] through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13, NLT*)

Gracious Father, draw us closer to Your heart and deeper into Your Word. Give us faith and courage to choose to believe You and to resist the lies that diminish us. Show us where we’ve accepted limitations instead of stepping out for You. Forgive us, and give us new chances to live for Your glory.

Our song is the Newsboys‘ “The Upside.” Notice the questions about what’s holding us down.

*New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.