I met a special woman back in the fall of 2010. We were in Colorado Springs at the School of Spiritual Direction for a week with psychologist and author Dr. Larry Crabb. One afternoon she floated into the classroom with a huge grin on her face. She greeted a number of my classmates, gave them hugs and asked about their families. I was enamored. I wanted to know this woman. Since that day I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Larry’s wife Rachael Crabb much better. She shows incredible interest and love for everyone she meets, so when I heard that she and two of her closest friends were writing a book about conversations that matter in friendship, I knew it would be wonderful.
It is a groundbreaking book for women who long for deep friendship like I do. Authors Rachael Crabb, Sonya Reeder and Diana Calvin invite the reader to listen in like a fly on the wall as they dialogue about how their inner thoughts and feelings impact the way they relate to others.
Here are 5 ways Listen In can transform your friendships.
It will validate your desire for deep connection. So many of us are lonely. We long for someone to be curious about our hearts and courageous enough to walk with us through deep waters. If you think you are crazy for craving deep connection, this book will prove that your longing is a holy one.
It will illuminate root causes for the relational tension in life. Each of the authors has a different struggle they explore with one another. They look beneath the surface of the struggle to find the thoughts and feelings at the root of it. You can, too.
It will demonstrate the transformational power of curiosity. The questions the authors ask in their conversations with one another allow them each to open up and discover new insights that lead to new freedom. When another human being is curious about your heart, you will likely feel free to explore and share it.
It will invite you to open up in the presence of people you trust. Vulnerability is often a frightening feeling because our hearts are fragile. You don’t need to open up to everyone, but opening up to someone you trust can be transformational. The authors’ openness will embolden and empower you to dig deeper in discussions with friends you trust.
It will serve as a guide for you and your friends as you explore the ground of intentional friendship. You don’t need to go to counseling to find others who are curious about your heart. Gather your courage and find one or two friends with whom you feel comfortable and discuss Listen In, one section at a time. You will be amazed at how quickly your friendships deepen.
(This section was taken from my article article on Her View From Home. Click here.)
I was personally impacted while reading the dialogue between the three women. They each share how their relational style has been impacted by certain events in their lives. But they don’t stop there. They ask one another questions to dig deeper until they uncover something more true than their fears. I could relate to how Rachael lost her voice, to Sonya’s feeling that she was too much for others and to Diana’s special relationship with her dad. And as the friends explored each of their experiences I found myself hopeful that I too could grow past my fears by relying on God’s love and be free to love well with a relational style that is inviting, rather than demanding.
What do you most want us to get out of reading Listen In?
“I trust and pray that readers will catch a glimpse of the Larger Story taking place above their messy, chaotic, frustrating Smaller story . When we are focused on our everyday lives we often miss that God is telling a good story that goes from eternity past to eternity future—HIStory! We want readers to have a deep longing to know Christ and His power to move us all into conversations that really matter, to know Him & to make Him known. We feel strongly that turning our death words into life words ( Proverbs 18:21) can be freeing in that process. Listen In, the best is yet to come! The Larger Story is good —God is the producer and director, Jesus is the star, and we have bit parts—let’s all play our parts well to bring Glory to HIM.” ~Rachael
“What I hope readers gain from reading Listen In is a deeper longing to know Christ as they embrace the story He continues to write on their life. As I study the Gospels and listen in on conversations Christ has with people, they seem to be conversations that matter. Christ speaks to people’s soul and awakens longing in them–longing for intimacy and deeper relationship. I hope the book awakens that longing in others and also gives hope that it can happen….may be sloppy at times but experiencing gospel community is possible.” ~Sonya
“I want readers to get that having a good, face-to-face, heart-to-heart conversation is something worth pursuing. I want them to read our conversations and think, ‘Wow, they are just like me. They’re stumbling through life/work/marriage/parenting and they’re inviting others into the struggle, where they can be known and loved.’ And I want readers to let that move them deeper into the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ—completely known, and perfectly loved.” ~Diana
What is the best part about the friendship you share with the other two authors?
“We need friends to have conversations that matter & we can Listen In like Christ ( valuing another more highly then ourselves) by putting HIM on display as we talk with one another.” ~Rachael
“The best part of my friendship with Rachael and Diana is allowing them to know me. However, it is also the most scary. I like having history with them. We have lived many years together and traveled much life together (heartaches, deaths of mothers and friends, struggles with kids, new seasons in marriage etc.). You can’t manufacture history and a long-term commitment to another.” ~Sonya
“The best part about my friendship with Rachael and Sonya is the care we share. We are all in different cities and don’t get to see one another as often as we would like, but when we do get together, there’s just a heart for each other that’s hard to describe. In our very full lives and worlds, talking with these ladies is a respite where I can be unguarded and unmasked. That is such a gift—and just writing this reminds me how much I value these women, and makes me want to pursue time more time with them!” ~Diana
Do you have friendships like this? Do you want to cultivate deeper friendships?
Here’s what I suggest:
- Get the book and gather a couple of friends.
- Read and discuss it section by section, utlizing the study guide at the end of the book.
- Then let me know how it goes! If you are interested in following the Listen In authors, you can find them on Facebook here: Listen In Facebook Page.
And as always, your amazon.com and goodreads.com reviews are always greatly appreciated!