By Jennifer Lamey
In her latest book Emotional Freedom: The Choices We Must Make author Jane Ault uses the image of Oaks of Righteousness to help readers understand that through Christ’s work in our lives negative emotions of anger, resentment, and revenge can be transformed to fruits of the Spirit.
Like most books, Emotional Freedom began spinning around Jane’s mind long before her fingers hit the keyboard. Her desire to know and serve the Lord began at a young age and throughout her life He has been drawing her closer to Him. Jane grew up in northern Wisconsin where she became a Christian in the traditional Methodist Church that her parents attended. She memorized scriptures every summer at Bible camp, and still Jane recalls, “I was hungry to know more.” In her 30’s Jane moved to New York State where she started a church with her husband. It was during a trip to Mexico when Jane began to dig deeper into the idea of emotional freedom. At that point she didn’t necessarily know what the feeling was, but she remembers thinking that, “People were much freer [and] I wanted to be like that.” She decided to take college classes to explore this topic, “I needed to understand emotional dynamics, like what goes on in people’s minds, so that I can help others see their emotional blocks,” Jane explained.
As Jane studied, she started to make connections between what her life was lacking, what she saw in the hearts of the people of Mexico, and how she could help others break through emotions holding them back from freedom. The result is her book, Emotional Freedom: The Choices We Must Make, in which Jane explores how to turn negative emotions into Christ-like character. Jane explains, “I wrote Emotional Freedom with the purpose of testifying of God’s goodness to me and sharing the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that he’s given me with others who are eager to grow toward emotional and spiritual maturity.”
The book is divided into three sections. Part One defines and explains the “Damage in the Orchard” of how God calls His children to be Oaks of Righteousness, yet often the tree is diseased with feelings of anger, resentment, and revenge. Once the disease is identified, Jane builds a groundwork of Restoration in part two. She continues to use the image of a tree to show how emotions include roots, limbs and branches, leaves, and fruit. Jane explains, “Our feelings (leaves of the tree) are attached to our conscious thought. Our conscious thoughts (limbs of the tree) are attached to our hidden, heart beliefs. Our hidden heart beliefs (roots of the tree) influence the entire tree. Our behavior (fruit of the tree) grows out of our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. Healthy emotional trees produce the fruit of self-control, joy, and mercy. Unhealthy emotional trees produce the fruit of destructive anger, resentment, and revenge. By our choices to believe lies or truth, we determine what kind of an emotional tree we will grow.” When God’s children are disconnected from the “Well” they suffer emotional and spiritual emptiness. Jane explains how we can be healed through transplanting to healthy soil in God’s love, and continue to grow strong through discipline in Bible study, prayer, and obedience. In part three Jane provides a guidebook to identify and work through destructive emotions to attain freedom.
Through her writing it is clear that Jane’s words are grounded in scripture, extensive study, and prayerful wisdom. Her heart to help people know and understand the Lord shows through each paragraph. Jane’s hope for her readers is that “they will take away knowledge. That they will use the biblical knowledge, and come away with joy having worked through some negative feelings to freedom. That they will be encouraged and know there is a process and to keep going.” She admits that she is still growing and is excited for what God is teaching.
In addition to writing books and speaking engagements Jane also runs a blog named, Choosing Grace, where she shares what’s going on in her life, mind, and heart. Her main goal in her blog is to “encourage people to use their gifts and help them understand ‘Choosing Grace.” The name comes from her desire to abide in Christ. “The concept of dancing with God delights me. I call this dance with Jesus “Choosing Grace.” It has two basic steps—grace and responsibility. Grace is God’s step of love toward me. Responsibility is my step of love toward God. Jesus said, “If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love” (John 15:10 MSG).” Jane said. She adds a new thoughtful post every Friday.
Jane has a Masters of Education in counseling and human development from Saint Lawrence University. In 2003 she wrote her first book Heart Connections: Finding Joy through Openness with God. Additionally Jane is a poet, and her devotionals have been published in The Secret Place magazine and A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Women. When she isn’t writing, Jane enjoys spending time with her husband John, her daughters, and grandkids.
You can order Jane’s book Emotional Freedom: The Choices We Must Make through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and www.ChristianBooks.com. Be sure to visit her blog for encouragement www.ChoosingGrace.org. Jane is available to speak at church services, conferences, and seminars.