is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
with an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University,
as well as a graduate degree from Trevecca University.
In 2007, Lisa founded the Counseling and Family Ministries
at Grace Chapel in Leipers Fork, TN, where she not only works to help
individuals, couples, and families, deal with the complexities and challenges
of life and relationships, she also treats a full spectrum of mental health issues.
A former member of the Women of Faith worship team,
Lisa worships today through her writing, encouraging readers
with an authenticity and warmth that inspires hope for those
who are travelling on their own journeys, struggling to find a place to rest,
desperate to experience a peace that will endure.
Having walked through her own struggles with anxiety, despair, and perfectionism,
Lisa enjoys helping others as they explore and discover spiritual and emotional healing
in their lives and relationships.
Congratulations to Lisa on the warm reception
to her 2016 inspirational release Peace For A Lifetime.
Here is an overview in Lisa’s own words,
We know what a tree needs in order to thrive.
Just take away the water, the sun, the soil and watch what happens.
The nutrients a tree is given determines how healthy and vibrant that tree will grow.
The same is true for people.
If we are not planted properly or given the nutrients necessary for our overall health and functioning,
we too, will struggle to survive. We will wind up empty, resentful, exhausted.
The opposite of anything deeply rooted or overflowing.
So how do we build a life of emotional abundance? How do we experience a life of peace?
My passion is to share with you the answer to these questions.
Through personal and professional experience, I’ve discovered how to take the broken pieces of life
and find indestructible peace with myself, God and with others,
and I detail this breakthrough in my book.
So LifeLetter Cafe is excited to share this recent interview with Lisa Murray
to dive deeper into the story behind Peace For A Lifetime.
Enjoy her answers below in the latest 7 Questions Sunday!
Today’s 7 Questions
LifeLetter Cafe: What is the most important thing you are hoping to accomplish in your book?
Lisa Murray: My hope is that through Peace For A Lifetime, people will recognize their brokenness is not too much for God. His healing is available to any of us, no matter what emotional wounds we carry. God designed each of us to experience abundance and peace in both the spiritual and emotional areas of our lives.
God’s peace can be cultivated in every area of our lives – our heartaches, our hopes and dreams, our relationship with God, our relationships with our loved ones, even our relationship with ourselves. My desire through Peace for a Lifetime is to walk alongside readers and share with them simple, practical, easy to understand life steps that will help them calm the chaos and confusion, and move from a life of scarcity to a life of abundance. That’s right —abundance.
John 10:10 (NKJV) says, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Life doesn’t have to feel like a rollercoaster. We can experience peace that’s not just for today, not just for tomorrow. We can experience peace…for a lifetime!
LifeLetter Cafe: When did you first discover desperately needed hope? What brought the breakthrough?
Lisa Murray: I was fast on my way to falling apart. I knew Jesus and loved Him. I had been raised in the church my whole life and knew the Scriptures. Yet there was a deep ache every week as I sat in the pew listening to the pastor preach. I longed for what he was offering —healing, hope, wholeness—but this, I believed, was meant for everyone else. I didn’t think His love, His healing could reach someone as broken as me.
By the time I found my way to my counselor’s office to begin my healing journey, I knew this was God’s gift for me. For the first time, I learned how to apply God’s healing in a way that freed me from my overwhelming fear, that solidified my identity as God’s Beloved, that taught me how to love the weak, imperfect, messy parts of myself that I thought were beyond repair, that showed me how to build healthy, strong relationships. It birthed in me a new passion that led me to graduate school and a career as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
LifeLetter Cafe: Who is going to pick this book up and be unable to put it down?
Lisa Murray: Far too many Christians go through life like I used to, limping along, believing that God’s healing could not reach their heartache and pain. I now know that was a lie. For anyone who has ever felt un-peace, who has become too familiar with the restless torment inside their soul, who simply longs for peace, this book is for you. I not only share my story from brokenness to healing, I share true case-studies of individuals who have found new hope and freedom through the biblical principles in Peace For A Lifetime.
“In our efforts to be a good Christian,
many of us refuse to acknowledge our emotions.”
– Lisa Murray –
LifeLetter Cafe: What are a couple of keys to moving past despair and broken dreams and seizing God’s best?
Lisa Murray: We are all eager to move past the heartaches of life quickly. They are desolate and painful places. They can prove too much, even for the strongest among us. Yet we will never successfully move past our despair, past the pain of broken dreams if we do not heal the wounds they have yielded. God didn’t design our hearts to simply ‘get over it.’ He created the grief process with intention and perfection as the process of healing in our lives, so that we can successfully deal with all the heartaches and struggles life will bring, gather understanding and wisdom, and successfully move forward to seize God’s best in our lives.
We cannot avoid grieving our pain, we cannot sidestep the process, we can’t jump over it, either. The only was to move past the pain is to walk through the pain to the other side. There is so much waiting for us on the other side—but we must dare to lean in and find every ounce of healing along the grieving way.
LifeLetter Cafe: Touch on the differences: peace vs. peaceful circumstances and thrive vs. survive?
Lisa Murray: Peaceful circumstances require everything to go smoothly, perfectly some might say, in all of the external situations and relationships in our lives. That kind of peace rests on a weak, non-existent foundation. When the storms of life sweep in, any peace we had completely disappears. It’s destroyed.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
The only peace that will stand the test of time is the peace that comes from within. As I say in my book, Life doesn’t change. We change. We can cultivate an internal peace that is rock-solid. That kind of peace stands strong through storms, through struggles, through the heartaches that can shake us to the core. That’s the kind of peace I want.
Most of us go through our lives merely surviving. We’ve given up hope that life could be different, that we could move beyond our circumstances, beyond the pain. God didn’t say that He came to give us life so that we could just ‘survive.’ He said that He came to give us life and that more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV) When we know what to do with our heartaches, as well as the emotions and beliefs that keep us trapped, we can look beyond and begin to dream again, hope again, and thrive as God’s creation.
LifeLetter Cafe: Peace in relationships is a BIG topic – what are some of the most often repeated mistakes in this area?
Lisa Muray: For many raised in the church, we are often taught that negative emotions are bad, a sign of spiritual weakness, and should be avoided at all cost. I believe God created ALL of our emotions, the good ones and the bad ones, and He wants to use them as flashing lights on our journey to get our attention so that we can find the healing, wisdom, direction, or guidance He has purposed for that moment in our lives. Likewise, in our efforts to be a good Christian, many of us refuse to acknowledge our emotions or speak them to those with whom we are in relationship. We allow them to fester into cancers of bitterness and hurt, ultimately destroying us on the inside, and sometimes destroying the relationship along with it.
Peace in our relationships comes as we are able to acknowledge our emotions in every experience, work first to name them and understand them, then begin to speak our emotions in a calm, healthy, respectful way to our loved ones. It is not the emotions we feel that will harm the safety and connection in our relationships, it is how we share those emotions that will either lead us towards healing and growth with others, or will lead us towards more heartache and destruction. We can learn how to deal effectively with our emotions so that we can deal well in our relationships, the way God intended. That brings more peace than you can imagine.
LifeLetter Cafe: Okay – what is your favorite chapter/story in the book?
Lisa Murray: The chapter on Aligning Our Emotional Pipes is probably my personal favorite. Every time someone mentions that chapter, I smile because it is all about my life growing up as a plumber’s daughter. What I learned about the plumbing of a house growing up going to work with my dad, I came to understand was the same about the plumbing in our emotional houses. We have an emotional plumbing system. God created it perfectly and when it functions properly, our emotions find a healthy balance and equilibrium.
When our emotional pipes get damaged or disconnected, the results are not pretty. The emotional garbage will contaminate every area of our lives. Many of us live with that garbage drowning our hearts, and we completely unaware that life could be different. It can. Our hearts can be clean, our emotional pipes can flow as they should, and we can feel empowered to live purposefully and passionately. Wholly. Authentically. Free. I don’t know about you, but free sounds awfully good to me.