Unleashed Book Club: Chapter 8


Welcome to the Unleashed Book Club! We’re reading Unleashed, by Sonja Corbitt.

-Unleashed Book Club 800 - CatholicMom.com copy

“Do you believe this?”

Sure Lord, you know that I believe this. Don’t I spend my days sharing my faith with others? Haven’t I devoted the better portion of my life to telling others about you?

“I didn’t ask you what you do. I asked you if you believe. Do you believe this, Lisa?

This is just a part of the mental dialogue I had going on in my head last week as I sat before the Blessed Sacrament at my parish reading and praying my way through the final chapter of Sonja Corbitt’s phenomenal book Unleashed.

Ironically, although this final chapter of Sonja’s book had been assigned to me months ago, I couldn’t have guessed that I would have the chance to hear Sonja speak in person about the book last week at the Catholic Marketing Network. So when I sat in church re-reading this chapter, I heard it in Sonja’s sweet Southern drawl and with that mischievous sense of humor she has when she speaks. I read it with the sound of her voice in my ears and wiped away the same tears I’d cried just last week when she related her own life experiences to a room full of conference attendees.

I listened to, and I read again, the portion of this chapter when Sonja invites us to reflect upon Martha’s reaction to Christ’s delay in coming to Lazarus in his hour of need. Martha’s story, and Sonja’s own sharing about her friend’s loss and her own son’s trials remind us to inhabit the “now”, to see the “fish” God gives us in perfect answer to our prayers.

Among the many paragraphs I triple-highlighted in this chapter was this one, which gets at the heart of so much in this book:

“What I know now is that whatever suffering we go through, however late, dark, silent, and absent he seems, there is intention in what he allows, and it is necessary for a shrouded end. If we can brave the pain, we will see him weeping there beside us, waiting to unleash something miraculous and beautiful at our “yes”. When the “Come forth” has been uttered from the lips of I Am, we must cling in faith till the grave is fully empties, and be patient with the removal of the wrappings and the unsteady coming forth of life. If we can do this, we will surely see something unheard of and unspeakable. This is my prayer for you.”

Do I believe that God knows and loves every part of me? Do I believe that God’s answer is always a “Yes”–that if I believe God’s response to my prayers to be anything less than a perfect “Yes” the fault is in my perception, not in God’s perfect intention? Am I ready to live in and to love the “now” God is giving me, the “fish” God gives me in answering my prayers.

Today, I’m more ready than ever to answer “Yes, I believe.”

How is this possible in the midst of things that don’t always go as I would have them–in the face of world poverty, loved ones’ health challenges, my sons’ growing independence, and so many other problems that threaten to drag me down?

Sonja has helped me to rest into God’s all-compassionate and always perfect will for my little slice of the world. While I’m still far from perfect at “believing”, I’m several steps closer to understanding and to finding peace.

You see… I’ve been unleashed.

To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:

  1. After reading this chapter, how do you respond to Mary’s profession in Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God”?
  2. Have you ever asked God for a fish and perceived that God gave you a snake? How has reading this book helped you to change your mind?
  3. How has reading this book enhanced your relationship with sacred scriptures?
  4. What will you take away from your experience of reading this book with our Book Club?

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week’s reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.

This is the final week for this book club. Thanks so much for participating! If you want more information about the book or the book club, be sure to visit the Unleashed Book Club page.

Copyright 2015 Lisa Hendey


About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.


  1. What a great way to finish up the book! I’ve greatly enjoyed reading Sonja’s book and reading everyone’s reflection and comments every week.

    One fruit for me is that I have a great desire to read the bible more often and also to give myself up in prayer more too, so thank you for that! I was excited when I opened up the Laudate app and noticed the new Daily Bible Verse in the Daily Readings section! I love either reading/listening to that first thing in the morning. Even if I do go to Mass later and hear it, it seems to take a few times of hearing/reading it before it finally starts making a dent. 😉

    Lisa, I really, really related to your opening mental dialogue. I’m a lot like you and get so excited about all the “doing” for Christ, it’s easy for me to put aside time for the personal relationship part. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Your reflections and comments have been so precious and edifying for me. Thank you all for embracing me and the book. Love and hugs from TN.

  3. I also can relate to your mental dialogue at the beginning of your reflection, Lisa. It is so easy to get busy “doing” for the Lord, but more than anything, He wants us to “be” with Him. One thing I learned from this chapter is the importance of asking God for exactly what I need/want. So often, I shy away from really voicing my desires, because I fear coming across as selfish. This transfers to my prayer life, too. But really, when I do that, it prevents me from living my full “yes,” and it certainly prevents the Holy Spirit from unleashing in me. Plus, as Sonja explains, “My deepest, truest desires will always lead me to God, who gave them to me in order to fulfill them.”

  4. This chapter was hard for me to read how ever I found a answer too my struggles , suffering that I was not aware of when “Sonja Share Something mention something died , back there in your past , and ( I never realize I wrapped had.warp it It carefully in the grave & clothes it & hid it away behind a stone in your heart. I know it hurts , and left it , He let it happen for this moment. He yearns to show you what he can ( pin) for this moment? Do you believe he can resurrect it so that it will never die again? Do you believe this, Most precious one?( I realize I didn’t look to the future because it is still dead. As I read you must remove the stone I found it hard in all its deadly trappings . I lack that faith I so needed . I saw myself encounter triggers anger, fear, insecure I struggle to forgive . ”
    Familiar and could relate the valley of dry bones .

    ( don’t want to sound like a Debbie downer ) but everything Sonja wrote made me think . Iknow this is heavy this is hard to write but three must be more women like me therefore I speake out for those women scared to speake out embrassed I know this comment will stay maybe it will help someone . ( don’t know what made me mention this)
    Therefore I will cling like never before there must be some faith in me left if I was willing to do this study I realized suddenly realize It’s not gone I just allow myself not to feel even though I felt the pain everyday. .
    And In spite of it all I encounter women seeking @ my church coming back to there faith but didn’t know how to pray . I share with them Just too talk to God show them how to read the bible encourage them .
    When I did nothing I counted to be a witness for God . In spite of myself . But never share my pain struggles with them I wanted them to be have hope.
    This study open my eyes too so much .
    I suddenly. remember what Somja said too me at the conference ” ” God is working already in the women that have attended this conference can’t you see ” no I didn’t know what you meat in away I but understood ”
    My parish Church I found no support .
    God didn’t want me too because I know the ?I Am wants to show me he is the healier not man .
    Thank you for sharing so much hurt pain it must of been hard for you . But Gos use all your pain for me & other women .
    I have work a head of me but tools to work with”My invitation ” thank you .

  5. Finished the final chapter and lived this whole book. I’m reading the daily godown almost every day now (I signed up to have the usccb email me the daily readings automatically). I’m praying differently now… Somehow more personal, more open & transparent. I also look at pain and suffering in my life differently… I’m still pondering it all.. But this book has been a gift. I’m recommending it to everyone and after reading it in kindle, I want the paper one too. 🙂

  6. I’m going to reflect on Question 2 here, because it’s the one I have struggled with the most and still do. If I’m totally honest, I’ll admit that reading Unleashed hasn’t changed my mind so much as given me hope that my mind might possibly one day change. I’m prideful and inclined to think that either my way has got to be the better way, or to think that “God’s just going to do what He wants here, anyway. Why am I making a prayer request again?” That last bit I have really, REALLY struggled with, especially over the past few years. I’m hopeful that it’s just a spiritual milestone that is slow in coming. To see that Sonja and others have made it there (or at least more “there” than I am) gives me hope.

    Anyway, this is a powerful book, and I’m honored to have entered discussion with all of you on it.

Leave A Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.