Book Review: “The Secret Place” by Woody Money
Rating: 5 out of 5
Website to purchase the book: Amazon.com
About the Author:
Blessed with a thirst for adventure, Woody Money and his wife Jessica have been partners in ministry for fourteen years. In the fall of 2016 they resigned from The Vine Church in Troy, Alabama, where they pastored missions, students, and small groups. Moving to Jacksonville, Florida they joined Elevate Life Church where they became heavily involved in Missions, Kids Ministry, and the Prayer Team.
As of 2018, “The Secret Place” is included in The Apostolic Network of Global Awakening. They love traveling and preaching about intimacy with God, street ministry training, and creating new technology for missions.
Jessica loves homeschooling their three beautiful children, The family cultivates an active outdoor lifestyle. They enjoy learning new languages, mentoring people, and they love counseling couples.
My Take on the Book:
The author wrote the book from a place of searching for genuine lasting freedom secondary to his struggles with depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and addiction. As a mental health counselor, I have come across people in this exact crossroad on numerous occasions. So what is the secret to genuine lasting freedom? Woody Money found it in the Bible, specifically in Psalm 91. In addition to a focus on Psalm 91, “The Secret Place” is also a personal confession, a guide, and a journey to the secret place full of personal stories, experiences, biblical truths, and practical how-to sections. Woody explains in practical ways throughout his book how you can achieve this same intimacy with God.
The introduction in the book opens up with a dream that occurred while Woody was sleeping that would forever change his life and start him down the road to intimacy with God. Woody shares his ups and downs throughout his life journey in search for fulfillment and intimacy. Like so many other people, Woody found himself feeling lost as he entered into his teenage years struggling with the idea of wanting a close personal relationship with God but also wanting to live up to the expectations and peer pressures of what it meant to be cool in the eyes of teenagers. For Woody, the struggles continued into both his high school and college life as well. In college Woody found himself facing his lowest moments in life and consumed with suicidal thoughts until God called him out of this low place and set his heart on fire.
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 are my favorite chapters in the book. Chapter 4 of the book dives into the secret place the author refers to found in Psalm 91. While I myself have read these verses in the past, the book gave me a new perspective on the verses. I spent a few days meditating on these verses and find them to be quite powerful. I recorded these verses in my own journal to be able to refer back to them again and again.
Chapter 5 has great use of visualization and imagery where the author asks the reader to imagine pain and hurt being literally removed from the reader’s hand. He suggests some gentle music in the background during this time of visualization. I myself have used similar visualization and imagery techniques often with-in the counseling setting and find them to work quite well with helping people to feel a sense of peace.
Chapter 6 discusses meditation. The book challenges the reader to engage in 10 minutes of meditation with music in the background. As I took the challenge and hit play on Pandora, the two songs that came on for me were “Closer” by Bethel Music and “In Over my Head” by Jean Johnson & Bethel Music. I cannot think of two better songs that could’ve come on in that moment for me to mediate to. Meditation has been proven to help improve mental health.
My personal take on the book is that Woody Money was indeed able to find freedom from the chains of depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, and addiction by turning to the secret place in Psalm 91 which ultimately lead him to intimacy with God. Not only did I read the book, but I also completed several of the practical steps found throughout the book and found them to be quite helpful in my own life. I recommend this book and believe that others can find the same long lasting freedom that the author has.