How Your Difficult Childhood Prepared You for Healthy Relationships
Stop letting your past sabotage your present
We think our baggage makes us less likely to have good, healthy relationships today. But baggage isn't just the bad stuff that happened to us--it's the lessons we've learned. What we've been through has made us stronger and more capable than we imagine. And it's how we're going to make our current relationships work.
Far from minimizing past pain, pastor Ike Miller shows you how to go through the baggage you carry from a difficult childhood and pull out the good stuff. You'll find no platitudes or pat answers here. Rather, you'll discover untapped riches of experience and knowledge you already have that can make your relationships thrive and change the course of your life and legacy.
"Ike so brilliantly and thoughtfully lays out a road map to show how difficult circumstances can, if healed properly, actually become a superpower."--from the foreword by Jefferson Bethke, New York Times bestselling author of Take Back Your Family
"As someone who has spent decades working through my own childhood trauma and its impact on my relationships, I wish I had read this book earlier. Ike not only inspires us to believe that change is possible, but he also offers actual practices and exercises that lead to healthy relationships."--Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women
"Ike so brilliantly and thoughtfully lays out a road map to show how difficult circumstances can, if healed properly, actually become a superpower."
Jefferson Bethke, New York Times bestselling author of Take Back Your Family
"Ike has given us a gift in Good Baggage. Instead of allowing the pain of childhood trauma to limit and define our lives, Ike shows us that healing and transformation are possible. As someone who has spent decades working through my own childhood trauma and its impact on my relationships, I wish I had read this book earlier. Ike not only inspires us to believe that change is possible, but he also offers actual practices and exercises that lead to healthy relationships."
Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women
"'The heart of this book is the desire to see the pain of your difficult childhood redeemed.' This excerpt captures not only the essence of this book but also the deep longing so many have. As a pastor, I'm routinely in conversation with adults who have spent so much time trying to make sense of their childhoods. This is why Ike Miller's work is a great gift. He offers powerful storytelling, poignant insights, and a hope-filled vision of healing that often feels elusive. I'm grateful for this book!"
Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship and author of Good and Beautiful and Kind
"No one outmaneuvers the complexities of their childhood, but Good Baggage provides clarity and hope in its aftermath. Ike Miller has masterfully addressed our real questions, offered powerful perspectives, and given us tools to move forward. This book is so critical for pastors and leaders, it should be their next read and on their recommended resource list--it's on mine."
Lisa Whittle, author of God Knows, Bible teacher, podcast host
"Ike has written an important book. It's important because he is going to help you unpack the baggage of your past. Surprisingly, by loving transformationally, you will see that what you thought was going to break you, Jesus will use to remake you."
Dr. Derwin L. Gray, cofounder and lead pastor of Transformation Church and author of the bestselling The Good Life
"One of the most important things we can do for our friends and our families, for the churches we lead, and for the people we work with and for is to unpack the bags we carry. A healthier you is good for you and good for the world. The most significant gift in these pages is a guide who has done the work and is taking the risk of vulnerability to help us do the same. With pastoral tenderness, Ike helps us unpack each learned behavior or reflex or tendency from our childhood and families of origin. He gives us the tools and the vocabulary to name and sort them. But best of all, he shows us how Jesus can reclaim and redeem them, bringing beauty from ashes."
Glenn Packiam, lead pastor of Rockharbor Church and author of The Resilient Pastor and The Intentional Year
"In a well-researched journey, Ike Miller takes the concept of 'when life gives you lemons' and applies it to what no one has control over--childhood family distress and trauma. Using sound psychology and personal experiences, Ike shows how growing up with family dysfunction can both hinder and encourage relationships in adulthood. From instability in identity to a fierce loyalty for others, Ike looks at both sides of the situation--what needs to be helped and what has been gained from being part of a family that struggled. No family is perfect. Understanding how our family dynamic has affected us can point us in the direction of fixing what is broken and accessing tools we may not have known we had."
Shannon Plate, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, author of Care Talk