My first and second attempts at drafting this post were too long. It was almost like I was trying to rewrite every single thing that Lysa TerKeurst’s book meant to me in one blog post.
That would mean taking a 7-week study, with videos 169 pages from a study guide and 261 pages from her actual book and downsizing it to fit here on my blog post.
First, it was 10 things I wanted readers to know about this book, then five and now it’s down to one. Because really, more than you reading my words about her words and teaching, I really, really want to recommend it for yourselves. I want women to get with other women (about 6 to 10) and have a leader who will facilitate the questions and another who will check in on the women throughout the week. And someone who will host the group in their home or get together on Marco Polo or Zoom to discuss (just look at one another’s faces) and help spur one another on to do the work this book challenges you to do.
I’ve read and participated in a lot of books and studies from Christian authors and have facilitated many women’s small groups but this book is the one I will recommend for helping people really dig into their stuff with the Bible. Oftentimes, we have good intentions about reading/studying our Bibles (having “Quiet Times”) but we don’t really know what that means. This study’s format, together: watch a brief video, take notes, discuss with others who watched the same video, on your own: read the chapters, reflect, study guide work, deeper Bible Study and deeper personal reflection and then repeat.
It’s got built-in accountability and personal work for you to do to allow God to grow you and for you to help others do the same.
Maybe you’ve been in a group like this one around a book that you think is similar to this one. I thought I had done something similar (and as for the format, I had) but the one thing that I really want you to understand about this book is this:
This is the very first book I can recall where the author wrote from inside the wounding, the pain, the sickness, the despair, and the hopelessness and still remained in and fought for her faith.
Most of the books, movies, testimonies, and stories I’ve heard – even me sharing my own in this space and on social media – are from the victory, looking backward into the devastation. Lysa writes from within her illnesses, from the brokenness of her marriage and all of the emotions that come with not knowing how it’s all going to end. Before she knows how the results will come back about cancer in her body or whether the intensive counseling that she and her husband are walking through will work or not, she invites us into it.
Not at all a victim, she is never whiny (in my opinion), she does not dwell on her emotions to the point of losing sight of God. But, y’all – she does keep it real. She is fully transparent and vulnerable and that is so appealing to me.
Reading a book like this by a well-known woman of faith like her, helped me understand this scripture so much better:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. | 2 Corinthians 12:9
And it helped me ready myself for more boldness and authenticity in my own life.
How, Regina? How are you living more boldly and authentically??? Here are a few ways that I am living out my faith and walking through the process of responding to disappointments and unmet expectations in my life.
- I’ve submitted a video of myself singing a worship song to the new church we attend; I have a live audition for their worship team in March!
- I’ve begun to share more authentically about the hardships experienced after being widowed – explaining the mess I chose because I didn’t believe what God said about me during those dark times
- Tied to that, I’m sharing about finding amazing love after making messy choices and not always choosing to trust God
- I’m speaking up and offering experience to those willing to hear about parenting teens (especially boys) in this fast-paced, technology-laden world
- I’m telling people who God says I am and walking in it
- I’m working jobs that take me out of the limelight and allow me to serve and love people on smaller platforms and in quieter ways (surrendering my “pride of life”)
It’s these things and even a few others because of the vulnerability that Lysa shared about the attacks on her marriage, her health and ultimately her faith, and her pointing readers (her hearers 1 Timothy 4:16) back into the Bible, I believe I can do the same.
If you’re interested in doing this deep, reflective soul work but don’t know anyone near you that is willing to do it with you, consider gathering some friends and working through it together digitally – you can access the videos here and get the book and study guide here.
Let it change your perspective. Let it change your life. Let it help change you.