But then on Friday, it showed up on the blog of a writer I love to read, and came up in three separate conversations with friends – totally unrelated in topic and theme. I don’t run around looking for signs, but this felt like a big hint – so maybe it’s time.
I imagined this would be a good, if painful process. I expected I was going to have to dig deep and take a long, hard look at who I am and where I’ve been. I just didn’t think it would be as hard as it’s been. Friends who read the book raved, while saying that it wrecked them. They’re not kidding.
While I’m not ready to write about this discovery (I’m still working my way through the book) yet, I can’t help but want to recommend it to anyone who has struggled with the idea that there is something not quite enough about who they are. Whether this is a struggle with physical appearance, an empty space in your heart that longs for love, an unrelenting need to keep up the type-A pace to be the best (or all of the above and more) – I think this book might be for you.
I won’t kid you – the part about getting wrecked? It’s real. I haven’t cried as much as I have this weekend in a long, long time. I am uncovering things long buried, voices I hadn’t thought I’d ever hear again – messages I thought I had moved past and left behind. Right now, I am clinging tightly to the Word; leaning hard on a couple of specific friends who are helping me stay accountable in reading through this and praying me through; and keeping some songs on repeat on my iPod (Lord, I need you).
I’m reading other things at the same time – I’m one of those folks who have a stack of books by the bedside – constantly pouring through and changing it up. They are working in tandem to reinforce this message. And when I opened my friend Barbie’s blog to check out the Weekend Brew – it was just another brace in the structure. She writes about growth as a process. Transformation – painful sometimes, but necessary. She writes:
We will never be complete until we are completely His.This is truth.
If you are in a space where you feel alone, afraid, angry, or lost in your circumstances, can I assure you that you do not need to be there by yourself? The Father of mercies and the God of all comfort is waiting with outstretched arms to embrace you. There is no getting better, no cleaning up, no preparing before you go to Him. There is just going. Simply open your heart and say, “Lord, I need you.”
Joining Barbie at My Freshly Brewed Life for the Weekend Brew for the very first time to breathe life and share encouragement.
I’m reading Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee.
From the Back Cover
“Hi, I’m Jennifer. I know we’ve just met, but already . . . I want you to like me.” YOU’VE FELT IT—that deep longing for people to value you, respect you . . . and love you. You’ve worked hard for their approval. You’ve wanted to make people think you’ve got it all together, but on the inside, you’re falling apart. And you’ve heard this one question ringing in your ears: What will people think of me?
Jennifer Dukes Lee knows exactly how you feel. She understands how exhausting life can be when you’re chained to your approval rating. Jennifer has spent plenty of time and energy trying to earn others’ approval—at work, home, and church—all while wondering what would happen if the facade dropped and everyone saw her hidden mess. She’s made the same mistakes many of us make as we try to sprint for significance—and wear ourselves out pursuing human love and acceptance above all else.
And now Jennifer leads you on a journey to rediscover the joy found in the unconditional love of God. Through her own life journey, she gently invites you to make peace with yourself and to stop working overtime for an approval that is already yours in Christ. Love Idol will help you dismantle what’s separating you from true connection with God and rediscover the astonishing freedom of a life lived in authentic love.
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