The name of this blog is “Getting Real” and that is what I plan to do. Some of what I say may surprise you, but if I am to lead anybody to a closer relationship to Christ then I cannot sugar coat things and glaze it all with Christian ease. At times you may sense a little sarcasm and hopefully some humor, but I promise you I have a strong reverence for God and God understands my quirky personality. My writing is not perfect. There will be grammatical mistakes. I hope you can overlook these minor issues to see my heart for God and my desire to lead ordinary women into a powerful relationship with Jesus Christ.
My first confession: I am a book nerd. I can’t even begin to calculate how many hours I have spent snuggled up with a good book. A lot of my blogs will have book references as I intend to show you how I applied what I learned in my favorite books in my everyday life. Confession number two: reading Christian books is fairly new for me. I use to pick up a Christian book at a rummage sale or a friend would give me one and it would sit on my bedside table or bookshelf for years. If I even dared to start reading one, I would be lucky to make it to the second chapter. Confession 3: I found the books boring (okay, I am starting to annoy myself with this whole confession thing and I think you get my point). I liked to read books to escape my reality and Christian books just pointed out all of my characters flaws and left me feeling inadequate. So, what secret did I uncover? What’s the magic formula? What changed? Drum roll please…I changed (I know, not the life shattering revelation you were hoping for).
All my life I have felt average. I had siblings that excelled at everything and I was just okay. There was nothing really special about me. I grew up in church. I had a decent upbringing. Nothing really dramatic ever happened (except for my teen years, but that is a whole other story). It was just an average life. Even in church I felt just average. I helped out in different ministries, but never felt the call for any particular one. I was not a great singer, couldn’t really play an instrument (funny now because I am in a band), didn’t feel called to preach, and didn’t really like other people’s children. There was one particular person who always pointed out that I didn’t do much and would ask over and over “what is it that you are good at?” Not hurtful at all, right? I had a deep longing to do something great for God. I even had a hint of what it could be, but I did not believe I was good enough. I knew there were things in my life, my home, and character that were not Christ-like. I couldn’t see how he could ever use me.
I was right. God was not going to use me in the state I was in. It wasn’t that he didn’t love me. It wasn’t that I was not saved. It is true that God wants us to come as we are; however, he does not want us to stay where we are. I had to change; I had to grow. I knew all of this, I just didn’t know how to get there. Unfortunately, the church I was going to at the time did not have any type of discipleship program nor were they able to start one. If I was going to change, I was going to have to find another way, and I just love how God will take a worldly or secular interest and claim it for his own.
I was supposed to go to this Beth Moore conference and at the last minute I backed out. My friend made me feel pretty guilty so I agreed to read the book in which the seminar was based. The book was called “So Long, Insecurity: You Have Been a Bad Friend to Us” and the title alone exhausted me. I knew I would need some strong motivation to finish this book, so I promised God I would read it for at least half my lunch hour every work day. This was a motivator because I try very hard never to break a promise to God. I don’t know if it was timing, the book itself, the writer, or God alone, but not only did I finish the book, I loved the book. I laughed, I cried, my desire to change grew. I enjoyed the book so much that I went out and bought another Beth Moore book called “Get Out of That Pit”. It was almost as if Beth had gone inside my head and heart to write this book. I turned it into my own bible study and every day at lunch I would not only read a chapter, but I would write out what parts impacted me and answered the questions in the back! I may have started reading for half my lunch but I ended reading and writing for my whole lunch. Praise the Lord (PTL)!
Reading these two books awoke something inside me and I began actively pursuing the Lord. I fell in love with a new author (new to me author) Lysa TerKeurst. She is now pretty popular, but a few years ago none of my friends had even heard of her. I completed the book and bible study “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl” and my life has never been the same. I think every Christian woman should read this book. It caused me to re-examine my life and make some hard decisions. I studied “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl” on and off for almost a year. I went over and over it. I looked up every reference and every scripture. It was during this time that my husband, myself, and some dear friends left our current church to find a church more suitable to our “growing” needs (with the consent and blessing of our then Pastor).
The changes in my life have not happen overnight. It took a good three years and he is not done with me yet. He is moving in all areas of my life and I am so excited. I would like to point out that God did not just wave a magic wand and instantaneously I was better. I had to make the choice to follow God. I had to decide to give up some things in order to gain others. I am not telling you this to brag on myself; I’m telling you this so you can stop waiting for something or someone to change you and get out there and start making Godly decisions. God has me in a season where I am not reading worldly books. When I read a book, it clearly influences my thinking and right now I want to only be influenced by God. I am not saying that you should not read any books that aren’t Christian; however, I will just caution you to remember what you feed your mind may go to your heart. I found myself on several occasions in a bad place in my life because I allowed a book to make me sad, doubt my life, doubt my husband, etc. I won’t promise that I will never read a non-Christian book again, but I will promise to pray about it first.
If you are a book lover like me, let me encourage you to use your love for reading to lead you to a better relationship with Christ. While I have been criticized before for reading books and not just relying on the bible, I have not let it go to my heart. I can read the bible now and glean so much understanding, but a few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that. I feel honored to have been discipled by such great ladies as Beth Moore and Lysa TerKeurst. They have shown me how to take my bible knowledge and apply it to my life. I mean, what good is a head full of knowledge if you don’t know what to do with it?
Until next time, stay safe and God bless!
Check back tomorrow. I will be sharing how a chapter in Lysa TerKeurst Book “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, changed my thinking filter and saved a friendship.