Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Uninvited, by Lysa TerKeurst

I've been savoring this book for weeks. Underlining, meditating, tucking truth into my heart and mind from its pages. This is my first foray into Lysa TerKeurst's books, and I was deeply blessed. 

If you feel rejected, broken, or unloved, or even just having a case of the blues, Lysa's book will minister to you. There is so much gentleness and truth tucked away in its pages. 

Also, I think the color scheme on the cover is extremely pretty. It's a happy thing to look at. ;) 

The Book 
The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.

In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers: • Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt. • Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence. • Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging. • Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside." • End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.

My Thoughts 
While I'm not suffering from a deep and traumatic relationship break-up, I was in need of fresh reminders of God's sustaining love when I picked up this book. I think what I most appreciated about Lysa's book was the truth it gave me about God's power, sustenance, and love. As Lysa says on pg. 23, we need our minds braced by truth. My own mind feels weary right now, so I need more time in the words of God, and the life that he gives through Scripture.  Throughout Uninvited, I was comforted by the reminder of God's character. So often, when we suffer, we have wrong behavioral reactions of resentment, withdrawal, or hopelessness. Those can only be fixed by a better, deeper understanding of who God is, and who he is to me. God is very, very good at all times, and once our confidence is founded in that, we can begin the healing process of healing pain and gaining spiritual strength.

A couple things that stood out: people aren't meant to be used as life support. People can do CPR, but clinging for life support from someone continually goes beyond their human strength. If you're going from person to person looking for life support, you're doing it wrong: only God is designed to offer that constant level of sustenance. Yes, we need community. We need help from others. But we need to be careful to have proper expectations of what belongs to God, and what belongs to people.

It's all about perspective. Truth. When I believe the truth about God, and have abundant life in him, I am better able to have real expectations and not get unnecessarily hurt by others. I'm also better able to look into the raw, hurt places and find healing for them. I can lived deeply loved on a daily basis, full to the brim with the love of God.

The second to last chapter, about Jesus in Gethsemane, was also really good. Lysa talked about how olives are pressed, processed, and ultimately destroyed. But they're destroyed to be edible and preserved. The hard process of refining ultimately leads to a better product than the olive in its raw form. Sometimes the processing seems incredibly hard, but Jesus is using it to make us better than we were before. We are not being destroyed. We're being given better life.

There was one spot with an example about David's feelings that I think Lysa read more into Scripture then can rightly be inferred from the passage. I don't connect to every sentence or how she says it, but overall I connect to the heart of the book, and I learned so much from it. The only thing that bothered me as I went through it was the underlying jokes she made about body image. They were meant to be a light-hearted, relateable "me too" thing, but it was a subtle undercurrent of putting down herself that might cause others to struggle without knowing where or why those feelings had come from. There was no truth to combat it, and I didn't like that unresolved and troubling strain in an overall lovely book.

I underlined a lot in this book, finding truth to tuck away in my heart again and again. I want to revisit some of the underlining and copy it down in a notebook to have that truth nearby to review and remember. Also, when you purchase Uninvited, you get a free audio download of Lysa reading prayers from the book that is incredibly beautiful to listen to. If you've ever felt hurt, betrayed, or simply lonely, then Uninvited will give you an invitation to a closer trust in Jesus.

Prepare to live loved. 

I received this book for free from BookLook bloggers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

2 comments:

  1. Schuyler, this sounds like just the sort of book I need to read! I have been looking for books and devotionals on this topic and most Christian authors who address rejection, grief, and other weighty emotional battles tend to come across as overenthusiastic cheerleaders. The focus is more on positivity and less on truth. TerKeurst sounds like she takes a much more Biblical approach and doesn't shy away from the harsh reality of self-deprecation, loneliness, and other struggles of perception and emotion.

    Thanks so much for this review! I will definitely have to check this book out. And I agree the cover is especially pretty. :)

    Dani xoxo
    a vapor in the wind

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd love to know your thoughts on it, Dani. I found it nourishing and manageable--deep enough but gentle at the same time, which was exactly what I needed!

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