I recently joined my first virtual book study. I've done Zoom meetings and Facetime and other online groups, but never to do a book study. I have to admit, my motivation was not necessarily for the book because I had read it before. What I really wanted was to learn how this is done. Also, my daughter-in-law was leading it, and I wanted to be an encouragement. But even though my motives were not solely focused on learning, God's purpose remained. I was there, not by chance, but by sovereign design.
When you do a virtual book study, you do prep work ahead of time. My assignment was to read the first three chapters, complete the questions in the workbook, and listen to a video from the author. Well, my brain started collecting a plethora of ideas and insights from the reading and teaching. I was almost on overload when the time came to meet with my fellow virtual learners. I worked hard at containing my excitement and listening as each shared their responses. Somehow, I managed to be considerate, but honestly, I felt I could have taken over the whole lesson sharing all the Lord had placed on my heart.
So today, dear reader, you are going to get a portion of my brain-dump. The book we are considering is Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. The subject of the book is rejection; which all of us have experienced at varying levels throughout our upbringing, schooling, marriages, and life. None of us are exempt. Let me share a few quotes.
Lysa says, "Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what's been said to me." Haven't you found this true? Someone makes a comment and their words sear your heart and soul. They replay over and over until you begin allowing them to become the label you wear. Over time, they become like broken floorboards making your walk unsteady. And when life gets hard, the lies and rejections we have seared on our hearts make life harder.
"The beliefs we hold should hold us up even when life feels like it's falling apart." But when we have built our life on the negative, rejecting comments of others, we do not have a level place to stand.
Thankfully she says, "I don't have to figure present circumstances out. I don't have to fill the silence left behind in another person's absence. I don't have to know all the whys and what-ifs. All I have to do is trust. So in quiet humility and without a personal agenda, I make the decision to let God sort it all out. I sit quietly in His presence and simply say, 'God, I want Your trust to be the loudest voice in my life. Correct me. Comfort me. Come closer still. And I will trust."
And all of this is just in the first two chapters. Well, I drew aside to look at the rejections I have seared in my heart, to the voices that tell me "You can't, You won't, You'll never" and I laid them before the Lord. You know what? God had another word to say-a word I had never heard HIm say before.
As I thought about replacing the negatives and rejections with truth, God whispered His word to my heart. "You shall know the truth." He will reveal the truth to me. The truth about who He is. The truth about who I am. "And the truth," He said, "Will set you free." Free? I can be free from these seared words? "Yes," He said. "the truth will set you free. Not your truth, but My truth."
Oh, my heart rejoiced. I was set free right there! God placed His word in my heart, His love upon me, and set me free. That's why I was bounding with joy as I came to that first meeting. That was the truth I tried to share with those in my little group who were so hurt by the things they had experienced. God's truth sets us free. We not longer need to live under the curse of our experiences. We can stand on a sure foundation and reinforce ourselves with His word - His truth.
I'm looking forward to the rest of the book study and I'll share along with you as we go because I know we all need God's truth to heal the wounds seared upon our hearts by rejection.