How about the times when my toes hit those crunchy Legos for the umpteenth time after asking my kids to pick them up? Or, when my teenaged son leaves residue of his daily PB & J sandwiches as a special “gift” for me each day? I can really come unglued when my husband walks in the door, and tells me his electrical business isn’t doing too well right now, and we won’t be able to pay ourselves for the next couple weeks. I go into a bit of a panic mode, if you know what I mean.
I am sure you can relate to these every day ocurrances that come our way, and create emotional responses that aren’t always too pretty–and make us come unglued! The good news is there are answers for our reactions.
Today I am honored to have a guest post from Lysa TerKeurst who has just written and released a brand new book titled Unglued. I had the privilege of hearing Lysa at the She Speaks conference this past July, as she candidly told her own unglued stories with all of us. I fell in love with Lysa’s candid and real-life-girlfriend approach to writing and speaking.
Here is what Lysa had to share with us today…
When There Isn’t a Place For the Wedding Portrait
Recently a moving truck pulled up to my friend’s house. Sometimes moving signifies something exciting and new. Sometimes it doesn’t.
This move signified an end. A few hours into the process of emptying her home, the movers carried out her wedding portrait, “Are you taking the photographs separately?”
“Yes,” she said, the irony not escaping her. Separately. That was how she’d be living now. Separate from their neighborhood. Separate from her husband. Separate from the way she thought life would be.
She took the wedding portrait and a feeling of confusion washed over her. Through her tears she called me and said, “I don’t know what to do with this portrait. What do you do with things that have no place anymore? We built a life together and now there’s no more together.”
I knew better than to throw out a quippy bit of Christianese. Someone once told me as I stood over my dying sister’s bedside, “You just have to let go and let God.” They meant well. But it infuriated me. No, I wouldn’t throw out something just to fill the uncomfortable silence. Trite sayings weren’t going to curl up in bed with her and hold her unglued heart.
Maybe you’ve been there. Whether you were the one sitting in the midst of confusion or the one trying desperately to know what to say, I understand. Sometimes we just have to acknowledge that good feelings won’t be there for a while. And when there’s no way to feel better in the moment, we have to place our feet on the only solid ground there is—God’s truth.
His truth won’t shift with feelings.
His truth won’t drown in a sea of tears.
His truth won’t leave you even when your gut honest cries don’t sound so Christian.
I finally said, “I don’t have answers, but I do have prayers. And I’m going to write out conversations I have with God so you’ll know He’s not being silent right now. He sees you. He hears you. And through His truth He will comfort you.”
I pulled out my Bible and poured out the hurt and sadness. “God show me the right truths. Use my hand to write out some comfort from Your Word for my friend.”
Me: Lord, it’s hard to watch my friend hurt so much. She begged You to help save her marriage and honestly we’re confused why it still fell apart.
The Lord: Does Job 17:11 express the way you’re feeling? “My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.”
Me: Lord, don’t You see her tears? If seeing her sadness breaks my heart, it must break Yours too.
The Lord: Recall the beauty of trusting the only One who can see what is and what is to come. Nahum 1:7… “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.”
Me: I do trust You. But for everything to end like this is so hard. It just seems pointless.
The Lord: Nothing I allow you to go through is pointless. Even in the midst of hurt I will work good for her: now and in the future. I still have a grand plan for her. Proverbs 19:20-21… “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
Me: I just need to know why she has to go through this.
The Lord: You don’t have to have answers. You just need to trust. Isaiah 55:9b … “My ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Me: But what about the desires of her heart Lord?
The Lord: I am the only one who knows the full scope of those desires. I’ll give her new desires and help her so those desires come to pass. Just encourage her to trust Me and make wise choices. Psalm 37:3-4 … “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
I sent this written out conversation with God to my friend. My note didn’t fix her hurt or answer her questions. It didn’t give her a place to put those things that seemed to have no place right now. But it did get her to open up God’s Word and start having conversations with Him for herself. And as she moves on, this was a good first step to take.
It can be hard and let’s be honest, a little awkward, to know how to respond when your friend shares her pain.
I have been on the receiving and giving end, sometimes in good ways . . . sometimes, not so much.
About Lysa TerKeurst:
Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author, National Speaker, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can read her daily blog www.LysaTerkeurst.com or hear her encouragement through the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ radio program played on over 1200 outlets. She loves that the first four letters of Messiah spell a “mess.” All of the messages Lysa speaks and writes about come from her awareness of what a mess she can be. Most days you can find her writing from her sticky farm table in North Carolina where she lives with her husband Art, her five priority blessings named Jackson, Mark, Hope, Ashley, and Brooke, 3 dogs and a mouse that refuses to leave her kitchen.
Check out this cute video for more about the Unglued book and Bible Study.
If you would like to learn more about Unglued head over to the official Unglued site. I am honored to be part of the Unglued Blog Tour happening over the next couple weeks. Have a good time visiting some of my fellow bloggers as they share unlglued stories of their own, and all of them have books to giveaway as well!
I have had a chance to review this book, and it even has a DVD Bible study to go with it. I can’t wait to learn more from Lysa’s book and put into practice the practical life-changing keys to staying calm in the midst of life. I can promise you, this book is a great read for all of us.
Enter To Win A Free Book!
Here at Denise In Bloom I am giving away TWO copies of Unglued.
Enter to win your own free copy, by leaving me a comment below, letting me know of something that makes you come unglued. The giveaway will be open for two days. Ending Thursday at 12:00 PM.
If you don’t win or just want to purchase the book for yourself or friends you can find Unglued HERE
*I received a complimentary copy of the book Unglued in exchange for this post and review