It’s that time.
The time when you grab a cup of coffee, or book mark this page so you can come back and sit down with a warm steaming drink in a cozy chair and we can talk.
Or I can entertain you with some nonsense that occurred to me that is still boggling my mind.
Like Cabela’s sending my size 6 boots to me, and both shoes are for the right foot and one is a size 5 and the other is a size 4…. But… I am sure they will fix that error… if they ever call me back! For now, I laugh at trying to figure out how that scenario could even have happened.
Let’s talk book review…If You Only Knew By: Jamie Ivey… I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book in the first place. But after listening to Girl, Wash Your Face, by Rachel Hollis, it just sounded like a perfect next book!
I loved it. Literally… I loved Jamie’s honesty and openness to what she went through and I loved how she put herself out there on the pages of the book knowing that many would be judging her… Not me.. I was actually caught several times praying for her, for her braveness! And giving her WooHoo’s!!!!
Because she has a past. Something WE ALL have but many won’t talk about. I never understood why someone wouldn’t want to share their Jesus stories with others. What better way to share the love of Christ then through what he brought us through?
I openly shared my life to anyone that asked or I felt led to share! Yes, even on the 911 lines!!! What better place to share Jesus then with a total stranger that is calling you on their worst day in utter despair that life will never be OK… and you can whisper gently into the mic…. “Sweetie… it will get better.. I can tell you.. I have been there… You will survive this and thrive!!!”
That was when the sobs subsided and they were all ears to hear about the wonderful transformation that Jesus did in me and others I knew.
But I always wondered why no one wrote a book about this! Why? So many of us share these stories of pain and heartache before God hand-picked us… where are the stories of what these women have gone through!?
When I moved to this small community it became very obvious that people didn’t share.
Of course I didn’t realize that till WAY later after many many sharing moments… Wondering why I was getting those looks…. And having people tell me … “Wow, that’s oversharing!” and walk away.
So hearing her unpack her Jesus story across the pages and totally relating to her… I fell in love with her boldness and love for us. To share so much, so that we could have hope that we will be ok also if we just keep searching for Jesus and never stop…. Hope.
By the way… I totally adore her husband and the story of how they got together. Like I just want to point out that her man… is a real Godly man!!!! That there is a man, well… like mine! There is more then one of them out there! 😉
I also became sad. In the book she began to unpack the story of a woman that had debilitating anxiety attacks and was in fear that people in her church would find out. The woman’s husband was in the process of becoming a deacon in the church… and she was scared it would shine a bad light on him and he would not get the position… So they were trying to cope on there own and how utterly lonely that must be.
And I thought…. How familiar that is to me. Having women come to me, sitting across from me and spilling out their pains to someone that they feel will finally listen to them, speak truth no matter how hard it is, encourage them to do better… and scared to death that someone else will hear and judge them. These beautiful women are scared of the gossip rumor mill that is so strong in this small community.
And with reason. I see it all over Social Media. It hurts my heart!
Which makes me love this author even more. Jamie Ivey doesn’t back down! She explains the damage that way of living is having on us and she sweetly unfolds the message of Grace and Mercy!
When my husband and I became member’s of a church, we spent a night reading all the church related information. I stopped in mid read… the part about being elligible to be a deaconess or in another role (it’s been a few years since I read it all).. and I exclaimed to my husband… “I will never be able to be in an upper female position in the church!”
I said it with an almost joking tone, but I was quite serious!
We went on to read the description and what is needed to be in those positions. I didn’t fit. My past, before God called my name, and for reasons beyond my control, keeps me from being in an upper role within the church. I am ok with that. God has set me apart and made it clear He wants me in other areas. Who can even argue with that?
There is a part of legalism that is creeping into our churches… is this everywhere or just here? I have helped with a few functions at different churches and during a carnival I was approached to help find someone to run a booth. I suggested a particular man that wasn’t walking perfectly with the Lord. He was clean and nice and had a great personality, he would have been perfect for the position. I was told “No, he isn’t a Christian we can’t have him working representing the church.”
I was actually a little flabergasted. To which I exclaimed, “Why not? What better way to show love then to have an able willing person help at a church function? What better way to show those in the community that stop by… that they to are welcome in our churches?”
He ran that booth, a huge smile on his face. He was helpful and useful and felt as if he was part of the event. He still has troubles.. But he knows where he can go when he is ready to put them down at the cross.
I’m not saying we man all the booth’s with dangerous people that could harm our kids. I am saying we look at each case and allow God to whisper into our hearts when someone that He is calling into our world… can be placed somewhere closer to the front door.
What if we were a church that was full of sinners that each had a job and role to do in the church???? Oh wait… we are… some of us just have sin leaking out of our pores… others hide it pretty well. We are all sinners… Saved by Jesus Christ!
I look at Jesus and how he chose his 12 desciples… and I look at Paul… And I man the booths at event’s with the most unlikely people we could imagine… Because that is exactly what Jesus did!
Which brings me back to the book. I love it when a book flows through my ears and down into my soul and brings up memories and moments in history… This was like that… I related to her. To her stories and her passion for Christ and her love for people and her desire to be open and honest… just for that chance that she can help someone else not feel as if the world is totally lost to them.
There is hope out there…. One honest moment at a time.
Should everyone read this book? Yes. Maybe.
Is everyone going to like this book? No.. it’s going to make a lot of people, I know, highly uncomfortable. To which I would ask you to read all the books in the bible that Paul wrote… his love for people to know Christ, turn from their ways, and to go out and share His love…. Are you doing that?
A quote a friend shared with me, that someone else told her….. still sticks in my head… “You’re dangerous to the enemy when you’re not quiet.”
Go be dangerous!!!!