Last week (or maybe the week before–I’ve been pretty busy) when I met up with my best friend, we talked about God. She showed me the Bible study that she is doing, and said that I might like it. I looked at it, and what she told me about it sounded interesting, but I didn’t really think much about it after that. A few nights ago, I was studying my Bible and texting her about what I was learning and about questions that I had, and she asked me if I would be interested in going to her once-a-month Bible study group with her. I told her that it was something I wanted to try, both for the knowledge of God and as practice in being more social. She told me the name of the book so that I could buy it and get caught up to where the group was at before they meet again. It happened to be the same book that she had told me about as we visited at her house. The book is Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa Terkeurst. My first thought? ‘Long name for a book’.
I bought the book last night, and didn’t get home until around 10 p.m. or so, visited with my family and went off to bed, so I didn’t start reading until today. I had to take my husband to the doctor, and figured that the wait would be a good time to get caught up. All I can say is, I did not expect to LOVE this book so much! Only three and a half pages into the book, all I kept thinking was ‘I AM this girl!” Each line and paragraph that I read, told so much about where I am or where I have been in my life. While the exact situations are different from what I have experienced, the surrounding thoughts, actions, and reactions are exactly on the nose, and describe things that I’ve lived so well that it feels like it is written for me.
I decided very quickly that I needed to take notes on this, and the following is a quote from the book that was a part of my life before this book even existed:
“…my bitterness toward God had numbed my conscience and helped pave the way for rejecting many of my religious convictions. Life became a wild party full of temporary moments of happiness.”
I was amazed by that statement. That is exactly where I was at not too long ago. I thought that following “the God rules” was supposed to give me the easy life. It didn’t. Something bad happened and I blamed God. After all, I had followed the rules and now God wasn’t keeping up his end of the bargain, bad stuff was still happening. ‘God must not care about me, so I’m not going to care about Him.’
Things just fit into the way my life was so well, down to the “Bible Friend” that she talks about. She describes her “Bible Friend” who had a scripture to quote for anything and everything that went wrong. The friend not only had the scriptures, but she lived the life and was a shining example. But the scripture quoting was “annoying” in a way, although there was some reason that she wanted to stay friends with the person. I’ve been there. I’ve had that friend, I’ve been annoyed by those quotes, and I looked up to her ability to live the life.
The next thing that hit me like a ton of bricks–the Bible verse that changed her way of thinking (and remember, we’re only in chapter one). As I read along, I saw “Jeremiah 29:11”, and I was just stunned, “No. Way.”
“For I know that plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare, not to harm you and plans to give you hope for the future.”
This was ultimately THE verse that brought me back to God. It felt personal. It was the one and only thing to calm me when I would panic. I felt real. She went on to say:
“How could this be? This statement stood in such stark contrast to my flawed perception of being identified by my circumstances…I didn’t have all the answers, and knew for certain I had not been “good enough.” But something deep in my soul was stirring with assurance that this message was from God Himself and His words in this verse were truth.”
I can’t remember the last book that I was truly excited about reading (aside from the Bible), that I had a hard time putting down and honestly couldn’t wait to read more of. Never in my life have I read anything that hit so close to home. I’ve been amazed by what I’ve read so far and before I was done with the first chapter, I had already been eagerly planning to share about it in a blog. At this point, I would already highly recommend this book. I had my husband read the first chapter to see just how much it sounds like my life, and his comments on the book itself were “It’s a good read. Even though it’s geared towards women.”
I can’t wait to read more of it, and see what more I can find to share. I’m already looking forward to reading more from this author in the near future. If you’ve read this book, I would love to get your feedback on it as well!