I LOVE reading! As a kid reading books always was my favorite thing to do. It stuck through the teenage years. And then again as a college kid. And still as an adult. Hand on heart no joke!
I LOVE curling up on the couch or in bed with a book in hand and blanket close by.
Books are a way for us to connect in conversations defying when we can meet up or where we live. They connect cultures and generations together as we share ideas. They remind us that we are not alone. That we are not the only one who experiences, thinks or feels this way. It illustrates that we aren’t really that different from one another.
I just finished reading [w]hole. This story came to me from a friend who had no rhyme or reason for giving it me, other than she felt led to. She hadn’t even read the back cover! Love her follow through because y’all this book!
I opened the cover, uncertain what story the pages would impart.
Ever since beginning my healing journey, I feel like books have been on past wounds, hurts, healings and I thought I wanted a break from it. Maybe needed a break from it. I hesitantly opened the cover. Do I really need to dive into this? Do I really need to do more work in this area or let myself come up and enjoy all that has been done?
Oh, turning the pages was not a bad idea! I found myself saying YES out loud and in the margins throughout the entire read!
Lisa opens up about her past hurt from the church. About how their were holes in her religion and how letting go of those holes gave her space to become whole.
And she invited me in to share my holes with her. My thoughts, feelings and ideas about past experiences that hurt and mattered.
As I read this book, I had my journal out, something I don’t remember doing before. Yes, I wrote notes for school or sermons, but this wasn’t note taking. This was conversation. When she wrote something and a thought came into my head, I wrote it out.
I want to tell you it was some profoundly deep thoughts or big Ah-Ha moments. It wasn’t. It was confession. A space to be real and honest with God. With the holes that I had in my life and how much I kept trying to fill them with things.
Like church. Like volunteering. Like working hard.
Yet, truth be told, those good things were not where I felt led. I wanted to use them to fill the hole I felt in my life from experiences. I didn’t want to jump back into that hole again because I didn’t know how to get out if I found myself back in there.
God invites me in to fill the hole, together. To grab shovels and lay life giving soil on the ground. This process is not rushed. It’s not forced. It’s moving at a pace and rhythm that allows us to jump back into the hole when we need to clear the weeds, deep roots or level the ground. It’s us moving in harmony, one shovelful at a time.
God wants us whole.
There’s not pressure or solutions.
Ever had an experience that shaped you? One that felt like your identity? Like your story?
You aren’t alone.
I had an experience that defined me. It became my identity. I told it like it was my only tale.
Our experiences aren’t our story.
Our journey with Jesus is.
Lisa writes that God’s design has always been that we would need Him to do what we cannot.
In my weakness You are made strong, not to put me down or make me think I am not able to do what’s before me. To show me how great You are. To meet me right where I am. Because You want to be with me.
We aren’t designed to figure it all out on our own or muscle through situations. We are designed to be filled with strength, knowledge and love from our Maker.
And as I write this, a song plays in my head. “There’s a God Shaped Hole” by Plumb (flash back for anyone else?!).
The chorus goes like this (or click the link and listen to it. Kind of a fun flashback!):
There’s a God shaped hole in all of us,
And the restless soul is searching
There’s a God shaped hole in all of us,
And it’s a void that only he can fill
I heard those words growing up. I agreed with them in my head. But my heart, I now know was a different story.
I didn’t feel aware that this was happening then but I wanted to do things on my own. Control my life. Figure out my experiences, learn my lessons and move on.
That left me empty.
It left me with a void.
I was on my own, thinking that I had to figure it all out and do life alone. But that’s not how I was designed. I am designed to be in relationship with the Creator. To be in relationship with others. To tell my experiences to the Father. To share my story with others. To not let my experiences be the story.
To let my relationship with Jesus be the story.
There’s not pressure to figure it all out. It’s just living loved and letting God in. And living the story from there.
It was a great read y’all! I recommend (and have a link here for y’all to check it out on Amazon).
Enjoy your weekend doing some of your favorites! Maybe it’s reading a good book or hanging with some friends or getting outside.