Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chapter One- Trying to Be Good Enough

In her book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl,Lysa TerKeurst talks about the labels she tried on growing up to find her identity. I, too, have had many labels that shaped and continue to shape my identity. Daughter, quiet girl, "goody-two shoes", bookworm, honor student, responsible, in demand babysitter, organized, wife, teacher, supermom, volunteer extraordinaire,etc. All of these labels came with expectations for my actions, attitudes, responses that I felt like I had to live up to. Not much room was left for feeling or worse revealing that I had so many shortcomings, weaknesses, failings, imperfections. Yes, I admit that I am absolutely and have absolutely never, ever been the perfect child, wife, mom, Christian or human being. Often feelings of loneliness, not fitting in or being unworthy to participate overcome me. With the perceptions and labels I wear, who really is interested in listening to my weaknesses and failures. No one expects me to be struggling with anything- I have everything altogether. If they only knew how many times I drop my basket in the course of the day!
I love the verse from Jeremiah that Lysa shares. I have this verse written out on index cards for a reminder that someone knows that I am imperfect and how many times my basket is dropped. He cares immensely for me despite every last little flaw and He alone makes me perfect. Jeremiah 29:12-13 "Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
I grew up going to church, Christian schools, marrying a good Christian man, serving in ministries, attending all the Bible studies and women's events like a good Bible study girl should do, yet, I still feel unfulfilled. Seeking with all your heart requires more than just the routine Christian good girl checklist. Okay, so there Lysa just Moonwalked on my toes. Lysa goes on to talk about fulfillment. Fulfillment is to be completely satisfied, filled up, not discontented. I, too, want a more fulfilling relationship with Christ. I want to be assured that despite my failures and shortcomings, I have the security of knowing that He is there with me in all circumstances in life.
Lysa asks "How might (my) life look if (I) am so filled with God's truths (I) could let go of the pain of (my) past, not get tripped up by the troubles of today, or consumed by worries of tomorrow?" Going through the motions of the good Bible study girl checklist is not enough. I need to have the mindset that God will meet me where I am when I cry out to Him with heart that if so filled with the desire to go into a much deeper, authentic, life changing relationship with Him.
What has typically made me feel fulfilled? Academic successes, career as a teacher, mommyhood, being a wife, ministry leader, etc. But none of these things were ever the source of true fulfillment. Too quickly, I become disillusioned and feel like a failure as I deal with imperfect people, encountering someone I deem superior or more successful than myself. Oh, how pride takes hold of my heart. I will never be "enough" in my ideals of fulfillment. I will never be enough of a good wife, mother, ministry leader, teacher, daughter, sister, good Bible study girl to find true fulfillment- I will forever fall short! I love and appreciate Lysa's heartfelt and genuine desire to help women become closer to Christ. This is my prayer for myself and others "God, will You help me to have a deeper connection with You and find truer fulfillment as You transform every area of my life.That is the cry and the desire of my heart." and "God, I want to see You. God, I want to hear You. God, I want to know You. So that I can follow hard after You everyday." I love those last four statements she wrote. In her book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God she shared this prayer. I copied this also on my index cards to read and pray. So simple and so much what I desire to do each day. She finishes the chapter with Colossians 3:1-2 "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Lysa concludes by saying,"Setting our hearts and our minds on God and letting His truths change us, rearrange us, and redirect us will help us not just to know the message of Christ - but to live it out!" Change me, rearrange me, redirect me to know and live Christ each day. Please, Lord!

All scripture and quotes from the book are in italics. Any of my changes are in parentheses or boldface.

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