It’s no secret that I do book reviews, and that I have cut down on the number of them this year. I made a conscious decision to not just take anything that looked good or sounded interesting. Instead, I wanted to focus on ones I would have purchased anyway, recommended to me, or that I felt led to read for a purpose. Lysa TerKeurst’s book Uninvited fulfilled all three of those litmus tests. I did received a copy of the book for free for the purpose of reviewing, however my views and opinions are my own (in case you didn’t know, legally I have to say that).
Normally, when I do a review, I highlight the entire book. I will share why I think you should read it, who I would recommend the book to, etc. But, I want to approach this one a bit differently. Why? Because… I think this book is very important for YOU to read. Yes, YOU. Whomever is sitting on the other side of the screen. YOU, the woman who feels alone. YOU, the husband who needs to see his wife more clearly. YOU, the parent who is present in body and absent in mind. YOU, the women’s ministry leader that is shepherding the hearts of women. YOU, the Pastor that needs a better understanding of sixty five percent of his church body that is crying out for value.
In the years that I have been serving women, secular groups and in the church, I have found a very common thread. Women who are insecure in their identity. Women who don’t feel valued or wanted, women that feel overlooked. Women with baggage that still haunts them and needles away at their insecurities. Women who feel left out and rejected. Women who will hide themselves away in a false security.
If this even remotely sounds like you, or someone you love… I think you should read this book. I think you should take your time reading this book. I think you should have your Bible next to you as you read this book. I think you should be writing down the things that jump off the page, your reaction to these words, and the issues it is bringing to head. I think you need to take this to your spouse, mentor, or accountability partner and talk about it. And, I think you need to pray as you do all of this with the goal of taking and LEAVING it all at the foot of the cross.
Because, you are loved. You are valued. You are created in His image. You are called to Kingdom work. You are welcomed. You are invited to the wedding banquet. You are adopted into a holy family. YOU. With your baggage, insecurity, anxiety, and all of the lies that you have listened to and told yourself. YOU.
These are just a few quotes from the book, that may resonate with you…
“Broken boards can’t provide stability.” … “for years I’d been expecting stability from a broken identity.”
“Being hidden made me feel wonderfully secure.”
“I loved the feeling that life could happen around me but not to me.”
“… as long as I stayed hidden, life stayed in control and I stayed safe.”
“Things of this world all eventually reveal what incapable anchors they really are.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited
What are you anchoring yourself to? Where are you finding your identity?
Lysa’s book is important because it addresses the root fears in our lives that cause us to pull back from freedom in Christ. It exposes the lies we believe, and turns our face to God who LOVES us… NO MATTER WHAT. However, for the confident woman, I believe this book opens our eyes to the struggles that many women face. It can give us compassion towards our fellow sisters in Christ, and encourage use to extend a hand of invitation.
Last year, I was at a party. The ladies were going on about plans they were making for the following week. My husband happened to overhear the women, and spoke up… “Gena hasn’t said anything about that. Is she not going?” At the moment, the women didn’t even realize that I hadn’t been invited. I wasn’t intentionally left out, each had assumed another invited me and I just wasn’t able to come.
When I heard the women speaking plainly about their plans in front of me, I felt excluded. I was hurt, and I didn’t speak up for myself. My husband stepped up as my champion in that moment. He knew something wasn’t right, and handled it in such a gentle way. This is why I encourage you to not just read the book and take notes, but speak to your spouse or mentor about it. You have others who can speak for you when appropriate, but can also give you clear perspective on finding your own voice.
It’s a great book, but be forewarned, you are going to have to open yourself up to being vulnerable (even with your self) to glean the best this book has to offer.
Are you ready?