Recently I have focused my reading to books that focus on relationships with other people. But how we get to have fulfilling relationships; all starts with our core, our relationship with goals. So no surprise here, this is another post of moving past the pain, pushing past the heartbreak and breaking through to being your true self to allow you to open up and achieve true intimacy in your relationships. It’s true hurting people hurt people. Your hurt will lead you to hurt those you love most unintentionally if not dealt with.
So over the two months in 2018 I read two books that have left me thinking. When I first started reading Scary Close by Donald Miller, I wasn’t that impressed. It sounded like a generic self help book, open up stop hiding etc, but as I went along I realised that my behaviour was probably the very thing he was trying to deconstruct. He talks about the mask we put on and people we pretend to be accepted by people in our relationships. What he basically says is by being your true self, you open yourself for true intimacy in your relationships. You lose that pretence and performing and the pressure is actually off you too. You are free to love and be loved without fear of the other person leaving. What more can you wish for that being your true self and being accepted for who you are? Is that not the quest we’re all on, to find people who will love us through thick and thin.
This is the first book I have read by Donald Miller, I don’t know what overlying theme his books normally have, but this felt deeply personal. This was someone baring all and chronicling his journey, his relationships and the reasons he married in his 40s. His continuos search for intimacy and what he learnt along the way is all too familiar for most people. It was comforting for me to know that I am not alone in trying to figure out how much of myself to expose to people and what to keep back. However it got me thinking what is the true self that I have to show other people. Are we not all under constant change, are we not evolving as the Holy Spirit transforms us from glory to glory. Parts of me that are broken, do they form part of my identity, my true self? Do I have to carry that tag with me my whole life? Around about the same time I came across “The broken way” by Ann Voskamp.
I like the way Ann sets the scene and the way she explains concepts in her book, though I did find it difficult to follow some of her farming analogies. He writing is complex sometimes I, I have to read it more that once to understand it, but the book is rich, like a cup of thick hot chocolate with marshmallows on top. I could not put my highlighter down and there were so many one liners I felt required an Instagram post. If I tried to quote the book, I’d end up pretty much writing it all over!
Anna really goes in deep to explore brokenness and vulnerability. Essentially being broken, wounded and weak is the birth place for not only true communion with Jesus and those around us, but also miracles. Wow if you’ve ever felt broken and beyond repair, just pick this book up. If you’re looking at a million broken pieces of you life just shattered on the ground and no idea where to start, just give this a read. This book was rather confrontational for me (in a good way), why did I have to be vulnerable and increase the probability of being hurt, actually pain is guaranteed.
I had to confront a lot of hurt, learn what truly being selfless was all about and actually started my journey on who God says I am. How there could possibly be purpose in the pain I have experienced, and how being real and honest about it in front of God actually initiates a healing process. How in that honesty God separates the lies from the truth and starts to speak (no you start to hear better), what he says you are, and you start to realise his unfailing love in all you’ve been through.
I’m grateful to Anna for her transparency and removing the shame off brokenness. Lord knows there’s plenty of people who need to hear this message out there, and my prayer is that more people do, so they can be set free. The world is waiting for sons and daughters of God who know their identity to advance the kingdom of God.
“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”- Romans 8:19-23