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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Free book Friday

So, it’s Friday. I was supposed to be in the Solgohachia, Arkansas today. But here I am in Chicago, gazing out my office window at a pewter November sky. The low clouds that have hung here all week seem not to have moved. As long as I”m here, I thought I’d give away some books!

The retreat I was supposed to speak at was cancelled, due to low enrollment. This is hardly a boost to my self esteem. I’m disappointed. As the “guest speaker,” I didn’t have a chance to get involved in the marketing of the event, or planning. Turns out several local competing events drew participants away from the retreat.

At the retreat, I was planning to share several talks from my new book, Deeply Loved. I’d planned to remind the women in Arkansas that Jesus loves them, not because of what they’ve done, but because they exist. They are his precious daughters, and he doesn’t just put up with them, he adores them. I planned to teach them some spiritual practices that would help them embrace that reality. I’d hoped we could get real about the spiritual loneliness each of us experiences at some point, and how to let Jesus ease that ache.

But I’m here, writing to you all instead. Which I’m delighted to do, of course. So I wanted to at least give my book (which has similar content to what I’d be teaching at the retreat) to a couple of you. If you’d like to read the first chapter, my publisher, Abingdon Press, has it available on their website. (click on their name to read the first chapter for free). But if you’d like to read the whole book, for free, it’s again our featured Friday free book.

I wrote Deeply Loved for days like this one: when you feel disappointed, and lonely, and wonder if you’re loved. Sure, intellectually, I know Jesus loves me. But when speaking gigs get cancelled, or people let you down, embracing that truth in my heart (not just my head) is challenging.

How about you? What barriers get in the way of knowing you’re deeply loved? What keeps you from experiencing the love of Jesus in a personal and profound way? Answer with a comment by midnight Saturday, and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of Deeply Loved. If you want to put your name in the drawing twice (doubling your odds of winning), go “like” our Deeply Loved Facebook page  as well. It’s at: https://www.facebook.com/deeplylovedbook  Just leave me a comment letting me know you “liked” it, and you’ll be entered twice.

We’ll give away two copies. So leave your comment below, answering this question: What barriers get in the way of knowing you’re deeply loved? What keeps you from experiencing the love of Jesus in a personal and profound way?

 

14 Comments

  1. Keri, I have had those times when a speaking/teaching engagement has been cancelled out from under me. It is so disappointing.

    To answer your questions of what gets in the way of my relationship with Jesus: I do. I let myself focus on the wrong things internally or externally, but mostly internally. But when the Holy spirit draws my focus back to Jesus, I find the love of my heavenly Father washing over me in a way that proves it had really been there all along.

    Tim

    P.S. I’m not leaving a comment in order to be entered in the drawing, of course. I think my wife will be done with the copy you sent me last month and I can start on it soon!

  2. I’ll answer this for a friend, that I had in mind when I read about your book, Keri.

    She has had her house on the market forever and doesn’t understand why God isn’t selling it. She knows it’s beyond a crappy market, she knows she’s done “everything right” but it’s just not going. (Priced at a bargain as well.) She sees answered prayer for her husband, her father, her kids, BUT NOT HER. (So she thinks.) So I guess it’s circumstances — she can’t see past them. I can only tell her it’s God’s timing — He’ll bring the right family through. It’s been 1 literal year for her — which of course, thousands of years are only a breath to God.

    Good luck with that — good thing you hubby sells real estate. 🙂

    (And don’t take the cancellation of your retreat PERSONALLY!)

  3. Childhood memories of not being cherished but ignored and ridiculed keep me from realizing the love of Jesus in a deeper way.

  4. Keri, that is a bummer it got cancelled! Arkansas is beautiful.
    I have the book, thank you very much, so not entering, just joining the discussion, sharing from my heart.

    I really struggle feeling His love when I think of how it is not in His plan for us to have more children. Our last baby died 2 years ago at birth, not a surprise as her diagnosis at 13 weeks in utero revealed the terminal disorder. Naturally, I long for what He has taken from me. My husband, not so much. We are already blessed with 2 children. Thank God He has allowed me to parent 2.

    I sometimes wonder if we will ever adopt when my husband’s heart has not bent to that yet. It’s a little closer, but still not there. And I have known from high school, I felt called, that I will adopt. But I can’t without my husband on board!

    Anyways, the point is, when I think of how God has taken our baby, I do not feel like God sees me as a worthy mother to have more children. It is a stinging rejection that I know many women experience. And we don’t get the answers to these types of questions.
    Satan tries to distract me with temptations of comparison to other families, and the temptation of idolatry that nothing can fill this baby hole in my heart. Satan even tries to isolate me with thoughts of the “oh, her baby died, stay away from her, it could be contagious” stigma. I confess sometimes I fear that’s what people in my church think!

    But the Truth is I am His child! He has chosen me! To be chosen is to be loved and to be wanted. 🙂 I trust Him with His perfect gifts and His generosity and His grace for me. The Truth is what strikes down the enemy.

    • Kim, thank you so much for sharing so honestly. Your story brought tears to my eyes. First–I’m so sorry for your painful loss of your daughter. So sorry. While it makes sense that you may feel the way you do, I think the idea of God thinking you’re not worthy is simply not true. None of us is worthy–but we are all completely loved despite that. None of us is worthy, but we are perfect in God’s sight, because he looks at us through Jesus. We have blessings in this life, and we have loss. Everyone does. Sometimes those losses are things that are huge, and very obvious, and other times, they are more subtle. But I don’t believe God is vindictive. He will judge the world someday, but right now, we’re living in a battlefield, where God bestows grace and the Enemy roams about like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He walks with us through the valleys. Hold onto that truth: he has chosen you and adores you.
      I understand the longing to adopt–that is something to pay atttention to, and not be afraid to talk about. Not in a nagging sort of way, but just sharing your heart. And while you may not be able to adopt right now, you can find ways to love children who need your love–your own two kids, maybe neighborhood kids who need a positive influence. Be open to opportunities to love in unexpected places. Much love to you and again thanks for commenting!

  5. Keri, I think God had you stay home so we could be blessed by your words instead. Thank you for sharing. I think for me..fear. Fear of an impending surgery…Leaving it in His hands like a toddler and snatching it back to think I can do a better job of handling an out of control situation.

  6. Fear gets in the way of me experiencing the love of Jesus in a personal and profound way. Fear of the future, and fear of not being good enough. I know I should just let Jesus have it, and trust him, but I keep trying to get it all figured out.

  7. Also liked the FB page. 🙂

  8. To be honest, I’m not sure. I teach Sunday school and at AWANA and know I need to reach out to others more. I just know I need to feel His love more so that I can truly give it to others. I realized this just a few weeks before I saw the title of your new book. If I don’t win a free one, I’m asking for it for Christmas!

  9. Would love to have another of your books Keri! Your post today resonates with me…had a moment last night much the same…sitting in the church parking lot waiting for some women to show up to carpool into Reno(45 minutes away), to go see a showing of the Documentary, Nefarious:Merchant of Souls. A documentary to raise the awareness of the issue of Sex-trafficking. Since we have moved here my heart has been pierced for the women who work in a brothel, just twenty minutes away(halfway between us and Reno)…Mustang Ranch. The Madame actually lives in my neighborhood and I have been praying for her now for two years as I pass her house on my prayer walks. God is leading me slowly into finding a way to minister to these women. I thought this documentary might be a way to raise the awareness and get a few more women on board. No one showed up…so I drove home instead of into Reno(my husband didn’t want me to drive in alone…it was supposed to snow last night). I had just experienced another disappointment that day in finding I would have to wait two more weeks before a meeting with a woman who works with a similar ministry to women in the brothels in the Dayton/Carson City area( the Bunny Ranch) . This was to be the group that I would find a model for how we could form our budding ministry. So….again…I wait. I know that this was not a personal slight…still it was hard. Felt so alone in that parking lot!
    Blessings to you and your ministry!!!

  10. Perhaps the Lord is saying no to selling your friend’s home. He loves us too much to not grow us.

  11. Wow, loving this conversation. Several of you mention fear as a barrier. I think that is true for all of us, perhaps on different levels–especially the fear of inadequacy. And sometimes, as several of you have so candidly shared, our experiences in childhood often feed those fears. The good news is, Jesus wants to heal our stories, help us write a better one. That’s my prayer for what this book will help people to do–replace the lies that say “you’re not good enough” with the truth: good enough has nothing to do with it, Jesus sees you as his perfect, beautiful and deeply loved child.

  12. The lie that if I can not do it just right than it is a failure. Thank you for this giveaway!

  13. I don’t know if you stopped this or not?! I just found this so thought I would share what has made it hard for me… I had a strong connection with God and went through an abusive church situation and I have struggled ever since ! I’m making progress but it is still hard… Reading the Bile is the hardest thing for me. I can still pray! I feel like it’s hard to believe that God wants me… That he values me… That he cares about the hard things that have happened in my life… He is growing me in His perfect love that casts out the fear!!!

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