*Disclosure- I received this book as a part of Baker Books Bloggers. All opinions are my own.*
When I read the title of this book, I thought, “Hmmm, did I write this?”. It was meant for me. I’ve been feeling like I HAVE to have it all together all of the time. And as we know, that is very much NOT the case. Once I cracked open the cover and began to dive between the pages, there was so much truth that I needed to hear- so I had to share some of those truths with you.
“…the reality is that when I refuse to address anxiety, I surrender ground. Anxiety thrives in the darkness of denial. But when I face anxiety with the light of truth, it runs.”
I’ve shared my struggles with anxiety on multiple occasions. Kim Hyland totally hit the nail on the head. I fought with my anxiety for a long time. Tried to ignore it, tried to shove it down deep. And it only festered and got worse. Not until I acknowledged it, sought others who’ve been through it, and prayed continuously about it, did I feel any relief.
I’m not perfect. I suffer from anxiety. But, that doesn’t mean I am unloved. I am not alone. And just like Kim points out, “[God’s] power and presence are our ultimate security.” I have no reason to fear! She really helped me to realize that I don’t have to seek perfection. No one is perfect, and I don’t have to be feel bad for being me.
She also pointed out a trend that I’ve been noticing more and more each day-
“Quite often, our idols pose as ideals. They come in every shape and size. Ideals are what sell our books and determine our culture’s trends. They promise health, knowledge, beauty, esteem, security, confidence, happiness, and more.”
I can easily turn the things that I’m seeking from ideals to idols. She reminds us that idols don’t serve us, they rather enslave us. They become more important than everything. Whether that be goals that I’ve set, or time I spend doing things that maybe I shouldn’t be doing. These idols can be anything, even things that are good- we can turn them into things we seek before God, and then they become detrimental to us.
Back to that pesky anxiety. And fear. She was speaking directly to me when she said this:
“Of course we work hard at being safe. But when safety becomes the filter through which we make all our decisions, we not only eliminate a risk but also eliminate opportunity and purpose…The most rewarding and purposeful parts of your life were most likely also the riskiest- sports, competitions, auditions, tests, college and job applications, marriage, childbirth. Almost everything we work hard for entails great risk. The risk and even the danger are what makes it rare, worthy, and of value.”
I spend a ridiculous amount of time avoiding the things that scare me. I could easily lock myself away and never put myself out there. How much will I miss out on if I am unwillingly to take risks?
I met my best friend because I went to a Book Club with no one I knew.
I went on a date with a friend even though I was terrified, and I ended up marrying him!
I struggled with infertility and loss for years before finally getting our precious son.
I took a chance and wrote down my thoughts, and now I get to share my blog and so many wonderful things with you.
ALL scary things. But, they’re also some of the GREATEST things in my life!
The truths in this book, that Kim spoke right to me, have really helped me see some changes I want to make in my life. I’m embracing my imperfections and letting go of my weakness. I’m tearing down my idols and replacing them with the heavenly Father.
Who’s with me? Raise your hand if you’re an imperfect woman!