I have a love/hate relationship with the internet.
The internet has helped us connect with hundreds of thousands of you through IF:Gathering as we study and chase after our God together.
It’s helped us raise money in order to give jobs to women who need a chance at rebuilding their lives and families; equip leaders with resources to disciple women across the world; and challenge each other with Truth.
Even this week, it helped us connect together while digging into the book of Daniel through our Humble & Bold study.
This is why I love the internet.
But some days I hate it, too.
I hate the days when I get too distracted by all that is happening in the world, because I’m not present in my life. I hate that our minds get so cluttered with more than they were built to hold.
It has also the ability to leave us feeling left out, unknown, and caught up in anything but the present gifts in front of us.
Two of my friends released books on Tuesday: Lysa TerKeurst and Shauna Niequist. Both of these friends fully understand the fight we each go through to keep our eyes focused on who God says we are and the precious gifts He’s given us.
I have learned so much from Shauna about choosing presence and self-care in the midst of chaos and constant demands. She awakens our desire to not miss our lives. Because that pursuit costs us our distracting habits, we need motivation beyond disciplines and rules. We have to want to really live and be with our people and enjoy this gift of a life that God has given us. Shauna’s life makes me not want to miss mine, and her words here will make you not want to miss yours.
My regrets: how many years I bruised people with my fragmented, anxious presence. How many moments of connection I missed—too busy, too tired, too frantic and strung out on the drug of efficiency.
Now I know there’s another way.
You don’t have to damage your body and your soul and the people you love most in order to get done what you think you have to get done.
You don’t have to live like this.
-Shauna Niequist, Present Over Perfect
Lysa meets us right in the middle of the dark places–the lonely, doubting, left out moments–and points us straight to the arms of Jesus. She reminds us that pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His. The enemy wants to use our temptation to compare to confirm the lies he’s trying to convince us are true.
The enemy loves to take our rejection and twist it into a raw, irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for us. This fear is a corrupting companion. It replaces the truths we’ve trusted with hopeless lies. Satan knows what consumes us controls us. Therefore the more consumed we are with rejection, the more he can control our emotions, our thinking, and our actions.
That’s the exact place where panic starts to replace peace.
Uncertainty starts to overshadow our faith. And discouragement threatens to override our joy.
What’s a brokenhearted person to do? We must praise God, seek God, look to God, call to God, experience God, fear God, learn from God, honor God, draw near to God, and take refuge in God.
This is how we take back control from something or someone that was never meant to have it and declare God as Lord.
-Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited
I may have wavering feelings about the internet, but I love that it gives me the chance to cheer on friends who are constantly reminding us where to look to find our freedom and worth. We’re in this fight together, and I’m so grateful.
You can find copies of these incredible books by clicking on the links below: