Review of Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst
Have you ever felt rejected? Alone, unwanted, unwelcome, an outcast, uninvited? Even if these words aren’t the defining descriptions of most of our lives, we have all felt them at times. How do we deal with past rejections? How do we deal with present hurts? How do we protect ourselves from future disappointments? In her book Uninvited, Lysa TerKeurst dives personally into her past rejections and shows us how she moved from begging for scraps of love from everything she could to living from a place of abundance in the love of God.
My first introduction to Lysa TerKeurst was when my best friend mentioned that she had begun to read Unglued for a ladies’ Bible Study. She told of the opening example where Lysa was raging about dirty towels not being thrown in the hamper, or something silly like that. My best friend then said, “I didn’t get that. It’s so little.”
And I looked her right in the eye and admitted, “She wrote that for me! I can usually deal with big things much easier than I can deal with the smaller ones that I should be able to handle.”
I then proceeded to order Unglued and read it from start to finish as fast as I could. I not only gleaned a lot of information and encouragement, but I also connected with Lysa in a way I hadn’t with any Bible study persona before.
So, when Lysa came out with her Uninvited study, even though the topic didn’t seem to really apply to me, I jumped at the chance to learn from her again—and to spend time in the Word with a good friend. 😊
It turned out that Uninvited was for me. I believe it’s for every woman. Every woman has experienced rejection in some way at some time; I didn’t realize how deeply it affects us. What about you? Have you ever felt uninvited, unwelcome, unwanted?
When you finally come to terms with how rejection has labeled you, you will then be able to take Lysa’s encouragements from Scripture and practically apply it to your life. I will warn you: the first few chapters are hard. Lysa encourages you to dredge up old wounds that haven’t healed completely, and they hurt. But I promise you that it’s worth it. You will be able to watch God work in a very specific situation within broken relationships, and you will be able to praise Him for changing your attitude about them.
These are six of the most important lessons I learned from Lysa’s Uninvited.
1. “Satan knows what Consumes us Controls us.” (chapter 11)
Am I flirting with the world’s false promises of acceptance? Or am I nourishing myself with the Truth of His Word? “Is my attention being held by something sacred or something secret? What is holding my attention the most is what I’m truly worshipping (ch.12).”
2. “Live from the Abundant place that you are Loved, and you won’t find yourself Begging others for Scraps of Love.” (chapter 3)
Am I expecting others to bless me? Or am I bringing the blessing to others? When you constantly approach any relationship or situation with the attitude that you’re looking for someone to fill you up, to show they care, to help you not to feel lonely, then you’re asking for heartbreak. People will ultimately disappoint us. But if we feed on God’s love and look to only Him to fill our needs, He will. Then we can take the grace, forgiveness, and acceptance He gives us and pour it into the lives of others—even those who are hard to get along with. We must shift the focus from ourselves to others.
3. “We have an Enemy, and it’s Not Each Other.” (chapter 6)
Are you struggling with a specific relationship? Instead of blaming the other person for the strife and misunderstanding (which is so easy for me to do!), we need to remember that we “wrestle now against flesh and blood, but against…spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12, KJV). The Devil wants us to expend our energy fighting each other instead of working together to solve the issue at hand. He doesn’t want us to extend grace and forgiveness to each other, to “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor” (Roman. 12:10, ESV). Let’s show Him we’re on to His wiles, and we will stand against them!
4. “It’s Impossible to hold up the banners of Victim and Victory at the same time.” (chapter 7)
Overcoming requires perseverance; perseverance requires hope. Victims have no hope; they have no reason to press on through the challenges. Victors take responsibility for their own actions (not others’ blame) and, with faith, move toward the finish line of a race well-run (Hebrews 12:1), a life well-lived.
5. “He’s not running from your mess. He’s climbing in it to be right there with you.” (chapter 13)
He is Emmanuel, even in our worst parts. Lysa reminded us of the story about Jesus calming the storm immediately after the Feeding of the 5,000 Miracle. I had never noticed that one little phrase, “He got in the boat with them.” He didn’t rebuke them; He didn’t disappear; He didn’t give them a checklist. He simply got in the boat with them. He is “God with us.”
6. “Rejection may be a Delay or a Distraction or even a Devastation for a season. But it’s Never the Final Destination.” (chapter 16)
Our Trials are Temporary. “For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, Berean Study Bible).
Our Hope is our Final Destination in Glory. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14, ESV).
And I could go on and on with amazing insight after amazing insight. Especially when I put the book together with the Study Guide and watched the corresponding videos.
Uninvited is worth reading! Maybe not every sentence will apply to you, but enough of them will apply to make it worthwhile to you. I didn’t even think I needed help in this area, thinking I had already dealt with all my past rejections, but I still needed it. If you do, too, I encourage you to read it ASAP! 😊
Join the conversation: Because I believe so strongly in the power of this book, I have a special gift for you. For you my loyal readers, I have a FREE copy of Lysa’s Uninvited book, marked (neatly) with my Bible Study colored pens. I marked passages in blue for truth; purple for hope; green for grace; red for commands and fruits to work on; and black for miscellaneous quotes from Lysa that spoke to me. Comment “yes” in the comments below; or go to our private Facebook Group, Practical Living for Christian Women, and comment “Yes” on the post about this blog post. You will be entered, and I will randomly draw a name on Friday, November 10. See you there!
[Taken from Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst Copyright © 2016 by TerKeurst Foundation. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.]