February 25, 2019

On My Bookshelf: It's Not Supposed To Be This Way

Book review It's Not Supposed To Be This Way

I am so excited to pop in today and share my first book/bible study of 2019! I mentioned in my goals post that I am aiming to finish five dedicated book studies this year. To clear up any confusion, that doesn't mean only reading five books. This means doing book/bible studies that have "homework" content - bible verses to analyze, worksheets to do, required research, study guides, etc. Most of the time bible studies are broken down into several weeks of working through the book and related content. Therefore, five seemed like a doable number given all the other books I want to get through this year, too. 

The first bible/book study that I finished was Lysa Terkeurst's It's Not Supposed To Be This Way, a book that she wrote during one of the most trying times of her life battling serious health issues and the infidelity of her husband. Let's chat about it.


Book review It's Not Supposed To Be This Way

If there's one definite that can be said about this book after finishing it it's this: Whatever pain you may be experiencing, Lysa truly understands you. There is no denying how deeply she's hurting in this book and how relatable that her story is. She beautifully ties in bible verses to real-world application, she addresses the rawness of disappointment in daily life, and she reminds us that God sometimes does give us more than we can handle.

The book is set-up differently than any other book I've read. It's aesthetically and organizationally pleasing. The chapter title pages are large (they take up two pages), there's a large quote page in each chapter, and there's a section at the end of each that Lysa calls "Going To The Well." It's a call-to-action of sorts that highlights the main takeaways from the chapter and a prayer. There's a deep care for the human spirit and experience that comes in these wrap-up sections of every chatper. Lysa is careful to take care of her readers while guiding them through some really hard emotions, hurts, disappointments, and revelations.

Book review It's Not Supposed To Be This Way

This bible/book study was hosted through Lysa's ministry, Proverbs 31. One of the things I like about P31 online bible studies are the resources they provide. There's a weekly bible study companion and videos. I enjoyed the videos from this study (for the most part) and found them to be more helpful than the written work that was required. If anything came across "preach-y" or misplaced about this study, it was the written content for each week. I wouldn't go so far as to say it wasn't valuable at all, but it definitely wasn't the highlight of processing and taking in the juiciest parts of the book. In addition, there a few times during the teaching videos when I went "hmmm" - either because I just didn't agree with a statement or it didn't sit well with me.

As someone who has been finding her way back to Jesus and working through some anger and eye rolls toward the church, I don't respond well to anything that has a hint of "condemnation and hell fire" to it. If that's your brand of religion, then these pieces of the study will be ok for you. For me, these moments were when I recoiled and became skeptical. It did have a small affect on my overall experience with the bible study, and I feel that it's only right that I offer full disclosure.

Book review It's Not Supposed To Be This Way
one. The layout and organization of the book.

two. The pace of the study (6 weeks).

three. The honest tone and raw dialogue.

four. The teaching videos at the end of each week.

five. The dialogue Lysa wrote at the end of chapter 11 between God and Jesus called "Upside Down." (p.217)

Book review It's Not Supposed To Be This Way

Sometimes to get your life back, you have to face the death of what you thought your life would look like. (p. 2)

If the enemy can isolate us he can influence us. (p. 7)

Dust is often what must be present for the new to begin. (p. 18)

If we weren't ever disappointed, we'd settle for the shallow pleasures of this world rather than addressing the spiritual desperation of our souls. (p. 27)

If I want His promises, I have to trust His process. (p. 28)

Feeling the pain is the first step toward healing the pain. The longer we avoid the feeling, the more we delay our healing. (p. 36)

God loves me too much to answer my prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way. (p. 45)

We are imperfect because we are unfinished. (p. 77)

It's our choice whether we stay stuck in our hurt or get renewed in our hearts. (p. 117)

Weak moments don't make weak faith. (p. 128)

Sometimes labels protect us from toxic people. (p. 130)

God isn't picking on us. He's handpicked us to be a display of His good works here on earth. (p. 134)

Comfort isn't a solution to seek; rather, it's a by-product we'll reap when we stay close to the Lord. (p. 181)

To live is to love. To love is to risk pain. To risk pain is to live. (p. 211)

Book review It's Not Supposed To Be This Way


1 comment

Unknown said...

I did the study as well and finished the book last night. Truth? I didn't love it. I have enjoyed other books by Lysa, but this one... left me feeling attacked. I think you're right with the hellfire reference. At times I felt like she was telling me "you're going to have a horrible time of it - suck it up buttercup." I for sure felt spiritually attacked during the last couple of chapters. I couldn't put it away fast enough, and fell asleep praying for peace and that God would take away all my thoughts of all the "bad" scenarios I was dreaming up for myself.

It's not that I don't expect hard times in life, or for God to use those times to change and mold me. I can't really explain what my feelings towards this book were, but they didn't leave me feeling good. Maybe it wasn't the message I needed right now?