I've been working on what I call "the Lisa Osteen book" for about three or four weeks now, though it hardly seems that long. It seems like this one was written just for me. Every chapter deals with a piece of my heart, a part of my life, that I needed help with. Whether it's fear, insecurity, jealousy, unforgiveness, or even just a crippling sense of "why me?" There's a lot of things that I've struggled with in my life, especially recently as I become more self-aware, and Lisa's book seems to address them all.
For those who don't know Lisa's story, definitely pick up this book. Her testimony is absolutely amazing and I think that even just knowing what she got through on faith will positively impact your life. As a brief summation:
At a young age she opened a mail bomb intended for her father. Although scarred, Lisa was mostly protected from the bomb in a way that even investigators and doctors consider to be miraculous. They still haven't found the person who sent that bomb, and for a long time she had to struggle against the fear that they'd try again. But she overcame.
Shortly after getting married to the man of her dreams he turned into someone she didn't know anymore, and then sent her back home to her parents and filed for divorce. She didn't want it, she fought against it, but it happened anyway. She had to overcome insecurities, had to learn to accept that sometimes things don't go as planned, and she had to learn to forgive herself and her ex husband for whatever it was that went wrong. God used her pain to help push her into a ministry position where she could help others who were going through divorce.
When she did find a new mate (several years of healing later) they discovered that she could not bear children and her heart was broken. But she and her husband placed her faith in God and nine months after the day they found out that Lisa was barren, she and her husband brought home an adorable set of twin girls. They were able to adopt the girls and help the teen mother who bore them because of the things they'd already been though, because they trusted God when all of their dreams seemed to be crumbling around them. They have since also adopted a little boy, and their family is as close-knit and loving as any blood-related family could hope to be.
With all that she's overcome, all that she's gone through, Lisa has learned to trust God to help her overcome - and her book is one of the tools she is able to make available to others who need to learn the same. It's truly amazing, and I know that my brief summary here doesn't begin to do it justice. This is a book I will return to again and again, knowing that I'll find something new and perfect for that time.
A few of the things that I've highlighted in this book:
- "God will not just pick you up one day and put you into your destiny. You have to take steps toward it and know that God will direct those steps."
- "You must do something, otherwise you will do nothing. Why should you sit in defeat with everyone else when God has a destiny for you to fulfill?"
- "Healing begins when self-pity ends"
- "A dream from God requires faith because dreams don't come to pass overnight...But whether we realize it or not, God is at work right now, today, in our lives. He's making things happen that we don't even realize - yet. See, *yet* is the key, because if there's one thing we can count on, it's that when God begins something, he will complete it. That's his promise. In fact, the bible tells us, God wants not only to complete things for us, but bring our lives to a flourishing finish. ... That means that no matter what's happening in your life right now, no matter what you've lost or what dream has died, it's not over."
- "Fear pulls us down, traps us, paralyzes us, sinks us into inaction. We can get stuck in fear. ... [T]hat in-between place, that stuck place, is nowhere worth living. ... We're made for so much more than sitting around in fear. We're made to live boldly."