I opened this book quite convinced there’d be nothing relatable for me.
I did what women do, pictured Bekah Jane’s pretty little life in her pretty little sunny home surrounded by happy boys and handsome husband, and decided I think I’m too old, too much a contrasted life to relate.
Perhaps, jealousy veiled the door. After all, her name’s on a book and mine is not.
I began Choosing Real on a Sunday afternoon. Sunday means church to me, choir, if on a set day it means leading Missions.
Sunday feels like work sometimes and most days I’d rather just rest.
Bekah Jane understands. Like me, she has spent many hours of her days working, planning, showing her efforts to herself and God. Barely into the first few pages, my pencil is making pretty little gray asterisks already.
You, my friend, you don’t have to work so hard. You don’t have to strive to perform, because God is already in it.
I understand, Bekah. I’m sure we’re not the only ones, little girls wanting to believe Jesus loved us…loves us, really.
Less than a page or two over, here’s this gem, this rock solid truth refined and precious jewelry.
How could I follow a Jesus I didn’t have a real relationship with other than what I did for Him?
Yes, this is the beginning of understanding, of the wisdom finally seen clearly through another.
Finally, I am understanding surrender through this book. Surrender is not a strapped down performance based response because of self-condemnation over never enough or not enough consistently!
Yes. That truth came to me in these pages. Bekah is an event planner and so she’s all about arranging, inviting, I imagine beautiful and welcoming occasions.
Surrender is simply saying, I’ll come along, Jesus to the events you have planned for me.
I know that you have some very special occasions you’d like me to fully attend, to be present, to enjoy, to accept as opportunities to dine with you while dining with others at a table large with glorious grace and graces to share.
I struggle to convey how big was this epiphany, this new view of surrender so I’ll use another’s clarity from the book, Bob Goff.
Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary; He simply invites us.
God asks us what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us whispers, ‘Let’s do that together’.
Oh. My. Goodness.
I’d love to create a little list of all the places this book touched my heart.
Bekah speaks of grief over the loss of her father in a way so real I simply wish we could meet so I could run across the room without reservation and hug her so, so tightly and say “Me too.”
Grief leveled her. Grief changed her. I understand. She and I are one in this ache that comes round and round.
Friends, I’ve only barely skimmed the surface of this book and it’s importance for us all.
Last week, I attended a fancy meeting. I couldn’t wait to leave, worried over being a guest, not a member and shunned over wearing the wrong shoes or being less notable a person than others.
I sat in my car and said. “I’d rather be real.” and the sun warmed my face as I looked towards blueness of sky. I paused there in the parking lot, okay with belonging to quiet over club.
I paused, content in being more real me than ever, a place of peace and acceptance. Happy to be real, not rich.
Later, I painted and I will again today. This ministry born of sketching me in margins, an invitation to abandoned joy it has become.
Work, before. Over 39 years ago, I longed, ached, tried and failed to be an artist. Now, I simply long to paint, to write, to bravely create from my heart.
Choosing Real ends with an invitation to proclaim, a beckoning to consider believing I matter, an exercise in embracing God’s long ago promise.
I have a copy of this book I’m anxious to pass on. I know it will end up where it belongs because God placed me here on this chilly Saturday morning to share my heart and its significance with you.
Leave a comment and at random, I’ll choose someone to send a copy, wishing I could send to all!
Choose real. Accept God’s invitation to surrender to life when our plan gets messy or even grief and chaos ridden.
Reach out, take His hand and remember, surrender is not selfish defeat or dismay…it’s saying “Yes” to believing Jesus has some amazing and “really real” things, amazing days he awaits our acceptance of invitation.
Acquaint yourself with the wisdom and heart of Bekah here: http://www.bekahpogue.com/
*Thank you to Stephanie Alton at the Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc. for allowing me to review this book and for providing a book for the giveaway this month.