Proverbs 31 Ministries Channel | Lysa TerKeurst // Helping Women Engage with God’s Truth
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Elevate Christian Network | Ministry Outreach TV
0:00 Lysa Terkeurst is a New York Times bestselling author as well as president of Proverbs 31 ministries and the author 0:07 of this great new book it’s not supposed to be this way thank you for allowing us to be in your home today Lee absolutely 0:13 it’s a joy to have you here I feel like it’s just like having a friend over oh thank you first of all thank you on behalf of many 0:20 women and families who have watched your journey you have been so candid about 0:25 the journey that your marriage has taken for the past couple of years thank you well thank you you know that’s one of 0:33 the number one things that people ask me is like Lisa how are you able to be so 0:38 transparent with so many hard realities of your life and what I always like to 0:45 tell people is different people I think have different callings that and different personalities that give you a 0:51 different threshold for privacy and transparency and you just have to know what your threshold is but I always tell 0:57 people there’s a big difference between privacy and secrecy secrecy is withholding things for the purpose of 1:03 hiding privacy is withholding things for the purpose of healing and so while we 1:09 have withheld a lot of the details the basic story we feel like is very important so that other people can find 1:18 encouragement help in healing because I know I’m not the only one going through 1:23 so much of what I’ve gone through there might be some people who watching that 1:29 don’t really know your story and you had written this post June 13 2017 and in 1:35 I’ll just read parts of it my husband life partner and father of my children art Turkish has been repeatedly 1:42 unfaithful to me with a woman he met online bringing and ends to our marriage of almost 25 years later on say God has now 1:50 revealed to me that I have that I I have done all I can do and must release into 1:55 the Savior you talk about pursuing divorce hmm tell me about where you were at at that moment when you wrote this 2:01 post well that was the most painful day of this entire journey because I had 2:10 been holding on – the hope for a long time that 2:17 restoration and reconciliation would be in our future and you know I think we 2:25 have hard things that happen to us and then as Christians we know all the verses that teach us that God can bring 2:33 good out of even this my problem and maybe you can relate to this – sometimes 2:39 I run ahead of God and start writing the script of good that I feel should be and 2:47 then I want to hold God and everyone else accountable to the good outcome that I’ve written and you know one thing 2:56 that this journey has taught me is that that’s not faith that that’s that’s 3:04 trying to take control of a life that feels out of control which is very 3:10 understandable you know I was always used to my life being pretty predictable and so I want God to be predictable but 3:18 one thing God’s taught me is he doesn’t want to be explained away he simply wants to be invited in and so I had to 3:27 to really invite him into this very long process so at the point that I wrote 3:33 that blog post it had been 18 months since I discovered what was going on I 3:40 was heartbroken I was devastated and I had decided not to invite the 3:47 weight of public opinion into our very private pain but it started to become 3:53 apparent that I could forgive art and I could love art but I was not willing to 4:00 share him and and so I knew we had been 4:06 through several rounds of feeling like we were making progress and getting better and healing and then you know 4:14 things would fall apart again and and so I had taken a very strong stand 4:21 alongside my counselor and said if the woman cycles back into our life again 4:27 then that’s going to be it and so I had 4:33 to draw those boundaries for many reasons and I didn’t think I would ever 4:40 have to write a post that tied my name and my husband’s name with the word divorce because we had always said like 4:47 many Christian couples divorce is not an option but sometimes you’re put in a position where you can fight all day 4:55 long but unless the other person is joining you on that journey it just becomes very very difficult and so I put 5:05 that blog post out it didn’t catch anyone in my family off guard not even 5:11 art he knew that that was going to be one of the realities if she cycled back 5:17 into our life and so the night before it ran I called him and read him the post 5:22 my children also all knew about it but even so the minute that post went out 5:29 into the world I felt like my life was over in so many ways and I definitely 5:36 felt like putting that post out would would mark the end of my marriage 5:41 forever and that’s not what I wanted but I felt like at that point I had no choice you kind of alluded it to it Lisa 5:49 and you talked about at the beginning of the book about how we all paint these pictures of what life is supposed to be 5:54 like and these ideas and we put expectations on people that are 5:59 sometimes not justified or not fair explain the the picture that you had 6:05 painted and thought that you were going to live yeah well you know I always felt like that if you do all the right things 6:14 life should be as tidy as a math equation you know and I think maybe in 6:19 the Christian world especially we feel this way but it’s like in my marriage I 6:25 felt like okay if we pray together and we go to church together we do small groups together and we go to 6:33 the conferences and and we go on date nights like we do all like check all the 6:39 boxes then 2+2 should equal 4 and that’s 6:44 just not the way it always works you know and so what was especially painful 6:51 about our situation is that we are 6:56 public people and so this story was 7:02 going to come out if I didn’t post that blog the story was going to come out 7:07 through the rumor mill it was already happening because we’re we’re just more 7:13 recognizable and so you know it was even 7:19 even the unraveling I felt like should go a certain way but was completely out of my control and so 7:27 yeah the whole thing was just hard and I think all of us have an expectation of 7:33 perfection that if we follow along all the guidelines and rules that this 7:39 perfect reality should be ours but perfection can never be ours on this 7:44 side of eternity we can do everything that we know to do but the outcomes have 7:51 to be placed in God’s hands because we’ll face things we never thought we would face you talk about perfection in 7:58 the book and the link to Adam and Eve which I thought was fascinating because you always hear that you know the reason 8:04 why we expect our lives to be perfect is because we watch all the TV shows and all the movies and Brad Pitt always gets 8:09 the girl and you know whatever always happens it’s always it always gets ended with a nice neat bow and everybody’s 8:16 happy but you actually tie it back to the Garden of Eden explains because I 8:21 thought was fascinating well the human heart was created in the perfection of 8:27 the Garden of Eden but in Genesis 3 when sin enters in because of a choice that 8:34 Eve and Adam made sin enters in and 8:40 then because they then have to leave the perfection of the Garden of Eden and we 8:47 find out why the end of Genesis 3 God makes it very clear there were two trees 8:53 in the garden one the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which they were never supposed to eat from there’s 8:58 also the Tree of Life which perpetuated them in an eternal state so they had to 9:04 be ushered out of the garden once they introduced sin so now their 9:09 body is in a state of decay and their sin has caused a separation even between 9:15 them and God and so they must not be allowed to stay in the garden or they 9:20 would eat from the tree of life and be perpetuated for all of eternity so it was God’s mercy that he ushered them out 9:27 of the garden but he did not strip from them the awareness of perfection so they 9:33 leave the perfection of the Garden of Eden and they enter into a world where nothing is perfect and so the human 9:42 heart today we still have the awareness of perfection we know it exists but 9:48 short of our relationship with God we’ll never find it but boy did we try to chase it right and and we put so much 9:56 pressure on relationships and so many expectations on situations and 10:02 circumstances that perfection and perfectionism is very common and it’s 10:09 very complicated and this isn’t God’s act of cruelty like why didn’t he strip 10:15 away from us that feeling of knowing perfection is that exist but we can’t 10:20 find it it’s not God’s Way of constantly disappointing us it’s his way of leading 10:26 us home because if lesser loves ever satisfied us in that deep perfect way we 10:31 would have no desire for God so it’s actually a gift that God left this 10:37 desire inside of us for perfection because he’s the perfect match Wow 10:43 that’s beautiful when you were going through this journey and again crying 10:49 out to God and I love that because I feel like this is like a modern day lament a modern-day song because you’re 10:56 not afraid to say yeah sometimes I cried out to God and I was just like why but you there’s so much hope in your story 11:03 why were you holding on to hope Lisa well when I wrote the book I like I said 11:11 before I did not think that the story would end with reconciliation between me 11:19 and art so I knew I couldn’t tie my hope 11:25 to a reconciliation that may or may not ever happen and you see reconciliation 11:32 and redemption are two very different words reconciliation is dependent on the 11:37 other person wanting it to work and being willing to do the hard work to create the opportunity for 11:45 reconciliation but redemption is ours for the choosing with God whether the 11:51 reconciliation ever happens or not so I wrote this book unlike my other books my 11:56 other books I knew how the end of the book would be a new arid start I knew the ending because I’ve lived the 12:02 message I wrote this message in real time when I first started writing the book I did not think that art and I 12:08 would make it so I couldn’t tie my hope to reconciliation I had to learn to tie my hope to the redemption a redeemed 12:16 life that I knew God could give me even in the midst of such hurt and pain and 12:21 unexpected circumstances but also at the beginning of this book I didn’t know that I was going to be diagnosed with 12:28 breast cancer no idea that happened while I was writing and so even the 12:34 process of writing the book taught me more and more about how to not die 12:40 my hope for the future to circumstances but really learn to tie my hope to the 12:47 redemption that’s always possible with God wash that out for me because I think there are many people that will go 12:53 through similar stories as yours I would say I give up on God I give up on hope 12:58 why hold on to that yeah I I remember 13:04 many nights falling asleep and my heart 13:09 breaking because I felt so utterly hopeless and I remember thinking what 13:18 makes me feel like why me why this why now God what makes me feel that way is 13:24 when God’s promises are doubtful but God’s promises seemed to apply to everyone else’s circumstances but they 13:31 start to feel doubtful for me when the hurt is lasting a little too long and 13:38 the healing feels a little too far away and I remember I kept telling my counselor I want to get over this I want 13:45 to get over this and one day my counselor said something so profound he’s like Lisa you don’t get over 13:51 circumstances like this you have to learn to walk through them and so that 13:57 was complicated for me but when God’s promises seemed doubtful when his lack 14:02 of intervention hurtful and his timing very questionable of course we’ll start 14:10 to wonder where are you God and how could you let this hurt of unhurt upon 14:18 hurt I mean waves of new hard circumstances into one person’s life it 14:24 seems unfair it seems uncaring and it will make you question everything but 14:31 one of my favorite passages in the Bible is mark 14 starting in verse 32 when 14:39 Jesus himself was in the Garden of Gethsemane and we know Jesus is perfect divinity fully God but also complete 14:47 humanity not sinned not sinful but he was completely sinless but he felt what 14:53 it felt like to be human and that was a I was I was reading Jesus’s experience 14:58 in the Garden of Gethsemane I was so struck by him using the same words that 15:04 I use when I’m starting to slip and feel like I don’t think God really has this 15:10 under control and I don’t know that God can ever bring good from this but Jesus used words like God everything is 15:15 possible for you take this cup from me and I have said that same thing Jesus says I’m 15:21 overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death I think this might kill me I see her so I’m hurting so bad I think I’m 15:27 gonna die and furthermore God you are so powerful everything is possible for you you could change this so change it and I 15:36 guess as I was reading those words I was so struck by the fact that Jesus really 15:43 really knew he knew what it felt like to experience the depth of human sorrow 15:49 that can make you cry out to God acknowledging God if you really are as 15:56 powerful as powerful as you say you are and you’re choosing not to change this 16:02 it is breaking something deeper in me than just my emotions and so I found so 16:08 much encouragement for those words but Jesus doesn’t in there he makes a turn with these nine earth-shaking hell 16:16 shattering demon quaking words yet not what I will but what you will and so I 16:24 had to learn part of the reason I was so heartbroken and not understanding God is 16:30 because I had to learn when I prayed to stop making so many suggestions to God 16:38 and trying to hold God accountable to my suggestions I had to have marked moments 16:44 in my journey where I released all of that and I literally had to trade my will for thy will because I was 16:52 confident he will God will do something with this I have to release it and that 16:57 was hard it was opposite of my personality and it didn’t feel like in 17:03 the moment it even made a difference but I will say three years down the road now 17:09 from the time I discovered what was happening and my life turned upside down 17:15 January or February of 2016 – now as the 17:21 story unfolded God never ever ever listened to one of my suggestions not 17:28 one of my suggestions came to be and yet here I stand three years later and I can see it was the best thing I 17:36 ever did to trade my will just to hand it over and stop making so many 17:41 suggestions to God and just receive whatever it is that God had for me that day just like I said before God doesn’t 17:48 want to be explained the way he wants to be invited in and so I don’t want you to picture like it was this big theological 17:55 dynamic experience it was simple it was sitting on my bed weeping not wanting this to be my life 18:01 story and simply saying it comes down to this god I love you and you love me and 18:08 that’s all I know and that’s all I have and this comes from a journey of writing 18:15 uninvited a book that totally changed my life I think I shared that with you the last time we chatted and you say that 18:21 you feel like God now gave you that book because he saw this journey that you were going into it yeah yeah I remember 18:29 I got the page proofs of that book right after I found out that art had been 18:35 having an affair and I was so so angry 18:41 and maybe hurt because I felt like God here the page proofs and what happens 18:47 with the book writing process is you get page proofs in and that’s your last chance to look over the book right 18:54 before it goes to print and so uninvited this book I’d written on rejection I get 18:59 the page proofs in late February early March of 2016 the book was coming out in 19:05 August of 2016 so it was really too late to change anything it was just time for 19:10 me to read through it one more time sign off then it was going to go to the presses and I thought this is so unfair 19:16 that I have written this book on rejection and now I’m going to have to talk about rejection because once a book 19:23 comes out people want you to talk on that subject and I am now suffering the worst rejection that I’ve ever been 19:30 through and I thought I had healed from all my past rejections and that they were in the past and it’s easier to talk 19:36 about healing from your past then dealing with your present and so I remember 19:42 my bed weeping like how could you have done this to me God why did you let me write this book that now I’m gonna have 19:48 to talk about and it’s going to be so painful because people aren’t gonna even know the depth of what I’m walking 19:54 through because at that point we were choosing to keep what we were going through private and it was complicated 20:00 and hard but I remember at some point as I was reading through the manuscript the 20:05 Lord really just quietly nudged my heart in the direction that he had me write 20:10 the book last year that I would need this year and I remember thinking that’s profound God that you loved me so much 20:18 you had me studying how to deal with rejection from a biblical standpoint for 20:25 two years you had me knee-deep studying that knowing what was coming down the road for me personally and 20:32 suddenly I didn’t see it as this awful 20:37 cruel reality that God had me focusing on that subject I thought is such a gift 20:42 and that woman that I was picturing while I was writing and invited I always 20:48 picture somebody and I realized wow God that somebody was me I wrote this book 20:54 for me and then you go through a health scare with your colon on top of all of 21:01 this what happens well my counselor kept telling me Lisa 21:08 you know you’ve got to learn how to process all of these deep difficult 21:14 hurtful emotions of what you’re going through in your marriage and he kept 21:19 saying this statement if not your body will keep the score and some people process their emotions externally I 21:27 process everything internally so it was going against my nature to sit in counseling and try to get all of this 21:34 out but my counselor was right because in June of 2016 I woke up one morning in 21:41 excruciating pain and had no idea what was happening to me my family rushed me 21:46 to the hospital the doctors started running tests they could not figure out what was happening and 21:53 I was in so much pain though they kept me in the hospital to try to manage my pain but they kept saying we can’t give 22:00 you a diagnosis because every test were running isn’t showing any reason for you 22:05 to be in this amount of pain so I laid there in pain excruciating pain in the 22:11 hospital Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday and then Friday morning a surgeon came in my room and said Lisa we 22:19 ran one last test they ran another CT scan but this time a CT scan with 22:25 contrast and he said and we finally figured out what’s happening your colon 22:31 has ripped away from the abdominal wall wrapped around itself and cut off the 22:37 blood flow inside of you and we’re gonna have to go in and remove most of your colon because it’s actually died inside 22:42 of you and Lisa if we didn’t catch this right now you and if if the pain would 22:50 have gone away and he knew I’d been asking God to take away my pain and he said if God would have answered that prayer and your pain would have gone 22:56 away we would have sent you home your colon would have ruptured and you would be dead by the end of the weekend and he 23:04 said the pain is actually what saved your life and I remember thinking in that moment Wow 23:11 that is true a physical pain is true of emotional pain when we’re crying out to God asking God to fix our circumstances 23:18 asking God to take away our pain we have to recognize God knows the bigger 23:23 picture that we can’t possibly see and God loves us too much to answer our 23:29 prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way it leads us to your analogy of dust 23:36 so beautiful of how God can take the dust the ashes of our life with a little 23:42 bit of water clay is formed and could be remodeled into something new that’s 23:47 right explain it well this came out of one of the activities again in 23:54 counseling I feel like I’ve done so much therapy well thank you for being very open about Catholic because as you know 24:01 in the Christian world counseling is sometimes looked down upon as a weakness thank you for being so 24:07 honest if people want to look down on me I’ve given them so many things to look down on me that counselling will be the 24:13 least of their worries so I just let it just apply you know we need a spiritual healing and we need emotional healing 24:20 and so I had some amazing Christian counselors but I remember just so 24:30 profound activity that my counselor wanted me to do is to write a statement 24:35 of impact so that I could give this letter to art and help him understand 24:42 that I was walking the path of forgiveness trying to forgive him not just for the facts of what happened but 24:49 I also had to learn to forgive him for the impact of what those facts had on me 24:54 forgiving for the facts of what happened that’s a decision that you make but forgiving for the impact that’s a 25:01 process you have to walk through so I was writing this impact letter and I 25:07 said art I want you to understand this hasn’t just broken me into pieces when 25:12 you have broken pieces you know that God can pick those up glue them back together and you still have cracks in 25:19 your vessel but his light can shine through the cracks and as Christians we love that story and we sing Kumbaya and 25:24 you know we walk on but for me I had to explain to him the impact of what this 25:31 had on me I didn’t look around to see broken pieces I looked around and so I’ve been shattered to the point of dust 25:36 and I remember in that letter writing and you can’t glue dust but just like in 25:42 the Book of Lamentations I love that just when you think things are final and 25:50 hopeless and awful suddenly God stirs or quickens some kind of hope that only he 25:56 can stir or quicken in you so literally as I was writing this like like a lament 26:02 it got to the point where you can’t glue dust and then all of a sudden my pin kept moving and I said however I very 26:12 much recognize that in Genesis chapter 2 of all the ingredients that God had 26:18 access to and he had access to everything he chose dust from which 26:24 to make his favorite creation mankind and he breathed into that dust and that 26:30 dust became a living being and I said and furthermore when I read in the 26:37 Gospels when Jesus healed the blind man he spit into the dust of the earth mixed with his saliva up and mud was formed he 26:45 put the mud on the plant blind man’s eyes and then the blind man could see right and then in Jeremiah and Isaiah we 26:54 are told that dust when mixed with living water becomes clay and clay when placed in the Potters hands and we know 27:00 God calls himself that he is the Potter when we place that clay into the Potter’s hands he can make anything new 27:07 with it so now I had a completely different view of the dust that I viewed 27:14 my life had become and I remember I ended the impact letter instead of a statement of hopelessness saying dust 27:21 does not have to signify the end dust is often what must be present for the new 27:26 to begin you when you write you always you always talk about your writing to 27:32 that one woman as you just said you’re thinking about that one woman how do you think that that can resonate with a 27:37 woman that’s reading this I mean they’re not going through you’re certain scenario but it’s feeling like her dust 27:43 cannot be made into anything I think what’s frustrating sometimes in 27:49 the Christian world is when we know inside of our heart that circumstances 27:58 will prevent things from looking the way they used to look and so that creates 28:06 that feeling of hopelessness you know when when you when you have someone say 28:12 well God can bring good from this but if you’re talking to a woman who’s just lost a baby you know her version of good 28:21 would be that the baby didn’t pass away and so that seems so final and yes we 28:29 know we will see that baby again in heaven but when when you know in your heart that 28:34 things will never look the way that you had hoped they would sometimes it’s 28:40 really hard to regain that that feeling of hope and in my marriage I knew that 28:48 things would never look the same and like I said when I was writing the book I thought that my marriage was ending 28:55 and so I had to learn how to listen 29:03 intently for God to give me a different 29:09 version of what my good could be and in my heart I had to have a funeral for 29:17 expectations that were no longer realistic and you know I think that 29:24 became some of the most profound moments as I walked through this is having these 29:30 little mini funerals that nobody else attended it was just me recognizing this 29:39 can never be the same but if I don’t make peace with this never being the same and I always wish it could be the 29:45 same or always try to control it to make it the same then I’ll never be able to move on and take the blinders off to see 29:54 that yes it cannot be the same but it can still be good and so God show me the good but in order 30:03 for me to even be like able to visualize a good that could be I had to have a 30:09 funeral for the expectations of the good that was and a part that I loved your 30:15 chapter 10 feet because I think a lot of us have to do that we have to strip ourselves of everything and just lay 30:22 naked at one point and say god this is Who I am because he only knows ya hard 30:29 it’s so hard one of my favorite verses is the very last verse of Genesis 2 30:34 where it says an Adam and Eve were both naked and they felt no shame and you see 30:41 the reason Adam and Eve could stand there completely naked with no feeling of shame at all is 30:48 because they had no other opinion to contend with but the absolute love of God himself and our goal my goal has to 30:58 be to return to that garden way of thinking where I need to have some 31:05 marked moments in my life where I stand there just me and God and ask God to 31:12 help me untangle all those other thoughts all those other statements 31:18 other people have put on me or statements that my own internal critic 31:23 has put on me or even attack from the enemy that’s put on me I need to strip 31:29 all of that away or ask God to help me strip all of that away so that I can 31:35 have some marked moments in my life where I stand there naked and unashamed before God and so that experience the 31:42 tan feet experience yeah it was a profound moment for me today I started 31:48 with somebody saying oh your feet are 10 yeah right it started very very bit yeah very basic but I let’s you buying a 31:55 swimsuit yes yes I drove to the store and bought a two-piece bathing suit 32:01 which by the way does not fit with my biology theology none of that okay I just want to like get that out of the 32:08 way and it wasn’t for public display for me it was putting on this two-piece bathing suit as a marked moment of 32:16 standing before God and I remember 32:22 putting the bathing suit on and my last step was turning in the mirror to face 32:28 myself and I couldn’t do it because I knew I wasn’t gonna like what I saw 32:34 and I would be so hyper focused on my imperfections the scar that runs all the 32:40 way up my middle the reality that I’m almost 50 years old and so you know the 32:48 cellulite is plentiful the muscle is not as plentiful anymore we all know you 32:54 know just so we know they were vain realities but then also just hard realities and I remember 33:04 thinking I can’t do it Lord I can’t turn the mirror I can’t toward turn toward the mirror and look and and the Lord said okay 33:13 let’s one by one those statements that you’ve heard that have been placed on you or that have been something that 33:21 you’ve placed on yourself or that the enemy himself has accused you of a whisper to you lies that you’re 33:27 believing every one that pops in your mind I want you to verbalize it out loud 33:33 and I want you to give it to me and so one by one by one by one I went through 33:39 every bit of that resistance that I felt and after I went through every single 33:44 one just verbalizing them and picturing myself handing them to God and then scriptures that I’d read that I didn’t 33:51 even know I knew and I couldn’t have told you where in the Bible they were but they were words have got that welling up in me like you are 34:00 beautifully and wonderfully made and all these scriptures started to bubble up inside of me that I’ve read over the 34:06 years and it was really replacing the lies with the truth and then at the very 34:12 end of the chapter I finally turned toward the mirror and I turned and you 34:18 know what I did not die I stood there naked and unashamed and then I had so 34:25 much like I felt so much freedom I thought well maybe I could go outside and my two-piece bathing suit but Jesus 34:31 took the wheel and I said no this is an exercise just for you and I so but yeah 34:39 so it’s something and you know what that’s what the book is full of it’s full of those they’re deeply spiritual 34:46 experiences really experiencing God but 34:52 I wanted to paint the practical side of them because sometimes we can throw out 34:57 spiritual theories and instructing people that they should trade the lies 35:04 for the truth but I wanted to I wanted to invite people into what 35:10 that really look like on an ordinary Wednesday morning that you’re just 35:16 feeling really down and really blue and really less than the beautiful creat 35:21 creation that God says you are so what do you do and so the book is full of 35:27 very very real life gritty raw moments 35:32 that that I can show people what I did I think we all felt in this book like we 35:39 weren’t going through this journey with you which i think is part of why you’ve gotten so much great response you know 35:46 on your Instagram accounts one thing also is that you had community around you yes a lot of great community explain 35:53 how important that was to have people your mom your sisters extended friends 35:58 well you know my natural personality would be to isolate in situations like 36:06 this but I wrote in the book something that I I really felt challenged to not 36:14 isolate because if the enemy can isolate us he can influence us and I knew I had 36:22 to have God’s Word be the strongest word in my life but if I got isolated the 36:30 lives of the enemy would become very very loud and I also knew that I had to have the right people around me people 36:39 with really strong opinions about me and why this happened or people with really 36:45 strong opinions that it was hopeless I should never ever get back together with our you know those were not the right 36:53 kind of voices to have in my life I knew I had to surround myself with people who 36:58 I felt confident were praying more words over me than they were speaking to me or 37:04 about me because then I knew in prayer they they would be instructed by God and 37:12 that gave me a lot of confidence and I knew that what I’m most needed was not 37:19 advice I was getting that from the professional counselors from the pastures that I had in my life what I 37:27 most needed was people’s presence and you know there’s a reason the Bible says 37:32 weep with those who weep mourn with those who mourn rejoice with those who rejoice because that’s the best gift of 37:39 all is just the gift of having people around you you know I went from having a 37:45 house full of people I mean my whole adult life but when this happened the 37:51 last of our five kids was getting ready to move out and then based on the advice 37:57 of our counselors art also moved out so I went from having a very loud full 38:04 house to being absolutely alone and so the presence of people the right kind of 38:13 people praying people that was crucial what was it like to be alone in this home it was more painful than what I 38:21 could even express at night I would get scared you know the dogs would start 38:27 barking unexplainably and we live out in the country and I just remember thinking you know I’m gonna be the focus of the 38:36 next 48-hour mystery a special hunting buddy you know you’re brave those are all kind 38:42 of crazy places it was painful it was hard the silence was excruciating and so 38:52 I had a good friend his name is Wes he and his wife lacy are just tremendous friends and Wes called one day and he’s 39:01 really good with electronics and wires and music and he’s been in production before and so he said Lisa I am gonna 39:09 take a day and I’m gonna come over and I’m just going to do whatever it is that would make your life easier it was such 39:17 a gift because I said okay if you can figure out a way for me to lay in bed 39:22 and using my phone turn praise music on and off without me having to wander 39:29 through the house and hook this up and do this or whatever if you can just help me figure out how to fill my home with 39:35 praise music that would be the greatest gift and he did he came over and figured all of that out for me and you know that that was 39:42 such a gift and so the silence was quickly replaced with praise music and I 39:47 will say not every moment was praise music sometimes it was like let me just 39:54 put on something that I can just like little rock a little crazy like you know and there were certain songs though that 40:02 even though they were secular songs I would tie a deep spiritual meaning to 40:08 them so it doesn’t really matter what the artist intended with the music it’s how the music is used in my life and so 40:15 yeah it was just that became very important I also got a lot better at 40:24 allowing people to come over and help and my friends I don’t know if there was 40:30 a sign-up sheet or what they did but I mean it seemed like right when I really 40:35 needed it a friend would call and say hey I’ve already packed my bag you’re not going to tell me no I’m gonna come over I don’t even have to like talk to 40:42 you if you don’t want to I’m just gonna stay in your guest bedroom and you know I’m just gonna be somebody else in the 40:47 house for you and it wasn’t every night but it was enough to where I knew because I hadn’t asked them God was 40:54 stirring in them and it was tangible proof that I felt alone but I wasn’t 41:00 alone that God was there with me and and it was often through the presence of 41:06 people you also see in the book that you cut off social media and TV so that God’s voice would be the loudest in your 41:12 life that was really important I knew when my story went public that that some 41:21 people would have really strong opinions and that it would do me no good to read 41:27 their opinions and so I got completely off technology and I refused to let 41:37 myself go fishing for pain because if you go fishing for pain on the internet when you’re a little bit more of a 41:44 public figure you’ll find it you know but I also needed to take a break from just 41:54 outside noise it would have been really easy for me to fill the silence in my 41:59 home with unhealthy things things that would create in my heart feeling of 42:05 comparison or failure or tragedy you 42:11 know but I I just needed to hear from the Lord and I knew I had a much greater 42:18 chance at hearing from the Lord if I turned the noise of the world down and so again in the midst of all of this 42:24 then you get a routine mammogram all women are supposed to get but then you 42:31 get called back by the doctor with some disturbing news and again because I 42:37 always like to run ahead and write out the script that I want God to follow it’s like that’s okay God you know that 42:43 I got a bad mammogram because this is gonna be one fresh way that you can 42:48 reveal like yes I’ll get called back maybe once maybe twice but whatever this 42:54 is I just know you’re gonna heal it I just know you are and I was just like so certain of that but when they called me 43:02 back for a third time and said that I needed to have a biopsy I had to have 43:07 one of those marked moments of trading my will for God’s will and I had to say no matter what god I know that you are a 43:14 miracle worker and sometimes your miracles unfold in the way that I want them to and 43:20 sometimes they don’t but either way and no you will not forsake me you may go to great lengths 43:25 to remake me but you will not forsake me and after my biopsy the doctors office 43:34 called and said they wanted me to come in for the results and so I knew and I 43:40 didn’t think they would make us drive all the way uptown just to say yay everything’s fine so we 43:50 walked in they brought us down the hall put us in a room had pink chairs had 43:56 you know pink even pink decor in the room and then lots of books written by 44:03 breast cancer survivors and pamphlets about surgery options and so even before 44:08 the doctor came in I very much recognized the scene was set and through 44:14 your mind at that moment I think part of 44:20 me I was just in a state of disbelief I remember after I got the diagnosis 44:27 I remember thinking what do you do now like what am I supposed to do now go get 44:32 in my car and get coffee do I like like you don’t attach the word cancer to 44:39 someone’s life and then know what to do 44:45 yeah I just didn’t know what to do and I do remember as we were driving home I thought there are a lot of people who 44:51 are gonna be really frustrated with you god I mean there are a lot of people that are gonna be like how in the world 44:58 could you now after all this now let her 45:03 have breast cancer you know and art and I weren’t back together yet and I wasn’t even sure if 45:08 we would be even still at that point and so I remember after my mastectomy 45:13 surgery you know there were nights where I was here like by myself and I had 45:20 drains and you know that is a really difficult surgery and I just remember 45:25 thinking I had help until all the help went away and then that silence came 45:32 back but this time now I’m dealing with and added physical dynamic that made it very complicated and art was very good 45:39 going to doctor appointments with me and he was present through but he’s really yes your breast cancer he really was and 45:47 you know I think you know as complicated as things were and he would say this if 45:55 he were here today you know he never stopped loving me he never I mean he he 46:01 he he always wanted me it’s just he had gotten pulled into this chaotic world of 46:08 a actions that were so complicated and I didn’t understand them 46:14 he didn’t understand them and yet you know it was just he was making choices 46:21 that that pulled him away and yet there was still a part of his heart that was very much invested in so you know it was 46:28 a very complicated situation but and so while he was the one to the doctor 46:34 appointments and he definitely was there to support me you know at night that’s 46:39 when things like 2:30 in the morning you know that 2:30 a.m. turning of the clock 46:47 when you feel so alone that is just a hard time it’s too late to call anybody 46:54 it’s too early to call anybody it’s you know you just it’s that that’s the 46:59 moment where you just feel like it’s dark outside and it’s hard it’s like 47:05 that dark night of soul one of the statements that you made in the book that’s just I mean it’s so powerful I’m 47:12 trying to find it here disappointment can be a gift from God that feels nothing like a gift at all mm-hmm I 47:20 think sometimes people want to know Lisa 47:26 have you reached the place where you’re thankful for what you walk through and I 47:33 will say no not yet I still find myself resisting this story but I will say I’ve 47:41 recognized these disappointments that I’ve walked through they they weren’t 47:48 distractions they weren’t just devastations they were 47:54 really divine appointments leading me closer and closer to depending on God 48:02 and entrusting God you know it’s kind of ironic because part of what I know I’ll 48:10 have to continue to work on or my trust issues but while I may have bigger trust 48:17 issues with people my trust in God is stronger than ever and so I can’t say that I’m thankful for 48:26 what we’ve walked through I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy in the world but I can say I’m thankful that God 48:36 carried me through I’m thankful I survived I’m thankful that God has given 48:42 me and my family the courage to talk about this and I’m thankful that art 48:51 came home so there there is a lot that I’m thankful for and you know if art 48:58 were here today and maybe one day you’ll be able to interview him I think his interview would be even more 49:04 fascinating than mine but I think I know 49:10 what he he would say if you were to ask him that question art is it hard for you 49:16 for everyone in the world to know the deepest darkest mistake you’ve ever made 49:25 is it hard for you and what he would say is it’s actually the opposite of that 49:33 because when he walks in a room now it would be much harder if he had to figure 49:38 out who knows and who doesn’t know but now when he walks in a room he knows 49:43 everyone in that room knows his story and so he has told me before I just 49:49 walked in the room and I have already made the choice how I’m gonna walk in that room I’m not gonna walk in that 49:56 room as a victim of things that happened in my childhood that fed into me making 50:02 this mistake that all of those things are true but I’m not gonna walk in as a victim I’m not gonna walk in as the 50:09 villain of this story because God’s grace and forgiveness has has covered me 50:14 there is an enemy here but I’m not the enemy I own what I did that’s what he 50:20 would say and he has been great with that he really does and what he did but he doesn’t walk in as a villain and it 50:25 doesn’t walk in as a victim he walks in as a redeemed man with victory and ready 50:31 to help other people because he also knows the vast majority people in that room 50:37 they’re going through stuff too I love these fighting words that you 50:43 have in the book I’m gonna go through them and you didn’t extrapolate we will go through all of them but affection my 50:48 heart and what I love mm-hmm do you want extrapolate on that sure so I know the 50:54 most powerful words that we can speak are God’s words and and I really had to 51:02 walk through a process where God’s words became the words of the story that I must tell to the glory of God not my own 51:10 words and so Ellie Holcomb actually has this beautiful song Ellie and I’ve been 51:17 on tour together and she sings this song about hiding God’s Word in her heart and 51:22 how God’s Word became her fighting words to fight the lies of the enemy and I 51:28 loved that proactive stance of speaking 51:33 God’s words into the atmosphere of her life before the lies would even come and 51:39 certainly when the lies did come fighting them you know fighting the lives of the enemy with the truth but I 51:45 wanted to take people through practically the verses that I felt like 51:51 would really strengthen every part of us 51:58 so my affection so I would have verses that would be God’s words that would 52:04 help give me his words over the affections of my life and and going 52:09 through all the different aspects so that literally head-to-toe I could use 52:14 God’s words to be that layer of buffer and protection against so many lies that 52:21 would assault me and possibly derail me adoration attention attraction ambition 52:29 and action and I love this part page 143 the enemy wants to tempt deceive and 52:38 accuse and I look at your story so we’re gonna get to the happy ending so it does 52:45 get tied up in a little bow but you sometimes a lot of times no matter what 52:50 journey we’re going through we can’t be that we can’t be tempted we can be deceived mm-hmm and that’s what takes 52:58 away that hope and I think that’s why hope is something that I really really resonated with me in the book is that 53:04 even through this journey you took I was amazing what I’ve been sharing with people said Lisa continue to have hope 53:11 not in the circumstance but in God and again I’m thinking what would be my natural reaction my natural reaction 53:19 wouldn’t be hope so how do I change that and that’s a part of the deception that the enemy wants to put into our mind 53:25 that’s right I think when we go through something disappointing we can often get derailed 53:32 away from God in his best and even being able to see the hope because when we 53:38 experience a disappointment the enemy can’t read our mind but he can pay attention to what we’re disappointed in 53:43 for sure and so based on a disappointment we’re walking through the 53:49 enemy can handcraft temptations that will ease the ache of that disappointment and so he can put in 53:55 front of us a temptation and then the next phase that we’ll walk through if we pay attention to the temptation then 54:01 it’s deception and the deception would look like this mags you are so special that no one else 54:11 can handle this but you can handle this this temptations okay for you that would be a deception or mag G been through so 54:18 much you’ve been through so much heartbreak and hardship and everything that you deserve this said that would be 54:26 an example of deception on the other side of temptation but make no mistake the enemy never wants to coddle us 54:31 comfort us or make our lives better his whole point is accusation because he 54:37 knows that if we do hang on to the hope we will have a glorious testimony that 54:43 we will share about the goodness of God and we’re told in Revelation chapter 12 54:49 that the enemy is defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony so one of the main goals of 54:56 his accusations is to beat us down so that we will keep our mouths closed but 55:01 I found holding on to the hope of God is stepping away from that temptation that 55:07 deception and so much of the temptation was just numbing out from the pain but 55:15 the reality was if we numb the pain we don’t allow ourselves to feel the pain 55:21 then we can never heal the pain and it’s in watching God slowly heal our hearts 55:26 that we hang on to the hope and when we feel that kind of Hope even before our 55:32 circumstances are fixed or changed or rearranged that hope will come spilling out of our mouth and that hope is what 55:39 other people desperately need and I found as I was walking through this journey every single time I would make 55:46 one other person feel like they weren’t so alone it gave me a sense of 55:52 unexpected strength I couldn’t get any other way so on December 12 2018 you 56:00 made you post it on Instagram and you said an unusually sunny Tuesday in 56:06 December we dressed up a bit and whispered healing where it’s heartfelt promises and holy vows a million prayers 56:13 a miracle answer a marriage restored happened on these grounds tell us what 56:18 happened so I posted it on December 12th the day was Tuesday December 11th that 56:25 we renewed our vows and we stood before 70 friends and family and had a day that 56:33 I wasn’t sure I would ever see but one of my most favorite parts of the day was 56:40 the fact that art wrote his vows and I wrote my vows and hearing him say the 56:50 words that only God knew my heart needed to hear and I knew God had taken the pen 57:00 and put arts hands of the paper and had given art these words and that he was 57:07 humble enough to say very specific phrases that were beautiful and 57:15 I needed to hear it was just an amazing day it was it wasn’t a day highlighting 57:23 what we’ve been through it was a day declaring that the enemy messed with the 57:28 wrong people this time it was beautiful I’m always cautious and careful though 57:34 you know because I know there are other people who prayed just as much as me who 57:40 went to just as much counseling as me who asked God for renewal just like I 57:46 did and and they didn’t get that and so I’m always careful and cautious and 57:54 aware that it wasn’t because of something we did we did do everything we 58:01 need to do but sometimes God rescues us out of relationships and sometimes he 58:07 restores us and reconciles us in relationships and the difference there I 58:13 don’t know so always careful to tell people don’t personalize the outcome 58:20 just recognize that God sees something we don’t see both outcomes are very 58:26 painful you know there’s still triggers that happen even in a reconciled 58:32 relationship this isn’t easy peasy you know and just amazing at it in every way 58:38 I am so thankful for the way my story ended but it comes with its own 58:44 responsibility for continued healing and then people have been rescued out of 58:50 relationships that comes with its own need for for continued healing as well 58:56 but this is where when we don’t know the answer to the why questions why are some 59:01 relationships restored in some aren’t you know I don’t know why what I do know is that God is good god is good to me 59:10 God is good to you and God is good at being God no human should have to carry the weight of being their own God and we 59:18 may never know why our stories take the twists and turns that they do but we can 59:24 trust that our God is good at being God and He loves us there or whatever turn our story does take we 59:31 can just simply trust him thank you Lisa it’s pleasure just going to go over my 59:39 questions
Maggie John (100 Huntley Street) sat down with Lysa Terkeurst to discuss her book “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way.”
About Lysa Terkeurst & Proverbs 31 Ministries
Lysa TerKeurst is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. She is also a New York Times bestselling author of 16 books. What started as a simple newsletter to encourage moms has now grown to encourage 500,000 women through their daily online devotional. In addition, she co-hosts a 1-minute inspirational radio program aired on more than 1,200 stations around the world.
Lysa’s blog averages over 80,000 dedicated readers per month. In addition to that, she touches hearts through their monthly magazine, P31 Woman. Lysa Terkeurst’s amazing story led to appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The 700 Club, USA Today newspaper, Woman’s Day magazine, and Focus on the Family radio.
In a day and time when the world is trying to quiet biblical truth, Proverbs 31 Ministries is determined to help women engage with God’s truth like never before through the resources they offer each day.
- For the latest updates, news and information, visit online at: https://proverbs31.org
Proverbs 31 Ministries Channel | Lysa TerKeurst
We offer a wide variety of online resources to meet the needs of women — women who sometimes feel alone. Women who are trying to figure out how to align their lives with the truth of God’s Word. | As a ministry supporter, you join a community of thousands across the world who are passionate about God’s Word reaching the hearts of those who need it most…
I live at the end of a long driveway in a white, brick house that holds our family’s most important memories. At home, I can be found in my comfy chair with my Bible and journal, writing from my gray table, or gathering with family, playing games and laughing over shared meals. | People assume I’m an extrovert. And I do love people. But I recharge in solitude. Quiet moments of reflection. Praying. Dreaming. Grieving. Asking. Processing. Thinking. Breathing it all in. And then exhaling just as deeply…
Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today daily devotions are a popular Bible devotion. The P31 Writer Team includes bestselling authors Lysa TerKeurst, Liz Curtis Higgs, Suzie Eller, Lynn Cowell, and other members of the P31 speaker and writer teams. | Partnering with Proverbs 31 allows millions of women to receive timely biblical Truth and encouragement many times throughout each day…
Know the Truth. Live the Truth. It changes everything. | Proverbs 31 Ministries brings God’s peace, perspective, and purpose to today’s busy woman…
Proverbs 31 Ministries, Matthews, North Carolina. 4,011,019 likes | There is a weight to our every want. When God says no or not yet, it’s often because He can see what the weight of this want will do. Make no mistake, we will eventually realize what our choices outside of God’s will cost us…
In Uninvited, Lysa TerKuerst shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to releasing the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt… | Learn more…
About Cee Harmon
Cee Harmon is the founder of Elevate Christian Network and Elevate Your Potential Magazine. He enjoys helping people improve the quality of their lives - spirit, soul, and body.
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