Title: Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely
Author: Lysa Terkuerst
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (2016)
# Pages: 270 (including 57 pages of bonus materials)
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Why I Chose It: Fear of rejection has long been a guiding influence in my thoughts and actions in life. Whether this stems from always being left out as a child from playing with my 2 older brothers (or worse, being forced into roles such as Master Splinter when they played Ninja Turtles) or from some later hurt, the effects remain the same. Already a fan of Lysa’s after reading The Best Yes, I couldn’t wait to hear her opinions and advice on overcoming struggles of rejection.
In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.
With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:
- Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
- Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
- Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
- Stop feeling left out and start believing that “set apart” does not mean “set aside.”
- End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.
I have never gone to a movie alone. I have never made dinner reservations for only myself. I haven’t traveled alone for an entire trip. For all of my desire to be independent, the idea of actually being alone is kind of terrifying. I have been making a conscious effort to connect with others—to form new friendships as I enter new phases in my life, to find new ways to connect with current friends whose lives are taking them into new places and phases. Initial contact is easy—sustaining a relationship is HARD. Letting people in is HARD. Sticking around when someone says or does something that isn’t easy to stomach is HARD.
This book reaches in to the deepest part of us, that thing that holds so many of us back from truly connecting with others and calls us to live loved, rather than live under the umbrella of fear. Too often do I find myself wondering where I went, who I have become as I try to navigate through my daily life. My speech has become heavily edited as I question how to phrase things to offend the fewest number of people, or as I try to manipulate how people might perceive me, my family, or my life. I find myself changing my words and action to fit the image I imagine people expect me to have only to feel like a fake. Within the first paragraph, Lysa spoke to this part of me: “…honesty finds me. It calls to me…the real me….Not the carefully edited edition of me I am this year.”
I have tried to explain this feeling to my husband, to my friends. Honestly, I always figured it was part of the motherhood territory—you know, you lose part of yourself when you grow another human being (or three) inside of you. As this disconnected feeling grew bigger in me, I found myself reaching out for answers. “I was slowly imploding under the weight of my choices” (168). Proverbs 31 ministries, of which Lysa serves as President, has grounded me, connecting me to women and ideas who understand the stress and emptiness that can come during a time that society pretends is only filled with joy.
I was excited to hear Lysa was writing this book. After reading The Best Yes, I anxiously anticipated the next chapter in Lysa’s story. Usually I am trepidous with marking in books—should I choose to pass a book on, I don’t want to affect the reading experience for the next owner. However, I began this book with my colored pencils in hand, ready to mark the phrases that spoke deepest to my soul. This book didn’t disappoint—every few pages I found myself marking something I wanted to remember. Terkeurst also picked out phrases that she knew would speak to readers and made them into decorative pages. I could see these being torn out and framed (or even taped to mirrors as gentle reminders of grace). She says this was a difficult writing experience for her, and I can completely see why. She doesn’t preach to readers, but speaks more from an open, honest mentoring relationship. “I’ve been there, I understand.” The invitation to grow is there, but her writing shows she understands healing is a process that different people must work through in different ways.
Uninvited combines the wisdom from a woman who has been through the darkness of rejection with biblical teachings on humility and grace to help women of all ages find comfort and confidence in their personal life journeys. I would recommend this book for any woman thinking they are alone in their struggles of feeling judged, rejection, or dismissed–young women, old women, married women, single women. For younger audiences, I would recommend reading it with an older mentor to discuss some of the issues mentioned, such as abortion. Even at 28, I find myself wondering which of my friends I could discuss these issues with without being judged for my opinions or beliefs (election years tend to bring out hostility toward major issues, for whatever reason).
If you are looking for an even deeper experience, Proverbs 31 ministries is hosting their next online bible study featuring this book, beginning September 6th. And be sure to check out these awesome coloring pages by Live For the Good that feature key quotes from the book.
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.