Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst

Maybe it’s my personality or maybe it’s just the season of life that I’m in now (probably a combination of both) but titles like Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited really jump out at me these days.

uninvited reviewI thought this book might be a good companion to Better Together by Jill Savage and Anne McClane. That book was a great inspiration for pursuing the kind of godly relationships that Christian women truly need.

I wasn’t wrong that the books would complement each other, but Uninvited is actually about so much more than friendships or relationships.

In Uninvited TerKeurst really digs into the reality that everyone is operating from some brokenness, whether that’s less than ideal family backgrounds, friendships that have turned sour, dating relationships that came to messy ends, or whatever.

The subtitle “Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely,” well, I hope it’s not too personal to say that I’ve felt all three of those things, sometimes all on the same day.  One thing I loved about this book: Lysa TerKeurst knows these feelings. And she also knows that there is not another human being on the planet that can solve all these feelings in us, no matter how much they may want to. It isn’t right to expect another person to “fix” this for us.

TerKeurst writes:

We must respect ourselves enough to break the pattern of placing unrealistic expectations on others.

abundant livingUninvited is Soaked in Scripture

One of my main criticisms of Christian Living books for women these days is how light they are on actual scripture. The writers cherry pick their favorite verses or passages and twist them to apply any which way. I have seen TerKeurst fall prey to this tendency in the past. (Based on a misuse of Exodus 14. This is my personal pet peeve passage for scripture mis-application.)

Uninvited is different. She uses long passages of scripture as well as applicable verses to demonstrate truth.

I can tell how much a book is resonating with me based on how many notes I take. My copy of Uninvited is stuffed with pieces of paper where I just had to take note of her words.

Truth from Uninvited I really appreciated:

Spiritual maturity doesn’t shield me from rejection.

I mean, can I get an “amen” here? I have struggled with this. When I’m feeling lonely or left out (or abandoned or…) it’s so easy to lecture myself that I should be rising above these emotions. That I should be spiritually mature.

Which is true. But spiritual maturity does not mean you never have to deal with feelings or reactions to others’ actions.

Here’s a line from page 43 that got a big agreement from me:

Proximity and activity don’t always equal connectivity.

It’s obvious, right? It’s why you can be in a room crowded with people and still feel lonely.

On page 122-3 she really started preaching at me. She quoted Stephen Covey on “Scarcity Thinking” versus what she called “Abundance Mentality”

The abundance mentality…flow out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security. It is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody.

Direct, palpable hit.

living lovedBecause I struggle with this. I struggle with being generous, with thinking abundantly. I am far too often jealous of others’ successes. Social media allows me to be in contact with friends from my childhood and teen years, but it also displays closer relationships than I have or get togethers that I wasn’t invited to. It can be hard as a wannabe writer not to feel like every other writer in the world has already said anything I could say, and probably better than I can.

That’s scarcity thinking. And it’s antithetical to the life I want to live.

Just a few pages later Lysa points out (I hope it’s OK that I’m calling her Lysa):

The enemy loves to take our rejection and twist it into a raw, irrational fear that God really doesn’t have a good plan for us.

And there it is. That’s where Uninvited points out that how we deal with rejection can easily turn into the great sin: idolatry. We put relationships, or feelings, or emotions, in a place where they ought not to be and it causes us to doubt God’s plan, God’s goodness, to us.

Uninvited is an Invitation to Live Loved

Most of us would like to avoid pain. After all, pain isn’t fun. No one ever says pain is easy.

Pain isn’t the enemy.  TerKeurst writes on page 173:

Pain isn’t the enemy. Pain is the indication that brokenness exists…Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination knowing there’s healing on the other side.

With God’s help, I can do brave tenacity and fierce determination. Those sound like good synonyms for “stubborn”.

If you are feeling the pain of rejection; if you’ve felt that maybe, just maybe, God forgot to make a plan for your life; if you are surrounded by people and activity but still feeling an inexplicable loneliness, or if your life is actually pretty good but you’d like to live more abundantly and in closer community with others, then I recommend Uninvited to you.

uninvited pin

I received a copy of Uninvited from BookLook Bloggers for the purpose of this review. Opinions are my own.

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  1. I need to read this. Moving and starting over causes me to have these same feelings you’ve expressed. I’ve gotten to the point where I completely immerse myself in my family- hiding, really- because I don’t want to get close to people, only to leave them a few years later.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts on this book. I’ll be on the lookout for it.