Steven Curtis Chapman’s Biography
My April book recommendation is Steven Curtis Chapman’s new book. What a love about this book is the vulnerability that Steven shows as he shares his entire life in detail. The book draws you in and your heart will be forever touched by his family’s story.
His authenticity in this book is what makes is so powerful. You see, he could just share with us his high moments in his life with his music career but he also shares the low moments and difficult times too: the struggles in his marriage, the hard times of parenting when touring and traveling, the road to their adoption of 3 girls, and lastly, the grief of losing their youngest daughter in a tragic accident. Honestly, this is the part that will grab your heart and I recommend a box of Kleenex as the tears will come streaming down your face as you hear their heartbreaking story. It is truly so sad. But at the same time, as they share everything, you will also be in awe of how God cares about the details and the timing of events leading up to her death and the details after. You will see how God met them in their grief and because of Steven and his family’s strong faith in God, you will see how God is using his story and pain to help others- the beauty in the ashes.
There is something about being vulnerable that truly grabs at our hearts. So many people are trying to look like they have it all together. Think of social media like Facebook and Instagram, people post their pictures and everyone looks like they have these perfect lives. No one shares their struggles, their pain, their hard times- vulnerability is rare but very powerful. It allows other people to feel comfortable to share their struggles and pain instead of just pretending everything is perfect.
About 2 1/2 years ago I started this blog, heartbreaktostrength.wordpress.com, my very first post was called Being Vulnerable and I remember how hard it was to share about my divorce. I knew God was asking me to do it but I was so scared to put it all out there. Honestly, after I sent the emails, I remember taking a shower and thinking, Oh Sh*t, what did I just do. (Yes, I clearly remember swearing). I got out of the shower and went back to my computer to see if anyone responded and I remember sitting there overwhelmed with what I read. Many people had replied and what they shared with me was beautiful- they were vulnerable with me and shared their struggles and their difficulties. They would say something like thank you for sharing this and then they would tell me something very personal to them that I know I would have never learned if I had not been vulnerable first. It was a powerful day that I will never forget. God made it so clear to me that day that you connect deeper with someone through your struggles and hard times than you can in your good times.
What do you need to share? I am not asking you to email it out to everyone you know but what can you share with a close friend? I want to encourage all of you to take down the masks of perfection and share the honest, authentic you! God can use you in ways you never knew possible. You see we all have a story and just like Steven was faithful to share his story in this book, God wants us to share our stories with others.
Here is my part 2 story of being vulnerable:
I am a single mom to two amazing boys but if I am complete honest, many times, being a single parent is super hard. I second guess my parenting all the time, and I feel frustrated that all the responsibility falls on me. I have an amazing support group that I can turn to for advice and help but the truth is that I am the only parent in my home and that can feel overwhelming at times. I try to be an intentional parent and that takes time. Trying to balance everyone’s schedule and mine is challenging. Some days, I feel like I am running around crazy and most days, I collapse into bed exhausted. I think many of you can relate.
Interestingly, this struggle of being a single mom has made me rely more and more on my faith and dependence on God! When we are weak, He is strong and I truly believe this. You see, the divorce for our family was heartbreaking and difficult and I would not wish it on anyone. However, it stretched me and grew me in ways I had never been stretched like that before. My faith is stronger now than the 2 1/2 years ago that I wrote to you all the first time. I call this “the bless in the mess”! In Steven’s book, it is called the beauty in the ashes.
Ladies, don’t be afraid to share your entire story- the good and the bad. You will connect with others on a deeper level and you never know whose life you will touch and help by being vulnerable!
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