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It's Not Supposed to be
This Way - Interview with

Lysa TerKeurst


Lysa TerKeurst's current book,
"It's Not Supposed to Be This Way," entered the ECPA Christian Best Seller's Top 50 list in December at #2
and remains there in January

Tell us about the disappointment
 that prompted you to write this book.

   I had been very happily married for over 20 years when I experienced an unexpected upheaval in what I always thought was my safest, most secure relationship. There were addictions and an affair that became part of the devastation that entered my marriage. I've had my heart broken a lot, but nothing like this. This has been the hardest message to write because it was the hardest to live.

Your "upside down" hit at a time of great personal and professional success. What immediate steps did you take when you realized your life
was radically changing?

  The most important thing I did was to open up to a couple of friends and tell them what was going on. When my faith got shaky, I knew I could stand on the faith of these friends. They would speak truth to me and remind me of who I was, even though my identity felt like it had been completely upended. Yet they could say, "Lysa, this is a tragic part of your life, but it doesn't define your life." That was important.

  Also, I knew these friends would pray more words over me than they spoke to me or would speak about me. They were completely safe because I knew they were going to the Lord on my behalf. I kept that circle tight because I was very committed to not inviting the weight of public opinion into my family's very private pain. I didn't let the public know what was going on for 18 months.

You had a very clear vision of where you were
in God's process during this time.
You used the phrase "between two gardens."
Why that metaphor?

  As I was walking through this journey, I felt like I kept losing my spiritual orientation. I was wrestling with that question so many people wrestle with, "How could a good God let so much hurt happen? We do serve a good God. But we serve a good God who allows hurt sometimes.

  The Bible started in the perfection of the Garden of Eden. Everything was perfect. Relationships were perfect. Humans walked in the perfect presence of God. That's where the Bible starts. And the Bible ends in the restoration of the perfection of Eden. When I say "between two gardens," I mean that we live in a time between the first Garden of Eden and the last Garden of Eden when perfection is restored. God's great message to us is that nothing on this side of eternity will ever satisfy our desire for perfection.

  We know that perfection exists because it is etched into the DNA of our soul. But we can't achieve it between the two gardens. We don't live there. It is a way of leading us home. On this side of eternity, God is the only match for our desire for perfection. Nothing else can ever satisfy us. That great desire for perfect connection can only come in our relationship with God.

  Once we make peace with this reality, then we can make peace with our spiritual orientation. We are doing life between two gardens. In a practical sense sometimes, I'll be going through my day and something will hurt and I can just step back and say, :Of course this is happening. It's because I'm doing life between two gardens. It won't always be this way, but this is the way it is now. This isn't evidence that God is far away. In fact, it is a reminder that God is close and that I can be with him right now.

You say, "disappointment is a way of God leading us to his heart." How does that happen?

   The space between our experiences and our expectations is where disappointment grows. The enemy of our soul would love to rotate those disappointments and make us feel like God is withholding something from us. In reality, God allows us to experience disappointment so that we will always be reminded that lesser love will never satisfy us.

  In Genesis 2, when God was giving Adam the rules of the garden, the first three words he said were, "You are free..." However, when the enemy speaks to Eve, he twists God's first three words and says, "You must not..."
  The enemy wants us to believe we serve a God of restriction when we really serve a God of freedom. Disappointment comes when we believe that lie because we believe God is withholding something from us.

   I have trained my mind to say, "God is not withholding, but He's protecting me." Somehow, this disappointment is protection.

Several of the strategies you used
in your healing process run counter to conventional wisdom. Talk about that.

  I don't like bumper sticker answers that people sometimes try to apply to deep pain. Those answers can cause more damage than good. As Christians, we like to be able to say things like, "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." But the problem was that I woke up every day knowing this was more than I could handle. The advice hurt more than it helped.

  God will sometimes allow more than we can handle so we can learn to rely on His strength. I had many suggestions to God about how He could fix this, how He could change this, but God did it in a way that was outside of my ability to conceive. I would sit in His presence and let Him reveal Himself to me. I said in my book, "God doesn't want to be explained away, He wants to be invited in."

  Whether your pain is emotional, spiritual, relational or physical, I don't want to diminish it, but I do want to put it in this perspective. God loves you so much. He will answer your prayers at the right time and in the right way.

You say the enemy taunts us with the words,
"you are not good enough."
A lot of leaders wrestle with imposter syndrome - that we are not good enough to be where we are.
How do we avoid this trap?

   I think every leader hears that at some point. I've learned to flip that question on the enemy and I say, "You are right. I am not good enough." Every time the enemy sends it out to me, I say, "Thank you for reminding me that I need God."

You say it's our choice whether we stay stuck in our hurt or get renewed in our hearts.
How do we choose renewal over hurt?

  The biggest step is realizing renewal is a choice and there can be purpose to your pain. When we experience pain and it feels pointless, that's where discouragement sets in. I am convinced there is a point to my pain. It is not just a deviation for a season. It will ultimately give me a great revelation from God. Recognizing that is empowerment. I am not going to be stuck here forever. I'm going to move forward and I'm going to help others move forward. And if that is the only other point to my pain, so be it. I'm going to make sure others move forward, too.

 ~ from globalleadership.org ~

Lysa TerKeurst Announces She is 'Cancer Free' Following Double Mastectomy: 'Praise God!'

  New York Times bestselling Christian author and speaker Lysa TerKeurst announced on November 17, 2017 that she is cancer free less than two weeks after undergoing a double mastectomy.

  "Today my surgeon stood up in my follow up appointment and declared me CANCER FREE! They got it all out and nothing had spread," the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries announced in a Facebook post.

  "I'm so thankful and relieved and deeply moved by the outpouring of prayers that have carried me through the surgery and first week of healing."

  TerKeurst said she still has a "couple of surgeries to go" and asked for continued prayers.

  "There were a few complications but hearing 'no chemo or radiation needed' makes my complications pale in comparison," she said. "And please keep praying for others still battling through tough stuff by lifting up some of the comments in my last post."

  She concluded: "I love you all so much. Now, I'm going to have a 10 second dance party with my daughter, Ashley, who just got in town! And then I'll get back in bed-I promise mom!"

The Christian blogger also shared a photo bearing the simple phrase "Praise God!"

  TerKeurst first announced she had been diagnosed with breast cancer in an October 2017 Facebook post.

  "I've sort of dreaded this moment of telling you guys," she said. "I really am fine, but I think because I've been through so much in the past couple of years...I've just kind of been dreading telling you because I think people will think, 'What in the world"

  TerKeurst said she recently went in for a routine mammogram but the results came back unclear. She later went in for a second mammogram and then a biopsy, and doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer after finding the tumor.

  The previous week, she shared a photo of herself on Facebook revealing she had undergone a double mastectomy.

  "Your prayers and kindness have meant so much to me," she wrote. "The double mastectomy surgery went really well and I'm feeling good. Thank you Dr. Menendez, Dr. Harper, and all of the amazing nurses and staff at Presbyterian Main."

  "Love you all!," she concluded. "And if you or a loved one is fighting cancer, let us know in the comments below. My team and I would love to pray for you."

  2017 was a difficult year for TerKeurst; in June, she announced she would be divorcing her husband of 25 years.

  "My husband, life partner and father of my children, Art TerKeurst, has been repeatedly unfaithful to me with a woman he met online, bringing an end to our marriage of almost 25 years," TerKeurst wrote in a blog post titled 'Rejection, Heartache, and a Faithful God.'

  After learning of her husband's infidelity last year, "I was still committed to doing everything I could think of to make our story one of restoration, even in the face of the worst kind of betrayal imaginable," says TerKeurst. "I prayed continually. I sought counsel from family and other wise friends. And Art and I even made repeated trips across the country together for intensive counseling especially designed for marriages in crisis. But sadly, though I have repeatedly forgiven and accepted him back, he has continued to abuse substances, be unfaithful, and refused to be truthful to me and our family."

  "What can you do for us? I'd simply ask you to pray. Pray for my precious children and grandchildren. Pray for me. Pray for our team at Proverbs 31. And yes, please, please pray for Art."

  In a later blog post, she said she and her husband are "praying for a miracle and walking the road to healing."

  Not one prayer you've whispered on behalf of my family has been wasted. God is moving and we are so thankful," she said. "We are clinging to the promises of God on this journey full of twists and turns, ups and downs. There is often a process God will take people through to prepare us for the Promise.

  We are a work in process. And this process is often messy and unpredictable. I don't know exactly what tomorrow will look like but I do know who I'll be looking to... the Lord... whose love is unfailing and whose hand is the safest place to entrust my hope."

 ~ from gospelherald.com ~

Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries,
a ministry that works to reach women in the middle of their busy days by offering free devotions, a daily radio message and a variety of other spiritual training resources.
In her new book, It's Not Supposed To Be This Way,
Lysa shares how leaders can walk through pain and disappointment in a way that honors God.

 

Lysa TerKeurst
"Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out
and Lonely"


Lysa TerKeurst
"It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change (Little Seed & Little Fox) Hardcover"

Lysa TerKeurst
"Uninvited, Study Guide"

Lysa TerKeurst
"Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst
of Raw Emotions"



 

 

Lysa TerKeurst
"The Best Yes:
Making Wise Decisions
In The Midst of
Endless Demands"


Lysa TerKeurst
"Unglued Partcipant's Guide: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions"

Lysa TerKeurst
"The Best Yes:
Study Guide"


Lysa TerKeurst
"Made To Crave Devotional: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire
with God, Not Food"

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Lysa TerKeurst
"It's Not Supposed
to Be This Way"



What happens when life looks very different from the reality we long for? In It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa TerKeurst offers a Biblical perspective and hard-won advice to encourage readers facing their own challenges.
Find unexpected strength while wrestling between faith and feelings and learn how to stand through uncertainty and trust in God's goodness.

Lysa TerKeurst
"It's Not Supposed
to Be This Way
Study Guide"
(Last Month: New)



What do you do when your reality is so different from the vision you had for yourself. In the 6-session video Bible study with Lysa TerKeurst, she offers fresh biblical insight to get you through painful situations, and life-giving perspectives for living in between Eden and eternity. In the It's Not Supposed to Be This Way Study Guide, you will dig a little deeper and apply the teaching to your individual circumstances.

Lysa TerKeurst
"Embraced:
100 Devotions to Know God
Is Holding You Close"



Embraced is the beautiful new devotional from Lysa TerKeurst, the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times bestselling author of Uninvited, The Best Yes, Unglued, and Made to Crave. Embraced features 100 devotions that will resonate with women in all stages of life by giving them a godly perspective on the issues they face each day.

Lysa TerKeurst
"What Happens When Women Say Yes To God: Live More Fully, Love More Deeply, Experience God's
Best for You"


Total obedience to Christ can transform an ordinary walk into a remarkable journey. Sharing personal experiences and biblical insights, TerKeurst shows you how to discern God's voice, follow his direction, and discover a life of joy and purpose as you partner with him. Includes a Bible study. Previously titled Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed. 192 pages, softcover from Harvest.

Lysa TerKeurst
"Finding I Am - Bible Study Book: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart (Paperback"


What is the deep cry of your heart? The ache in your soul that keeps you up at night? The prayer you keep repeating? Jesus not only cares about this deep, spiritual wrestling, but He also wants to step in and see you through it.
Join Lysa TerKeurst on the streets of Israel to explore the seven I AM statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. Through this interactive, in-depth study we will be trading feelings of emptiness and depletion for the fullness of knowing who Jesus is like never before.

Lysa TerKeurst
"Unglued: (Devotional)"

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