Welcome to Week 3! A lot has happened in the last 7 days. Last Tuesday my friend Joanne (38) had a stroke. You can check out her blog for updates from her husband Toben and practical ways you can help.
Your prayers have blessed me so much, and I know her family can feel them. THANK YOU. Please keep praying for Toben, Joanne, Audrey, Emma, and Joanne’s parents and sister.
So, wow. Chapters 5, 6, and 7. There was some RAW stuff in these pages, huh. I applaud Kary for having the courage to share some of the darkest times in his life.
I think because I come from such a “functional” family and have had so few real “problems” in my life that I can sometimes pretend that life isn’t messy, that there aren’t people suffering very deeply from all kinds of physical and emotional wounds. But God has been opening my eyes lately to suffering not only in places like Cambodia but in the hearts and lives of people I know and love right here in Columbus, OH. And in my community of online friends (YOU).
That’s why I wanted us to read this book together. While it’s not typically the kind of book I’d choose, I had a sense that it might resonate in a big way with some of you. And it has.
On page 61, Kary talked about how it can be hard to be authentic in a place like a church or Christian college that “stereotypically punish prodigals and reward plastic performances.” He says that in places like these reside, “few pilgrims bold enough to voice their questions and express their struggles.” Any thoughts or personal experiences to share? Have you (or someone you know) ever felt like you wouldn’t be accepted by a certain group of people if they knew the REAL you?
“Unsuccessful in securing his own Secret Name, Satan… has infiltrated earth, wooing us away from finding our Secret Name in the only legitimate place–within a relationship with the heavenly Father.” (74)
Kary suggests that Satan tempts us to carve our own path and manufacture a Secret Name by our own strength. Have you done this? Are you doing it even now?
This might be a good place to address what some of you have been concerned about–the correlation between the “Secret Name” talked about in this book and the “white stone with a new name written on it that no one knows except the one who receives it” (Revelation 2:17). Is it a valid comparison?
I personally think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that we can know what’s going to be written on that stone before it’s given to us, but I’d like to know what YOU think. At any rate, I think the idea of forsaking your given names and moving into all GOD has for you is a powerful and amazing thing, regardless of whether we call it something catchy like “Your Secret Name” or not.
I’ll bet all of us can relate to a time when God stripped us of everything we were clinging to for security and forced us to lean fully on him. Anyone brave enough to share about this kind of experience in your own life?
You know the drill. Answer the questions in bold if you’d like (or just share any thoughts you had as you read). Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win a copy of Mark Buchanan’s new book, Spiritual Rhythm (one of my favorite authors–can’t wait to read this one myself!). Anyone who links to his/her own blog post will be entered 5 times. Congratulations to Nina R. and Kelly S., our winners for weeks 1 and 2!
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!