your secret name read-along (week 6)

Friends, you’re doing great! We’re almost done! And I’m feeling extra-thankful for all of you tonight. Thanks for hanging out with me and for being real and inspiring me to move closer to Christ (and to reach out more to those in all kinds of need).

Just one more week of reading!! And then Mr. Kary himself will be sharing with on February 22, our CELEBRATION DAY!!

Speaking of celebrating… Angie Cooley, YOU are the winner of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave, and 2 tickets to Your Secret Name Conference on March 5! E-mail me!

EDIT (5:45pm): Our lovely winner is unable to attend the conference. Let me know if you’d like to go, and I’ll see what I can do!

Chapter 12

Wow, this chapter was super-personal, huh? For Kary–and now for you. I’m just going to type out three short quotes and ask you to pick one to elaborate on–if you can relate to it and feel comfortable sharing.

Reflecting back, I know why I insisted on relational space. Simply put, I feared the potential of pain.

In a strange way, I detested relationships because they removed my perceived control over my life.

Regarding my relationship with God, I resorted to exclusively serving him with my hands instead of also loving him with my heart.

This is a little off-topic, but I loved the parts about Kelly (Kary’s wife) in this chapter. I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier, but Kelly and I were friends in college. Not super close, but we hung out, and I like her a lot. When Kary talks about her being beautiful and unrestricted and uninhibited and brilliant, I have to agree 100%.

And I love how he said,”To this day I tell people it was cheaper to marry a counselor than to visit one.” I say the same thing about my live-in web designer. 🙂

If you’re married, feel free to share how God picked the perfect spouse to “complete” you.

Chapter 13

Left to our own devices, we usually choose the path of least resistance and prefer stagnation over transformation. Can you share a personal example of this one? Hoo boy.

Words couldn’t communicate my rage, and I chose a knife as a means of expression, punishing myself for feeling. You might have been shocked and horrified by this part of the chapter or you might have been shaking your head thinking, oh my word, he’s telling MY story. If cutting is part of your story and you want to share, I hope you feel safe doing that. Or maybe you had/have a different (unhealthy) way of expression/self-punishment/coping with pain.

Did you find it interesting that the angel asked Jacob his name (Gen. 32:27) and Jesus did the same thing with the demon-possessed man (Mark 5:9)? What do you make of that, and how do you think it relates to your own experience?

This week’s give-away is a BOOK OF YOUR CHOICE from Zondervan ($24.99 or less). Feel free to browse their site and dream of winning! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

16 thoughts on “your secret name read-along (week 6)

  1. Claudia Porpiglia

    I smile whenever I think about God’s design in picking Paul as my husband! From the beginning, his outward appearance (the way he dressed and wore his hair) were not what I was normally attracted to. It took us over 6 months of working together before we even had a real date. There was something about him that drew me in…later I would learn that it was his unconditional love and acceptance but at the time it was a mystery. He had a great sense of humor, I was serious. He saw things very simply and had no tolerance for drama. I analyzed things from every direction.

    I have before that I have experienced rejection and struggle and God knew that I would need some “balance” in my life…Paul is that. In the most serious situations he will be funny…irritating at times but in the long run a very good thing! I would like to share one example that may seem odd but brings a smile every time I think of it now.

    Tina was 4 yrs old and facing her second brain surgery for seizures. A team of doctors was in the OR determining what they could do and they came out to speak with us. They told us that they were removing her right frontal lobe and Paul says, “You mean you found something up there…she is a woman.” The look on the doctors’ faces was one of total horror and I was about ready to become a widow! At the time it may not have been funny to me but we have laughed over and over about it since. That was his way of coping in a very scary situation.

    Today, I have acquired a bit of his humor and even dish it out to him on occasion (to his amazement!)

  2. ellen

    The passages about the cutting caused me to think about the pastors I know and have been connected too. We assume pastors have it all together. That is unfair of us and short sided. I wonder what struggles many of them have been thru that we never know. 🙁

  3. alittlebitograce

    If you’re married, feel free to share how God picked the perfect spouse to “complete” you.

    Ooh, my favourite topic! My husband is logical where I’m emotional, highly skilled at math and computers(me not so much), and generally more even-keeled than I am. One of the many blessings of having Steve in my life is his very strong faith. When my faith has wavered during rough times, his stays constant. He believes for me when I cannot.

  4. Nina

    “Reflecting back, I know why I insisted on relational space. Simply put, I feared the potential of pain.”

    Oh, yes, I have been there! I was adopted as a child and dealt with a lot of the rejection/abandonment issues that adoptees often face. In my teens and 20s, I cut off numerous romantic relationships and friendships simply because I started to have “vulnerability” feelings for the other person. To be honest, while I’d love to say those issues ended once I learned who I am in Christ, it was actually meeting my birthmother (at age 29) that did it. (And then she went and rejected me after another 10 years … but, fortunately, by then I had a better understanding of who I really am in Christ, and it wasn’t as devastating as I would have expected.)

    About cutting, I also resorted to that (and several other crazy self-destructive behaviors), back when I was in high school. I could totally relate to Kary and the idea of punishing himself. More, it was like I living such a lie, and cutting was “real.” In a sick way, I craved the pain because it felt more authentic than anything else in my life. I believe Kary wrote about this as well–I read this chapter last month but haven’t had a chance to return to it since then.

    (Yeah, I’ve pretty much dropped out of the read-along–sorry. 🙁 I’m working too many hours (not by choice) and simply haven’t had the time to review these chapters and write about them on my blog. But I’m getting a lot out of reading others’ thoughts on the book, so I’m glad there are folks out there who have stuck with it!)

  5. Rachelle

    I have really enjoyed the journey through this book, especially concerning the story of Jacob. The part where Jacob wrestles the angel has been on my mind a lot over the past year or so as I have felt I’ve been wrestling with God and I really wanted to understand. I still don’t think I’m there, but getting closer.
    I think the angel asked jacob his name because many times it’s our own realization that hasn’t come into focus. It reminds me of a friend who obviously has a pastoral gift and everyone around him knew it for years. Then one day we were visiting and he said, “I think God is calling me into the ministry”. Our response? We burst out laughing(because we already knew that)! God wants us to realize who we are IN him. We are so quick to judge ourselves, because we know the motivation of our hearts and it isn’t always pretty. But God wants us to see ourselves as He sees us. It is also the lense in which we should use to see others.

    1. Rachelle

      ps when I said we burst out laughing, it wasn’t in a mean way; it was in utter joy at this friend’s awesome realization! We were thrilled that he finally realized God’s plan to use him in this way.

  6. douglas

    I find it very interesting how the angel asked Jacob his name and the same with Jesus with the demon-possessed.

    I wonder if the reason is to see if Jacob and the demon-possessed would be honest. even though Jesus is God and knows everything, he also chooses to know us by asking who we are. admitting this can be the first step to moving beyond who we are and becoming who Jesus sees in our potential.

    I like to say I am shy and socially awkward. But in reality it is self-doubt and lack of confidence. I hide behind the mask of quiet reservedness, so that I don’t get hurt in relationship. There I’ve admitted it.

    I want very much to live in the potential that Jesus sees in me, and that I see in glimpse. It’s coming and I have to work with Jesus and his bride to achieve my potential.

  7. Pingback: Jesus, Take the Wheel | The Justice Journey

  8. Shelly

    Stagnation over transformation is so much easier! At least in my experience… I chose it for a long time because transforming (and in front of an audience, no less) is uncomfortable. I’ve been in a country not my own for 12 years now and stagnating became my defense mechanism for never fitting in. I had a deep love for the Lord when I came, but after years of not feeling accepted on many levels, I resorted to serving God with my hands and left my heart out of things…. until I felt I was going to lose my mind. I didn’t have “dark” secret sins, but I did almost leave… many times. I guess my indulgence was spending hours on a plan. I planned an escape, a disguise, and a route I could take to hopefully never be discovered. But God always provided a way out (ICor.10:13) and I didn’t just come to my senses, I came to him. Though I’ve been on a path to finding who I am in the Lord for a while now, through the help of this book’s concept, I did find my secret name! And though still a misfit in the eyes of many, I feel purposeful, not purposeless!

    What I think is most beautiful about this story is that God is magnified! Man jumps at judgement when there’s a thing like cutting being discussed. Because people who haven’t cut don’t really get it, and those who do cut feel ashamed and misunderstood. I just find it so refreshing that Kary shares in such a blunt and honest manner and all you can think is “I want that to happen to me! I want a secret name!” I find that very unique. Because strangely enough, each of us can relate in some way.

  9. Dean

    First of all, I want to say how much I appreciate Kary telling his story of being a cutter. It would have been easy to keep that hidden. I’ve known cutters but have never heard one tell his or her story. By giving us non-cutters insight into your heart you’ve helped us make some sense of it all and given us some empathy for those living with this kind of pain. Thank you.

    As a pastor, I often struggle with the tension of fellowship. There is something in all of us that is dying to know and be known, to love and be loved. At the same time fear is saying “No way, are you kidding me?!” This is the kind of battle we face in our churches when we encourage the disconnected to get connected in life-changing relationships with other believers. This kind of battle is happening in most every seat on Sunday morning! And it’s happening in me!

    As for my wife, I often tell people I married way up! My wife is so many wonderful things that I’m not; I can’t even write a readable “much easier to marry” sentence!

  10. ellen

    Very deep questions — I believe Jesus and thus the angles have a personal experience with us and thus asking names. Jesus doesn’t just help willy nilly – He wants to know us and want us to know Him. Personal interaction is the reason Adam and Eve were created. Not because God wanted someone to help-

    There are soooo many forms of self mutialtion out there – some seem worse than others but anything that takes our focus off of God because we can’t cope is not good. Bet these are more often used and less talked about: food, spending, drugs, alcohol etc.

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