This might sound like a foreign concept to you, but please hear me when I tell you that it’s amazing how good it feels to intentionally live in alignment with your God-given strengths, skills, and passions. When you own and honor the fact that you’re already amazing, just as you were created, beautiful things begin to happen! Today’s Reader Review is about the book that convinced me of this truth and drove home the messages my heart needed to hear:
Obviously this book has had a massive impact on my life, but I have a confession to make… I didn’t read this book when it was first gifted to me. I mean, it was a valiant attempt, but I think I made it through one whole chapter before I put it back on the shelf.
“Umm, Rachel, this isn’t sounding like a great recommendation so far…”
Y’all, I just wasn’t ready yet! My heart was not ready to receive God’s truth (as presented by the gracious Holley Gerth) that I am already amazing, just as He created me. I WAS NOT READY.
It was a good 2-3 years later when I felt compelled to pick this book up again, and I still struggle to capture the experience in words that can do it justice. Holley’s compassionate words were a salve to my unhealed wounds, and the Holy Spirit worked through the prompts she provided to light a fire in my soul.
To give you an idea of my mental & emotional state at that time, I want to pass along a little gem that rocked my world in this season: Codependency can, and usually will, lead to loss of self. You might not even realize that you no longer have an identity of your own, but then you wake up one day and have moments like, “Do I even like this music? I’ve been saying I like it for the past decade… And what’s with this food? When did I decide I liked this??”
After completely losing myself in a toxic marriage of 11 years that ended in an ugly divorce, I was finally able to take a hot second to get clear about a few of these things. More importantly, I took the time to really identify (or re-identify) my God-given strengths, skills, and passions. Confidence is such a gift, and I was slowly reclaiming mine.
As I read Holley’s book, she told me I was unique and amazing, just as God created me. Her firm & loving words reminded me of the holy purpose and mission that used to fuel my decisions. I had somehow forgotten all about it, but she didn’t lay on the shame or guilt. Instead, she walked me through the process of discovering the gifts and purpose God had given me.
Did you cringe a bit or pull back a little at the idea of someone telling you how amazing you are? I can remember having a physical response – literally retracting back into my turtle shell – as I read some of those words the first time. If you were raised in a Christian culture, there’s a good chance that you’ve been too worried about looking or feeling selfish by focusing on yourself. At the same time, you probably feel lost or overwhelmed because you lack the clarity needed to move forward with purpose. So what’s a girl to do??
Holley addresses this issue in no uncertain terms before you’ve even reached the end of the second chapter. If you go through this process with only yourself and your personal gains in mind, then yes, that’s selfish. But if you’re jumping into this process with the intent to glorify God, love others more, and love yourself as He created you, then get after it! The things we work towards to bring glory to God and serve his people are the most selfless acts we will do.
In case I haven’t been clear, GO GET THIS BOOK. Holley invites you to look at your gifts and the skills you naturally have, and then you get to identify the people you are most drawn to. Once you’ve clarified these aspects of who God created you to be, you are better equipped to serve others. When you are confident in your specific skills and strengths, you understand more of why you do what you do and can be more intentional about it. This is not an attempt to do more, and you’re not striving to meet the expectations of others! My absolute favorite quote from the entire book is on page 103:
“Love all, please One.”
There is so much more in this book that addresses where God is leading you next, who is on this journey with you, and how to look at each season of life with the strengths and skills you have to offer. I have taught the content of this book to several classes of amazing women over the past few years, and I highly recommend getting Holley’s Life Growth Guide if you’re looking to really dive into this study.
If you have already gone through this study, I would love to hear from you! Did it change how you view or talk to yourself? If you haven’t read or heard of this book before, what are you most excited to get into after learning more about it today? Comment below or share with me directly. We’re in this together!
Some of the links I share are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you go through them to make a purchase. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because I think they are amazing and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases!