The must read book of the year released this week. And that is not an exaggeration. You need to make it a priority to pick up a copy of Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted by Shannan Martin and soak it up. It was one of those books that leaves you forever impacted. If you’ve read Crazy Love by Francis Chan or Radical by David Platt, this is along those lines in terms of content and potential influence. But Falling Free is more of a personal story of living out the Biblical commands given to disciples of Jesus. It is a modern memoir of the cost of discipleship. It is intriguing, empowering, convicting, challenging. It is filled with truth and grace and courage and transparency and humor. And it is well worth every dollar and every minute you spend on it because I guarantee it will point you to the real Jesus and help you evaluate if your life matches what His Kingdom values.
I’m a processor. Whenever I get asked a question, whether of little importance or great, I need time to gather my thoughts. If I have to give an immediate answer I usually reply with some jumbled mess and then later on think of all the things I should have said, meant to say, and actually think.
I was reminded of this a few days ago. Combine my need-time-to-process-personality with past-due-date-pregnancy-hormones and you get a bit of a messy, awkward situation.
I've dealt with a lot of change throughout my life. And although I have learned to be pretty flexible and adaptable, I've always struggled with finality. I have to take time to process things. And I process them deeply.
Whether it's saying goodbye to a person or a place or a job or a season of life, I can't simply walk away with ease. Finality always brings with it a heaviness on my heart. Knowing something will be forever changed or different weighs strongly on me.
I have caught myself saying, "I'm just a mom" often when people ask what I do. It's ingrained in me to include the word just, as if I need to downplay the role I've been given, apologize for seeming like I don't have much to offer, or defend myself in some way. It's not intentional. It's kind of become my go-to phrase when I get asked the question about what I do. I'm just a mom. It just flows right out. But going through Gloria Furman's Missional Motherhood: The Bible Sudy: The Everday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God has been exactly what my soul needed to realize there is no just being a mom. There is no just in any aspect of our callings, of our parts in the greater redemption story, of our roles in going and making disciples of all nations. And being that we are a week away from the due date of daughter #2, I'm so very glad to have gone through this study.
I recently finished reading Lecrae's book, Unashamed. You guys. All I can say is it was an honor to read it and I will never be able to shake his story. And I don't want to. When you are invited into someone's story of pain and redemption, there comes with it a responsibility to listen intently, learn from experiences different than your own, and grow in compassion and respect for others. And then there is a choice to walk away and live a little bit differently than you did before. Unashamed can truly be life changing.
I've been following Lecrae in his musical journey for several years now, especially from a summer of working at Kids Across America. I have always been intrigued by his writing ability and way of communicating hard things and gospel truth. He has a way of using music to make you think, to expand your viewpoint, and to point you to Jesus and eternal things. He is real and raw, encouraging and challenging. Over the years his music has gotten better and better and his influence has continued to grow.
When I heard Lecrae had a book coming out, I knew I wanted to read it. I've heard bits and pieces of his story and know his music, but I still didn't know much about his life. I knew he would use his book to display the gospel and I was excited to dive in.
I woke up to more devastating news. And I'm heartbroken.
I'm heartbroken over the precious lives lost and for their grieving families.
I'm heartbroken over the ways horrible, violent actions of some will affect the good, needed progress being made by the majority.
I'm heartbroken over the comments I've already seen on social media that are unknowingly drenched in white privilege.
I'm simply heartbroken. And I don't know what to do. When I dwell on the violence, on the negativity, on the lack of even trying to understand on any side of any issue, I want to shut down. It can all easily and quickly paralyze me.
But when I shut off the news and social media, I can dwell on the gospel and on the truths of who God is and what He has promised, who He says I am and what He has called and equipped me to do.
So when I start to become paralyzed by fear and overwhelmed by grief and confusion, I have to start listing out some "but Gods."
I can't sleep. I can't think straight. I'm angry. I'm confused. I'm heartbroken. I'm sick to my stomach. I'm in tears. I'm so sad.
How are more precious lives traded in for hashtags?
How can this keep happening?
And how can people, white people, continue to justify? Continue to argue? Continue to ignorantly blame? Continue to respond completely insensitively?
I can't bring myself to watch the videos. They will haunt me. I can't watch violence in movies, and I definitely can't handle watching actual lives be taken. But the thing is, I don't need to in order to know these men, these image bearers of God, were murdered. I have read enough to know they were brutally executed. And I remain confused as to how people explain away these horrific accounts, even after given the visual. I'm so confused as to how some of the people who swear to protect, get away with taking life in such a cruel and unjust way.
Sarah loves Jesus and her family and is passionate about addressing the urgent spiritual and physical needs around the world. She is the wife of Spencer and mama of Katherine and Claire, and they live in Nashville, TN. She runs a photography business with her husband and writes in order to offer encouragement and invite others to choose grace, joy, and gratitude in the adventure and the mundane. She loves traveling and reading; she will choose unsweet tea over sweet and bootcut jeans over skinny; and she is all sorts of awkward with small talk but thrives with deep conversations.