Do you have authors that you love so much you read and re-read their books?
More than 20 years ago I read Inside Out by Larry Crabb and it changed my life. I know - such an over-used phrase - but it really did. I was 39 years old and frustrated by my inability to be the person I had always thought I would be. I was disappointed that I wasn't the wife I envisioned I'd be, wasn't the mother I dreamed of, and wasn't the mature Christian woman I expected to be. I had trouble controlling anger, found myself inwardly and sometimes outwardly expressing judgmental critiques of everyone else in my life, couldn't access the joy the Bible speaks of, and frankly, just wasn't as nice a person as I pretended to be.
On top of that, the family secrets that I had held onto for so long began to gnaw at my sense of well-being and depression settled in. Someone recommended Inside Out and I chose to study it with the small group of college girls I was leading. Wow. The insights started coming fast and furious - and it was as if I walked from darkness into light. Sentences like these riveted me: "Feeling disappointment puts us in touch with a thirst that only hope can satisfy. Hope is the antidote for disappointment and the demandingness it creates. When we know that every longing of our heart will one day be eternally completely satisfied, we learn to live without demanding anything now. People who embrace their hurt are able to pursue God more passionately."
And so I began pursuing God more passionately, more intensely, more earnestly. Not for answers to my prayers, my questions, or even for tangible things, but to know Him... to know Him and to be known BY Him. Over time, being intimately connected to God through prayer, meditation, and worship allowed for faith, hope, and love to thrive, and He began to slowly make the changes in my character, my behavior and in my motivations. Patterns and habits began to shift as He changed me from the inside out. That steady and slow work continues more than 20 years later - I'll never reach the place of perfection or total maturity - not here, anyway, and neither will you - but change is possible.
In this season of gratitude, I'm thankful today for Dr. Larry Crabb's books and the impact they have made on me, for the ways God has used his wisdom and insights to change me from the inside out. What authors have impacted you? Who do you need to read again?