“If you feel lost in your own life, this book is an invitation to pull over and wait for directions.”
–Lisa-Jo Baker, bestselling author of Never Unfriended and Surprised by Motherhood
When I saw the chance to review Michelle’s book, I jumped because I knew it was one that would click with me. I have been on this journey of learning to let go of who I am not, to bravely become who God sees, even though I do not know or understand all of who this is yet. Many of you may also understand this type of windy wagon-ride.
Part of my journey includes climbing past broken slivers of a false identity I had created for myself over the years. One glued together, which elevated preferences and personalities over God’s willingness to teach me new, hard things. Maybe it was all those books about saying yes to “me,” I don’t know. I can’t even remember what I read that put me on a funky path.
Maybe it’s our culture, though I won’t blame anyone for my selfish ways. I take full responsibility.
True You isn’t a book about ME ME ME ME, so don’t get the wrong idea.
Wanted to get that out of the way. *Does a slight jig*
Why did I want to read this book and share it? Because my personal life journey has been about believing I am loved regardless. Despite. In the midst of.
Insert all the gardening terms right here, because growth is painful and prickly. #Death2ComfortZones
Part of accepting these truths, for me, looks like writing the journey down. And in writing this down, it transfers to my social media. I have been sharing bits and shards of what’s on my heart as God continues to prune me, and mold me. Ow doesn’t cut it, but if you’re into reading nonfakery, tasting salty tears, and laughing your way to the Depends isle at the store, join me here or click below.
False Selfies + True You Book Review
Michelle DeRusha reeled my heart right in with this one.
I am still drying my tears from it. Keep reading if you want to know more.
The tagline of this information infused, soulish tear-jerker written so vividly and poetically, reads: Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created.
The book hooks you right away with a story to paint the picture of our world’s mad dash for frantic. A famous violinist playing undercover in a rugged subway, not being paid any mind, merely a few children trying to get their adults to slow down and listen + a story of a pianist who sat in silence, angering the crowd. Yes, see? I could end my review here and you would be convinced of the need to buy this book, right? ^_^
Seriously, our world is bleeding out because we can’t stop tightening our capes long enough to lean into the quiet and actually listen to our bodies, others, the Spirit. And it’s hurting us, literally. Michelle has lots to say about this, regarding an issue that happened. Y’all know me, and you know one of the matters on my heart is learning to live slower, to focus where God is calling us, right here and now.
Save the poem I wrote, below, for later–if you need more encouragement in that department.
When I came upon the section, Getting to Know the Tree, that’s when the tears surfaced. Michelle says, “Before a gardener even picks up the pruning shears, her fist job is to observe the tree, becoming familiar with how it looks from all angles and how it behaves in every season. Garden designer Judy Maier also suggests that the gardener tries to piece together the tree’s history in order to understand what it might need in the future…”
This first section of the paragraph immediately shifted in my mind, the ‘her’ being replaced by a picture of my loving Father, artfully planning my pruning. He is looking to do what’s best for me (us). Down the road.
Michelle also walks us through her journey of trading denial for surrender. She was injured and did not seek help for eight months. She said, “In some ways it seemed easier and less painful to stay broken than it as to be healed.” She digs into the story of the man who was sick for 38 years. The guy who told Jesus people kept beating him into the healing pool…remember that guy? Michelle brings something to light in this story that I had NEVER thought about before.
Down the line a ways, she talks about “clowning out” to cover up, reaching into the depths of her Ennegream Three-Type. This entire book is marked with thorough research but even more so, exquisite writing.
Knock-me-down quote she inserts in the book.
Ruth Haley Barton…
“It can be frightening to allow ourselves to want something we’re not sure we can have, especially if it’s something as essential as the presence of God in our lives. In many of us, the fear of not getting what our heart longs for has led us to develop an unconscious pattern of distancing ourselves from our desire in order to avoid the pain of its lack of fulfillment.”
Michelle goes on to comment…
“I couldn’t bring myself to face that even after my return to faith, even after writing a whole book about that journey back to God, even after pursuing a career and calling as Christian writer, I still wrestled with doubt and unbelief.
I couldn’t name it, not only because acknowledging my struggle made me feel like a complete and utter fraud, but also because while my deepest desire was to know God, my deepest fear was that to know him, for me, was impossible.”
Why this book + prayer a prayer request ~
I highly encourage you to buy True You or check it out at your local library. Blown away by each page is how I would describe it. I have read a lot of books and it takes a special skill and passion to do what Michelle has done here. I am still unpacking the effects of this book, y’all. I am going to go back and reread it, and see where God takes it because I feel like I want to share this with some peeps at my church. Lift me up as there’s a couple doors opening for me to serve, and of course a door is closing too. Change is wonderful, beautiful, and emotional! But I trust his timing in everything.
Here’s me hugging you, asking you to buy this book because it’s the life-changing kind, not merely just a good read.
Many of us are bent on producing and achieving, striving and hustling for our self-worth. Beneath this relentless drive churns a deep yearning to uncover our true selves and our purpose in this world. Gardeners familiar with the technique called “pruning open” know that the secret to healthy plants and trees lies in subtracting rather than adding. Similarly, we begin to flourish as we let go of our false selves and allow God to prune us open.
With powerful stories and revealing research, Michelle DeRusha helps readers:
– learn how to declutter their hearts, minds, and souls through the practice of directed rest
– let go of busyness, striving, and false identities to embrace their truest selves as beloved children of God
– grow in their relationships, vocations, communities, and intimacy with God
True You offers those exhausted by the pervasive do-more, be-more messages of our society a path toward rest, renewal, and, ultimately, wholeness in Christ.
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“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
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SMALL TOWN SECRETS
Wild Hope ~ Book Two
Kindle pre-order | Releases March 7, 2019 | Paperback coming soon
Six years have passed since these childhood friends last saw one another, but when rubber meets the road, loyalty fights hard. #inspirationalromance