1.13.2015

A Sneak Peek of My Next Book

Starting to write a new book can be an intimidating process. After all, I’m not an experienced author of this new book. It’s my first dance with these words… these thoughts… these lessons.

With each new message, I’m a first-time author all over again.

And in this next book, I’m tackling rejection and loneliness. Not in a sad, let’s-get-down-in-the-dumps-together way.

Nope. More like a girlfriend chat where we all find ourselves saying, “Yep… I’ve felt that. I’ve thought that. Now, what do we do about it?”

So, I thought I would give my blog friends a sneak peek… a little slice of one of my chapters.

After you read this, {insert me blushing and sweating and eating a stale Christmas cookie} would you leave me a comment below with what you’d like to see addressed in a book about rejection and loneliness?

Your input is a pure treasure to me.
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There’s a lady at my gym who hates me. No, I’m serious. She sees me coming and I can feel little poofs of disdain chugging out of her ears as her feet are churning 87 miles per hour on the elliptical machine. I honestly don’t know how she goes so fast. I once tried to keep up with her.

It was awful.

And I think this was the day her infuriation with me started.

Let me back up and confess my sins that started this whole thing.

The elliptical machines are set up very close together and are completely awkward with their angular moving parts. Think if a New York high rise and an elephant had a baby. That’s an elliptical machine.

Now, conjure up a picture in your mind of the most athletic person you know. The one who doesn’t have a drop of fat on their entire body, not even at their belly button, which should be illegal in my cellulite-ridden opinion. Okay, do you have your person?

That’s her. She’s honestly stunningly beautiful.

Then picture a marshmallow dressed in a t-shirt and spandex pants. Her ponytail is rather tight but not much else is. That’s me. Hello world.

So, I have to sort of get in her space just a tad to mount my machine and I think I threw off her rhythm. That was sin number one.

And then I decided to try to stay in sync with her because I wanted to teach all the folks at the gym that day that,though my legs and derrière might not look like it, I’m in shape. My heart can pump with the best of them. And by golly I was tired of being out-ellipticalled by her. That was sin number two.

And then there may have been a little issue with me taking a phone call while working out. In my defense this is not at all my common practice. But a friend called who really needed me.

I realize now I should have stepped off my machine and taken the call elsewhere. But I was sort of in a competition at this point and needed to win this thing on behalf of every other marshmallow-feeling woman.

I tried to chat quietly but when you feel like a lung might very well pop out of your mouth at any minute, it’s difficult to whisper-talk. That was sin number three.

Three strikes and she deemed me out. Out of my mind. Out of line. Out of control.

She abandoned her elliptical and huffed over to the treadmill. And she’s hated me ever since.

But then the other day, something occurred. Something odd that stunned me.

She smiled at me.

It wasn’t an evil, I’m-about-to whip-your-tail-on-the-gym-floor kind of smile. It was more like a “oh hey, I’ve seen you here before, right?” kind of smile.

I thought about her expression the entire time on the elliptical that morning. I mean I analyzed it up one side and down the other. Was it just a stunned reaction kind of thing where she felt forced to smile because she couldn’t quite figure out what else to do?

Or was it “I think we could be friends?”

Or was it a truce of some sorts?

I’ve decided it wasn’t any of those. I truly believe it was a simple smile acknowledging that she’s seen me but has none of this crazy hate toward me at all.

It’s all been a perception thing on my part.

So let me rewrite the story as I now believe it actually is.

There’s a lady at the gym who really enjoys her workouts. One day the gal next to her talked on the phone so instead of making a deal out of it she just transitioned over to the treadmill.

She really hadn’t thought of it much since. And then one day she saw this same woman in the bathroom and smiled and thought, “Good for you for getting up this morning and working out.”

End of story.

Obviously, I don’t know what went through her head as she smiled. But I think my second version is closer to reality than my first.

Which has really gotten me thinking about all the many times I assign thoughts to others that they never really think. I hold them accountable to harsh judgments they never make. And I own a rejection from them they never gave me.

I know not every rejection is like this.

Some are completely certified and undeniable. As clear as a just-cleaned window. And the feelings so intense they can make you as horrifically stunned as a bird soaring eastward toward the morning sun only to slam headfirst into that clean window. The thud feels like it might just kill you.

That’s true rejection.

But then there’s this perceived rejection like I had with my fellow gym-goer.

I don’t even think I was really on her radar.

But in my mind I was absolutely in her crosshairs.

And so goes the crazy inside our heads sometimes.

It makes me remember something I saw an author friend of mine do several years ago that I filed away in my “Words I Love” notebook. She was signing a book. I peaked over to see what she was writing.

Her approach was simple. Before signing her name she wrote, “Live loved.”

Instead of an instruction, it was a proclamation. One that now arrests my soul and is so applicable to our discussion at hand.

Live from the abundant place that you are loved and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.

It’s not deciding in your mind, I deserve to be loved.

Or manipulating your heart to feel loved.

It’s settling in your soul, I was created by a God who formed me because He so very much loved the very thought of me. When I was nothing, He saw something and declared it good. Very good. And very loved.

This should be the genesis thought of every new day. Not because of how terrific I am. God doesn’t base His affection on my wilted efforts.

No, God’s love isn’t based on me.

It’s simply placed on me.

And is the place from which I should live.

Comments

  1. Claudia says

    You know Lysa you know exactly what some of us are struggling with. I do this exact thing,thank you for writing about these situations, i am going to definitely think twice and think of God before i assume someone deems the worst of me. God Bless

  2. Cindy Moore says

    Thank you so much for writing this book. I love the sneak peek. I’m so anxious to get this book. Do you have any idea when the book will be available? I love all of your work.

  3. says

    This is an issue I struggle with and thought I was really going insane. This comes even after reading The Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee! Everytime I think I’ve “got one down” there are more layers I find God peeling back. He insane working on me in the “Battlefield of the Mind” (Joyce Meyer….yes I read that one too). So the whole over-thinking, assuming thing is a topic that NEED to be brought into light about for people and how to Biblically deal with it. Right about mow I’m thinking prayer & fasting…but what I mean is, I need to hear from a seasoned Christian how one can overcome this daily even though it’s barking orders in her ears everyday. I seriously think I need a mentor. I’ve been a church goer/saved since I was 7 but not really filled with the power until recently and now that it seems I know there is more God has for me, the devil is fighting tooth and nail to try and no wreck my brain into a big ball of idle blah. The idle blah can be making up some mini movie is my head about how and friend is upset with me and that is why she hasn’t texted in 2 days, to some other crazy made up scenario that probably isn’t true! So yes Lysa write this book and I will read it, along with prayer and did reading the Word of course. I need a women who loves God and has some help to give!!

  4. Brittany Dorton says

    I am VERY excited for the release of this book and cannot wait to read more. I’m not sure what else you are covering in later chapters, but when I was reading about your moments and interactions with the gal at the gym, it immediately made me think about my workplace. I am a preschool teacher. And in a place of mostly older women who have been doing this for years on top of years, I am a recent college graduate and the youngest one on staff. I love the children and enjoy working with the other teachers, but there are times when I get a look or a comment directed at me that makes me feel so very small. It feels like they are saying, “Why would you do this. Why would you change that?” “You’re not old enough.” “You haven’t been doing this as long as I have.” I realize now that I also read too much into these things sometimes, coming up with accusations that were never really even made or clearly stated. But it’s crazy just how much a look from them can alter my emotions on that day with that “perceived rejection” as you called it. I want to grow. I want to learn. I want to be able to look past the negative I think I see and train my mind to focus on the truth of the moment. I would love it if you could add some insight to this in your book. How to address this in the everyday workplace. Thank you for being one wise woman.

  5. Jessica Kiehn says

    Lysa- this is FANTASTIC. I LOVE “God’s love isn’t based on us- it’s simply placed on us.” And INSIDE us! Making up our very DNA. So so so so amazing. Can’t wait to buy and read when you’re done. You are anointed- thank you for being obedient so He can be glorified and the truth can set so many free.

  6. erica says

    I have this problem that I’m getting my identity from. Other people, I don’t wear clothes,my clothes wear me…everyone in the bookstore must be wondering how the in-style jeans accidentally ended up on the stay at home mom…praise God our identity is found in Christ,and that we actually don’t know what other people are thinking! Looking forward to your New book!

  7. Shelly says

    Love it!!! Can’t wait to read your book!! Thank you for always being so transparent and sharing your struggles with us. I am about to be 44, am still single, have MS and simply put…I’m tired of doing life alone. I know God loves me. I know my friends love me. But I am still lonely.

  8. Julie says

    Lysa! Perfect timing with a book about a profound struggle I’m having… again! I have struggled with
    My weight and low self esteem since I was in
    Grade school.

    Recently it dawned on me just how much I have
    Allowed my self doubt and fear keep me from.
    It’s mind blowing what thoughts I can assign to others
    opinions/thoughts of me… Just like the gym scenario!!
    happens all the time.
    I can talk myself out if going places~ meeting people
    because I’m ” reading” their thoughts of me.

    I heard once that others thoughts/opinions of me… Are none
    Of my business…

    I look forward to your book !
    Thanks for being so real!

    ~Julie

  9. Connie says

    Hi Lysa, I’ve been meaning to write you since I read this post in January. I was shocked to be reading basically exactly what the Lord had been speaking to me about for this new year. It seems that I have been “walking in rejection” in relation to two significant people in my life. In both these relationships I was rejected in some ways, and other times my rejection filled eyes saw it as worse than it actually was. And because of that, the situation became worse than it actually was because I acted in response to “rejection” instead of responding in love. I realized that I was feeding this rejection thing by walking in it, and now I became the one speaking in hurtful “rejection”. Instead I should have been walking in the truth of God’s love and responding to rejection with kindness. I probably would have gotten different results. During this time I sought the Lord for a word from Him for this New Year (of 2015), not thinking of this situation. That’s when He spoke to my heart to not walk in the spirit of rejection, but to walk as if I am loved all the time (by them). Even with these words right from the Lord I still “walked into rejection” deeper than before with one of them. As I cried out to the Lord He turned my heart to intentionally love this person and then I experienced a much bigger victory than I have had before. I know that this situation is a reflection of how I think that God looks at me. I know with MOST of my heart that I am loved by the Lord all the time, and that He never leaves or rejects me. He keeps speaking His love to me through different sources, and as I receive that eventually there will be no place for rejection to have a place in my heart. With God I also need to walk as if I am loved all the time, and in this case, I AM LOVED ALL the time. In essence – LIVE LOVED. Healing words.

  10. Lori says

    This is so perfect. Can’t wait for the book to come out! When will it be released? I’ll be the first in line to buy.

  11. Julie Fischer says

    I cannot wait for the release of this book. In a world where self love is so difficult because of the guilt and shame that comes with failure, we need encouragement and a reminder that no matter what we accomplish in this life, the God of this universe loves us unconditionally. Thank you for reminding me of this truth. I look forward to reading more!

  12. Elizabeth S says

    Wow! I am, right now, realizing how much I do the same thing. Often with my husband, with other mommies, with complete strangers… but it started oh so long ago. How do we live loved when the rejection feels so much more real? (& if I’m gut-honest, more comfortable) Definitely looking forward to the rest of your book!!

  13. Michelle Bills says

    I STRUGGLE with this every single day. I have since I was a liitle girl. And because of it, i’m often so very lonely. It’s so silly isn’t it? Most likely those other people aren’t thinking these thoughts at all. How do we stop this struggle though? The last few months i’ve been trying to remember every day to stop thinking the worst, stop believing i’m not friend material, and instead I tell myself “You are loved. God loves you and always has!” Is this still a struggle for me? You betcha! I don’t feel so lonely, though, and hopefully one day I won’t struggle with this so much. Thank you for this excerpt. I can’t wait to read the book!!

  14. Kelly Hodgkins says

    Thank you for the preview! Love the topic and can’t wait to get the book! Loneliness and rejection are things I certainly relate too!

  15. Kelly says

    Lysa,
    At 52 years of age, I had hoped to have conquered this habit. I can take one person’s glance and create an entire 7 episode season of what they are thinking about me. This exact situation just happened to me 2 days ago during a conference call at work. I was asked a question to clarify a recommendation I had made. At first I couldn’t get my computer to un-mute me, then when I did and started to speak, there was a great deal of feedback which distracted me. Once I answered their questions, I was practically in tears. I spend the next 2 days convinced that all 200+ listeners on the call must be wondering how I’m possibly considered a content area expert. I envisioned side conversations wondering how I every graduated with my degree, how I was ever hired, etc. The spiral was incredible. I can totally relate to your sneak peak and I can hardly wait to read the book. Thank you for putting into words the deepest struggles of many of us. Thank you for giving us the starting point for a conversation. Love you!!

  16. Gloria Garcia says

    Lysa,

    I love this! I can’t wait to read your next book. The Lord has placed an extraordinary gift in your hands to bless others. I have been blessed this morning. Struggling with self-esteem, my worth, disbelief in myself and what I can do for others; this is just what I needed to read. I hope one day I can inspire others like you have inspired me.
    Thank you!

  17. Judy Taylor says

    Lysa,
    Loving what I read, I think we all struggle with listening to the toxic voices….I am so thankful God has made us for more…and your honest transparency! Great words of encouragement, thank you for not giving up on writing!
    Blessings!

  18. Cassie Adams says

    Thank you so much for sharing this experience. It really aligns with the things God is teaching me right now. I started at a new church with my husband about 8 months ago and I didn’t know any of the other young women in the church. The were all talented and beautiful and faithful to God and I was kind of a mess. I had spent some time away from God and it left me feeling less than these wonderful sisters in Christ. I imagined that they could see right through my efforts to get my life back together and of course I imagined they hated me. Fast forward to now and God has allowed me to start a bible study with these girls and we are 3 weeks into a beautiful and trusting friendship. If I had listened to the lies I would be missing out on so much. I can’t wait to read this book and continue this journey that God has started! God bless you!

  19. Jayme says

    This is literally exactly me and it gets so bad that I sometimes get thrown into a depression over it or ruminate for days over things over completely wrong perceptions. I really can’t wait for this book and I need to really meditate on the Lord and his word to get through this. This is one of my biggest heart issues that can be so detrimental to my walk with God. He is healer though. Thank you lysa for your book in the works, I will be praying for you. God bless you

  20. Amy Wilson says

    Lysa – oh how very much I can relate with this story. I do this kind of thinking all the time and can really work myself into a frenzy based on what I imagine this other person thinks of me. Being secure in God’s love for me, really secure, not just head knowledge would probably make a big difference.

  21. staci says

    I loved the except and I am exited for your new book! I hope I am not too late, but can you write about having high (and perhaps unrealistic) expectations for relationships with others to compensate for our own feelings of not belonging? I am always wanted a sister when I was growing up, and when I got married, I envisioned my sister-in-law and I becoming best buddies and being so close. The truth is, she is just not that into me (she has a strong friend network and lots of family around) so I find myself having feelings of jealousy and resentment toward her mainly because she does not have the same need that I have for us to be close. The root of it all is my own feelings of not belonging anywhere in terms of a family and a friend group. I do not want to put pressure and high expectations on others just because of my own insecurities and issues. Maybe this is something that will already be talked about in your book. God bless you!

  22. Veronica says

    Im so excited to read your new book!! This is something I’ve just recently been struggling with! Thank you for being obedient and hearing the voice of God!

  23. Jeanine says

    When I read and participate in the study, Made to Crave, in so many ways I am reading my story within those pages. I’ve grown so much closer to God through the study. Our group is still working through it – having extended it beyond the end of the videos.

    In reading the preview of this next new book, once again, I am struck by the knowledge that I am not alone in walking this earth in this vessel of mine with cravings, fears, feelings of such inadequacy. I am learning how much God truly loves me even though I may be disappointed in myself. He sees me as his adorable child, loving me with all my faults. What a blessing of grace and love!

    I thank Him that He’s anointed your writings to tell it as it is and help us over these bumps and struggles along the way! Praising God for you, Lysa. May God continue to bless you!