The Love Dare: Passion, Life, Love (Guest Post by Alise Wright)

Alise on piano

 

I spent two years not touching a piano. And when playing music is where you feel the most like yourself, two years is a long time to go without feeling completely you.

 

I was told that everything I was doing was wrong in the area where I was the most passionate and the most alive. I was told that I could still attend the church, but I could have nothing to do with music. I was told that my passion was self-serving and that what was life-giving was an idol. When you receive that news, it kills passion. It sucks life away.

 

And when passion and life are missing, it can be difficult to love yourself. 

 

I went through a season where this was my existence. A season where the pain of the words that had been spoken to me drowned out the knowledge that I was doing what I had been created to do.

 

For that season, I saw my talents not as a gift from God to be used for God’s glory, but rather as something of a liability to be used for my own glorification. This was not my heart, but because someone in authority had told me that this was so, I began to believe it for myself. The lies became reality and that reality crowded out feelings of self-worth that I had.

 

We are so often afraid to allow ourselves to be identified by what we do. We worry that our value is somehow cheapened by attaching significance to the titles that we have. We worry that if we enjoy the things that we do too much, we will push God out of the picture.

 

But I have found that the more I am fully myself, the more than I fully immerse myself in the passions that God has placed in me, then I am more aware of God’s presence. When I play the piano, and play well, I am more in tune with what God desires for me. When I am fully present with my children, when I choose to be a loving wife, when I write with conviction – these things draw me closer to God.

 

As I am closer to God, I am reminded of my value. I am convinced of the greatness of God’s love for me. And as I gain that confidence, I am able to love myself. Not simply the things that I do, but who I am.

By embracing my passions, I have found life. And by finding life, I have found a deeper Love.

 

Alise is a wife, a mother of four, an eater of soup, and a lover of Oxford commas. She is the editor of Not Alone: Stories of Living with Depression with Civitas Press. You can generally find her sitting behind a keyboard of some kind: playing or teaching the piano, writing at her laptop, or texting her friends a random movie quote. You can connect with Alise on her blog, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

 

Pre-order Emily’s new book, Mom in the Mirror, at 40% off, here.

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A Review of Chasing Silhouettes (by Glynn Young)–Book Releasing Today!

I’m haunted by the eyes of a nine-year-old girl – a nine-year-old girl who thinks she’s too fat and begins to starve herself.
Nine years old. Those eyes belonged – still belong – to Emily Wierenga, and she’s now writing about what happened.
Chasing Silhouettes: How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder may well be one of the most important books published for the church this year. That’s right, I said for the church. Because eating disorders don’t just happen outside the church; they happen in the church, too, to pastors’ daughters like Wierenga. And the church can do great good – and great harm – in how it responds.
The book is a painful read. It is also a hopeful read.
Wierenga has structured each major section of Chasing Silhouettes with a story, including perspectives of both the person with the disorder and family and friends; observations and insights by medical professionals; practical advice on what to do and not do if you’re trying to help; and then a prayer.
What this structure does is to provide a comprehensive look at what constitutes an eating disorder – it is physical, biological, emotional, and spiritual. Those are the roads Wierenga takes us down as she opens up her own experience, mind, and heart. And one of the critical points she makes is this – you cannot heal a loved one of an eating disorder. They have to decide that they want to be healed, and you cannot make that decision for them, no matter how much you love them.
And it happens to girls as young as seven. And to young men, whose commitment to physical training crosses a line into obsession.
So this is a book for people suffering eating disorders and the people who often have to watch in pain and agony as someone lives through – and sometimes dies – from an eating disorder. As Wierenga writes in the prologue: “I was that girl you are trying to save. The one who is all rib and screaming and slamming the door., the one who once laughed, who now wants to die. And this is killing you…While I was that girl, I’m now a woman who wants desperately to live.”

Chasing Silhouettes is about pain and tragedy, yes. But it is mostly about hope.

 
(Thank you, Glynn Young, for this beautiful review–friends, please visit Glynn at his blog, here)

 

 

*to learn about the FREE webinar with bestselling author Dr. Gregory Jantz that you’ll win by purchasing Chasing Silhouettes within the first month, please click here