A Message That Is Right On Time.
I love books that make me think. We all occasionally run across books that do this, evoking strong emotions , changing us for the better. I Am, A 60-Day Journey To Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is, is one of those rare books that did that for me. It popped into my life right on time. Although if you ask the author, Michele Cushatt if the writing of this book came along at a convenient time for her, she may say, “No.” She had a contract to write this book but did not know when she signed it that she’d be recovering from chemo and radiation while trying to write it. As she wrote, God used her own writing to change her, strengthening her for the grueling months ahead.
I volunteered to be on the launch team for this book, so obviously I believed in it before it even hit the shelves. That’s because I had read Michele Cushatt’s first book, Undone. Many were touched by that book. Michele’s refreshingly honest prose about the storms of life, including her own, helped us grapple with our own hard. As I was enduring my own medical emergency, I couldn’t put it down. The book gave me permission to be human and grapple with a God who allows trials, but who is there with us in the thick of it.
As a launch team member for I Am, one of our responsibilities was to read the pdf file of the book and “get together” on our private Facebook page to talk about it. What a great discussion. Each day women and men exposed their hearts on this social media platform, sharing their own struggles and how this book touched them. It was a great connection.
Personally, I found much solace for my own life in reading Michele’s words. It was almost as if I had a prescheduled appointment with God for each of the 60 days of reading. For instance, on the day I read the chapter titled, I Am Chosen, I just so happened to be thinking about the feeling of rejection I had experienced when a friend stopped being, well, friendly. These thoughts naturally led to other times I have felt rejected (that file drawer in my brain had opened and the contents all spilled out of their neat little folders). Imagine my delight when I opened my book to Day 5 and read the words, “You did not choose Me, but I chose You” (John 15:16). The entire chapter was about a time that Michele felt rejected and what the Truth is about who we are in Jesus. He has not rejected us…far from it.
Another day, I just happened to turn to Day 10, I Am Known. Like Michele, I have endured serious health issues. I have been confined to my home for months due to my vision being affected by a brain surgery. I get out when a friend invites me out for coffee or my husband makes it a point to take me shopping (he’s great at that). I was feeling sad one day, thinking about the freedom I have lost and how I don’t feel very well most days. Then I opened my book. On Day 10, Michele writes about meeting a friend for coffee, and how she couldn’t shake her sadness and decided to be honest about it. As she shared her true feelings, her friend asked, “Why?” Michele writes, “With that one-word question, I knew she didn’t understand. She didn’t have a clue what cancer had cost me.”
Reading those words, my own heart quickened. By Day 10, I already knew what was coming next…I would find out what God thinks about feelings of rejection. I didn’t have to feel completely misunderstood for long. Sure enough, after discussing Jesus’ own sorrows at Golgotha, Michele quotes a Scripture. “I have summoned you by name, you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). As I read those words, I remembered the God who knows me, who knows how I feel, knows my disappointment, knows that I am isolated and lonely at this season in my life, and cares. Deeply.
We all go through trials. We are living on a fallen planet. Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer (have courage). I have overcome the world” John 16:33. Understanding who we are is an important key to finding strength in the struggles. I am…Created…Chosen…Valuable…Known…Fought For…Rescued…Blessed…Forgiven…Satisfied…Going Home. These are just some of the ways Michele helped me see who I am with the publication of this book. I’ll be going back to certain chapters again and again. You can get your copy today at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many Christian retailers.
To buy a copy from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, click on Book Table in the tab above. You’ll be glad you did.