I met Lisa Whittle for the first time last fall. One month later we were roommates at a retreat center in Texas. Under the wide open starry sky, Lisa shared passionately with me about a life-altering message that God had given her. I watched how her eyes danced when she spoke. The Spirit was moving, and it was a beautiful thing.
That message has now made its way into a book — I Want God — which releases in one week.
And people, this book will change you — for good and for God.
It’s a joy to have Lisa Whittle sharing a bit of her heart on the blog today.
The Soul That Isn’t at War
By Lisa Whittle
I like the old hymn, It is Well with My Soul. It touches me in a deep place. The words remind me that despite my stubborn flesh, and the daily crazy of the world around me, I can still be well, within.
I’m a strong woman, and I don’t consider myself a people pleaser. And yet, I think I am. Like most of the women I know, I want to be liked and loved and accepted and invited. If I’m being honest, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want this — woman or man.
And like most people, I have spent a chunk of my life trying to gain the endorsement of other people. And I have found it to make me anything but well.
~chasing after people who are unable to give me what I need.
~exhausted by the constant campaign it takes to convince people I am worthy.
~living scared, worried, ashamed, selfish.
~listening to others; missing the voice of God.
I must come face to face with my reality: when I want other people to notice me more than I want God, my soul is at war.
I know this, but I forget. God is good to remind me, by way of a dream I didn’t ask for, some months ago.
“I’m in a room with some people – all strangers to me. I hear them talking about me, in front of me, which is weird, and for a few minutes I do not respond. ‘I hear she has a wrist tattoo,’ one of them whispers loud enough for me to hear her. ‘What does it say?’ another one wants to know. I walk over to them, clustered in a little group, to show them my wrist so they can read what it says for themselves. But when I do, I look down at my arms to see I have words and notes scribbled all over them. The writing covers so much I can’t figure out what my wrist tattoo actually says and strangely, I can’t remember. I’m standing in front of the people for what seems like hours, frantically trying to wipe off all the other words, licking my thumb and rubbing hard against my skin, just to get all the other stuff off, but to no avail. I feel foolish and embarrassed, not just because of all the scribble but also because I can’t remember what I had tattooed on my wrist and I can see by the way the people are looking at me that they do not believe it is even real.
When I realize I will not be able to wipe all the words off, I leave the room in defeat, going back into the area where I left my purse, phone, and keys. I get there only to discover they are gone. Distraught, I know instantly: Someone has stolen them. As this realization sets in I notice a man standing there, watching me, and I say to him in protest, ‘They stole my stuff!’ And calmly he answers back, ‘Yes, they did.’ And I am mad and I yell back at him, breathlessly, ‘You were standing here the whole time – why didn’t you stop them?’ Pointedly but lovingly, he says to me, ‘I tried calling out to tell you, but you couldn’t hear me because you were so busy trying to explain yourself to those people so they would understand you.’”
~Lisa Whittle, I Want God
This is our reality when we long for approval from others: we miss hearing from God. We wrestle for things that never help our soul. We wind up exhausted and unwell.
The human desire for acceptance and love is a flood that, without God, never dries. Our souls weren’t meant to have other people fill them. God didn’t create people to become other people’s gods. When we replace our desire for God with the desire for anyone or anything else, our soul will be at war.
And yet, there is a different way to live.
In the everyday things of life, in the relationships that let us down, the scramble for approval in our job, with people, with our art, God says to us: trust Me to be the better choice.
“When we choose God over the god of popularity, we choose a soul that isn’t at war – war with ourselves, war with other people and what they may think of us. This is peace. This is rest.” ~Lisa Whittle, I Want God
When we trust God to be the better choice, choose Him over our desire to be accepted and popular with other people, we choose the better life.
It is and will always be, wanting Him more than anything else.
Lisa Whittle is an author and speaker, a lover of God, family, and the Church. Her highly anticipated 4th book, I Want God: Forever Changed by the Revival of Your Soul, releases October 1.
Lisa’s honest, bottom line approach is her trademark, as she points people to a passionate pursuit of God. In addition to speaking, media appearances and writing for Women of Faith, Catalyst, Relevant and various other publications, Lisa has done master’s work in Marriage and Family and is a part of the MOB [Mothers of Boys] Society writing team.
Lisa is a wife and mother of three, plus one fluffy dog, residing in North Carolina. You can find her on Facebook, follow her on Instagram, Twitter [@LisaRWhittle] or Pinterest, and visit her ministry community at www.lisawhittle.com.
Order I Want God.
So, what’s your Story?
A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
You’re invited to tell that story right here, in community with us.
Share your narratives, your poems, your Instagrams tagged with #TellHisStory, … your beautiful hearts. You are the chroniclers, the people who help others make sense of the world with your words and your art.
Story is how we know that, no matter what happens, we can get back up again.
Visit someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Then, Tweet about your posts, and the posts you visit, with the #TellHisStory hashtag. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
A final note: This is a safe place to tell your stories. You don’t have to be a professional writer to join us. Story is built into every single one of us. Your story matters, because it’s part of God’s story down through history, not because you punctuated everything correctly. Deal?
For more details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here. Share the love of story by visiting someone else in the community!