Me reading upside down...because perspective is everything
The words we read shape us...for better or worse. The words I read in Praying Upside Down are challenging me to give grace, seek God, and look at my prayer life in a whole new way (hence the upside-down).
It's rare these days to find a book that mingles so many pure, good, interesting things. In this, her book released May 1, Kelly O'Dell Stanley uses her background as an artist, entrepreneur, and human being to bring fresh perspective to one of the key aspects of Christianity: prayer.
I have a few confessions.
First, I cried. I cried in this book because when I was open to it challenging me and shaping me, I had some hurts resurface. There are several things in my life I didn't surrender to God until this whole upside-down thing happened.
And it shook me up. It awakened me. I grieved over something the Lord had taken away from me, but at the same time, I was able to say "Blessed be the name of the Lord."
And Kelly asks the reader to pray for the other people involved in the circumstance. That meant me praying a blessing over those who were benefitting even now from my painful misfortune. It meant me being able to sympathize with a sweet girlfriend going through the exact same thing I was.
God is healing me, and I've been asking him to take away the scars of bitterness, and He is. He is. Slowly but surely, He is continuing to mold me into the person He wants me to be.
Second, I am learning to forgive right now. Those of you who read my newsletter know that I had only a few scatterbrained thoughts about what God taught me in April. I can now say I am learning a lot about forgiveness.
My father challenged me last night in a way I never expected him too, and I am finally forgiving someone for a grudge I've held since middle school. Seventh grade! Almost four years ago!
It's not easy, but looking at prayer in a new light has healed me in those two areas.
And Praying Upside Down was the kick I needed to make talking to God something simple and meaningful. I'd always known I could talk to God "anytime, anywhere." But the way she breaks it down (and includes lots of deep, silly, or just plain awesome stories) is a blessing.
This book will get a 5/5 stars on Goodreads because I think you should read it too.
P.S. This post is real and honest and vulnerable. Sorry if you were not expecting to see my dirty laundry when you started it. It's just so infrequent that a nonfiction book moves me to tears or changes me like this. Please keep me in your prayers as I forgive others, in the process humbling myself.