Friday, March 13, 2015

Book Review - "You're Loved No Matter What'

Holley's Gerth book, You're Loved No Matter What subtitled: "Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect", perfectly summarises all the life lessons Princess Morag has been learning in the last five years.  At first, she thought that it seemed like a longer book than necessary; but in fact, Holley's writing is thorough but succinct in the message.

Perfectionism can sometimes be difficult to recognise in yourself.  It took Princess Morag a long time to realise that it was the root of her problems in her inner life, her emotions and her relationships.  As an idealist, it is unsurprising that it would be an issue, but however it disguises itself, it is not the answer to life.  As Holley reminds us

"'re not created to be perfect, You're created to be a person." p111.

Always trying hard, and always striving in every area of life can become so natural.  But it's not how it's supposed to be, especially in our spiritual lives.  Checkbox Christianity has never been attractive to Princess Morag, yet at times it was tempting as it seemed easier than struggling to believe in a life of love when it felt like there was so much evidence to the contrary.  Anxious to please others, Princess Morag has slowly been learning to want to please God above all others.  And God doesn't want us to be perfect before we come to Him - that would be impossible!

"...we can't make ourselves perfect-either in our identities or our behavior.  Today, tomorrow, and for eternity, Jesus alone is in charge of our perfection." p154.

This is the take home message for the Princess.  This is the reminder she needs everyday.  She does not have to be in charge of a 'family image', a 'professional demenor' or 'appearing as the perfect wife and mother'.  That is not who God made her to be.  She was made to be grown in love and perfected in grace.  Not to grow in strife and be perfectly anxious.

In chapter ten: "The Perfect Place You're Heading One Day", Holley explains how our innermost desires to be perfect and to live in a perfect world don't mean that there's something wrong with us; they are the hunger pains for heaven.  And truly, it was a relief for the Princess to read that chapter and put all those hungry feelings in that context.  The Princess has been grateful to be able to set down her perfectionism but she had not filled the gap with the hope of heaven.  It turns out to be a perfect fit.

Finally, not only does laying down perfectionism improve your own life, it helps others.  Princess Morag has observed this phenomenon recently.

"When we can embrace imperfection in life and ourselves, it makes those around us breathe a sigh of relief.  We are all insecure..."  p184.

To know we are perfectly loved, by the only one who can love perfectly, truly is freeing truth.  The Princess would like to thank Holley for her book, with it's wisdom, love and grace so that we can learn to live in them instead of our homemade perfect hell.

N.B. Princess Morag received a free copy of the  book from Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for this review.

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