This may come as a shock, but I have not always loved God.
I assumed I did, but I was wrong. My past attempts at being a “good” person did not prove that I loved God. To truly follow and know God (a phrase I often heard my “Christian” friends and family say religiously, no pun intended) seemed… well, weird and unappealing.
I had my ways and my thoughts about how my life should go. I certainly did not need “this” God to correct, teach, or even love me.
And yet, my ways often fail.
My thoughts often condemn me.
In the midst of “my,” however, a powerful desire to know more about “this” God grew and grew within me.
So now “this” God has become “my” God. He is everything to me.
What happened between now and then?
A lot of reflecting. A lot of failures. A lot of tears. A lot of learning and listening. A lot of reading the Bible, for myself.
A lot of surrendering happened.
And friend, even in the midst of my “a lot” are times when I struggle to trust God. There are days where I wrestle with something I read in the Bible.
I guess I live in “a lot.” I bet you do too.
If you can relate to some or all of what I just wrote, you are in for a treat. My friend and author, Jenny Sulpizio, is joining us today. Her newest book, For the Love of God, recently released. This book is about Jenny’s “a lot” and about what happened in between her fear and questioning of God to her love and devotion to God.
Perhaps you are questioning God right now. Maybe you read my blog posts and wonder why you would need to trust and obey Him, because your life is perfect. You may read my posts and think my relationship with God is… well, weird. (that is totally cool btw, I am honored you are here. Truly.)
Or maybe you seek to understand what faith, the Bible, or prayer is all about. Then I urge you to pick up a copy of this book. I believe Jenny will help you sort through all of what is weird or intimidating about “this” God in a friendly, honest and non-preachy kind of way.
Btw, Jenny allowed me to share about my faith journey in For the Love of God. (On pages 42-43 to be exact. Woot!) To see how my mother’s journey with cancer affected my faith in print blows my mind and proves God has a beautiful purpose for all of the tears I have shed.
May “this” God become “your” God. What follows are some questions about the book that Jenny has graciously answered along with purchasing information. Enjoy!
What inspired you to write this book? Why did you want to reach out to new believers and/or those struggling in their walk with God?
Jenny: Plain and simple: I’ve been there. In fact, I resisted a relationship with the Lord for so, so long. Despite His best efforts to get my attention. Despite the emptiness I felt and the longing I had. I understand those feelings of fear when it comes to walking with the Lord, the uncertainty one has when it comes to seeking their Creator, and I wanted to provide these women the encouragement they need as they seek God and what it means to be His daughter.
In your book, you mention your defiance towards the Lord. In fact you discuss how you willingly made God an outsider in your life, pushed Him away, and ignored His presence. Why do you think this is a widespread epidemic amongst our culture today?
Jenny: For me, it was fear. I was afraid of what it would look like to truly believe in God…what it would mean. I was scared by what He might ask me to do, the rules He’d want me to obey, as well as the guilt I’d have to confront should I choose to follow Him. I was a woman desperately in need of this loving, grace-filled relationship and yet I kept making excuses as to why I shouldn’t or couldn’t follow Him. One of ‘em right after another.
This guide you’ve written for women is basically divided into two parts: introducing the key elements of faith, as well as what the Christian walk typically looks like. Can you discuss this a little bit more and what your intention was in structuring it this way?
Jenny: When I decided to head back to church, I didn’t have a clue about anything to do with having a relationship with Jesus. I wasn’t aware of the nuts and bolts of faith. I didn’t know which direction to take after walking through those church doors. I desperately needed someone or something to walk with me on this journey, to calm my fears, to see me through my struggles, and to answer some of the questions I was too scared to ask. This was the book I needed. These are the words I needed to hear…the reassurance I desired.
You describe the act of following Jesus to be difficult at times…hard even. Why do you think this is?
Jenny: Generally speaking, I think the whole idea of dying to one’s self—one’s desires—in order to pick up that cross and follow Christ is hard for us to do. Making that choice to die to ourselves each and every day in order to live out our faith and follow through in obedience to God’s word and His ultimate plan for our lives goes against our natural sin nature. I mean, to give up the control we think we possess and to place our lives in the hands of God? That’s a frightening thought for many. But it shouldn’t be…instead, it should be reassuring—freeing even. Knowing that the Creator of the Universe, the very designer of mankind has your future in the palm of His hand, is downright liberating. And takes a lot of the pressure off.
And there you have it. I love your heart Jenny! You can purchase For Love of God via Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
A little more about Jenny:
Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a Christian mom, wife, author and contributor to numerous faith-based websites (including The MOB Society and The MOM Initiative). Through her writing, she seeks to offer encouragement along with messages of hope and understanding, all while motivating her readers to a place of action. Jenny is also the author of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe. She received degrees (in what seems like eons ago), from both Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Kansas State University. She and her husband Michael reside in the uber warm state of Arizona with their three children. Connect with Jenny online by visiting her website: www.jennyleesulpizio.com