No matter how dissimilar you and I may be, I can pretty much guarantee that we have one thing in common. In fact, I would, if I were a betting person, wager my last year's salary that we do.
I believe that, if we could sit down together over tea or coffee and talk openly and honestly about our lives, we would find we have both experienced a time when something -- or a collection of somethings -- seemed overwhelming. When whatever we were facing seemed insurmountable and maybe even tempted us to wave the white flag of surrender.
Give up. Give in.
I've been there. Twice. And I'm still living with the aftereffects of both of those situations.
So when I heard that Kyle Idleman (author of my long-time favorite Not a Fan, 2011) was writing a new book titled Don't Give Up, I was very excited and immediately offered to serve on its launch team.
Now that I've read Don't Give Up, I'm even more excited!
Idleman immediately acknowledges that many of us are facing difficult situations, circumstances that are ugly and devastating. He goes on (in the introduction to section 1) to say, "But I've discovered that many of us have some voices of comfort in our lives yet what we really need is a voice of courage. We may feel the need for sympathy when what we really need is strength." (italics mine)
And I would say, from the perspective of someone who has spent the last 13 years dealing with significant losses (including that of my then-48-year-old husband) and their aftershocks, that Idleman has hit on a very important truth.
Yes, the sympathy (and empathy) of others can be soothing, but it is courage -- courage to stay in the race and keep putting one foot in front of the other -- that is all too often absent and sorely needed.
In section 1 of his newest release, Idleman encourages the reader to live courageously. To keep believing, keep fighting, and keep perspective. He goes on to discuss, in section 2, releasing ourselves from the weight of four things that all too often drag us down: anxiety, religion, lies, and unbelief. He concludes his book with section 3, in which he encourages the reader to run their race. He discusses the obstacles often faced and how to navigate them step by step, in confidence.
You might say that's nothing new, nothing you haven't heard before, BUT, and this is important, you haven't heard it through the words of Kyle Idleman.
Several things stand out in this book. First, Idleman never deviates from Biblical truth. He doesn't put his spin on a passage, nor does he add or subtract from the Word. He simply presents what God says and then explains how it is applicable to our struggle to courageously and successfully "run the race" in the twenty-first century.
And he doesn't preach at the reader. Instead, he candidly and with wry humor shares his own experiences and that of other individuals. Over and again, I found myself, often with a smile on my face but sometimes with a tear in my eye, nodding my head in acknowledgement of a shared experience or emotion and of the truth of Idleman's words.
This book is for the spouse of an alcoholic, the parent of a wayward child, the individual struggling to tame their temper, the couple dealing with infertility, the young adult facing massive student-loan debt and scant means to make the payments, the person struggling with a chronic or life-threatening illness, someone fighting an addiction, the teenager who feels unloved and unwanted by his or her peers, and the list goes on and on.
In short, Don't Give Up is for anyone and everyone, because all of us need Biblical, down-in-the-trenches wisdom on courage and perseverance in the face of life's challenges.
Don't Give Up will be released on Tuesday, March 5. If you preorder (before March 5), you will receive several bonuses:
the audiobook version of the book
a 7-day devotional journal
ebook edition of Grace is Greater by Kyle Idleman (another great book!)
To learn more and to preorder, follow this link: https://dontgiveup.media
I typically post my blog on Tuesday, but I'm sharing this a bit early so you don't miss out on the freebies!