This is not going to be fun, I think, as I prepare to have a hard conversation with one of our children. But the hard thing is the right thing, and I know it in my bones.
I am horrible about doing hard things. Like the corner muck on the base boards, I try not to look at it for as long as possible. I try to pretend it’s not there. But the biggest things in life are compiled of little things long untended to — so I get an old toothbrush out and scrub the corners bare with bleach.
This thing I don’t want to do – I must do. I must scrub out the muck. I must face the demons that are sneaking in quietly and leaving grime in my home — because facing them is the beginning of chasing them away.
Jesus did this, you know. The lamb turned lion in the temple one day — the clearing of the temple is a little glimpse of God’s righteous anger at the things that defile us. He turned over all the tables and took that whip of chords and drove out the sin — and he couldn’t have done that if he wasn’t willing to face it in the first place.
Yes, the facing is the hardest part, and then the doing-something-radical-about-it. He just wasn’t going to have hints of sin in his house, so sometimes I wonder why we allow it in ours?
The stuff that comes through the screen is enough to warp the mind of every child on earth. Sometimes social media is not social at all — because instead of satisfying our longing for connection, it ignites a lust for more, more, more. More photos, more videos, more things to buy, eat, see, and more people to imitate — always thinking their life looks better than ours.
All I know is Jesus tells us to cut off any branch that bears no good fruit — and if we would just obey him in this, we would remain in his love.
There’s been a few key times in my life when I cut myself off from what was harming me, so why wouldn’t I do that in my own home? When Jesus was never afraid to stand up and say — No more!
What hard thing do you need to do? Get rid of? Throw in the trash because you are finally ready to admit it’s garbage to your soul?
For those of you who are facing that thing, that conversation, that game-changing move that you really don’t want to do: maybe the hard thing is the best thing.
The hard cuts do heal — we know this — and new life always grows from the branch that has been cut off.
[pullquote]God loves us so much that He cuts off every branch that bears no good fruit, and prunes the others so we bear more.[/pullquote]
The beautiful picture of John 15 is that no matter how much he prunes us, we remain in his love. So if you have to lay down your life and cry, “Cut off everything that does not glorify you,” do it.
Because no matter how much dead stuff he cuts, you will always, always live. For his love is life, and nothing will ever separate us from it.
Do the hard thing, friend. It may just be the right thing.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”