We Grow When Life Steals Our Control

grow-300x224Live. Like. Jesus. 

As Christians we hear it all the time, “We should strive to be more and more like Jesus.”

Really? How hard is that!

My friend, Mary DeMuth, says it best, “How can we, people weighed down by insecurity and sin and stress, live like Jesus?”

Ever feel like it’s impossible to turn it over to God once and for all? The hurt, the confusion, the past, the future?

Mary understands.

Mary is a beautiful reflection of God’s permeating grace, her once-hurting heart now shining a redemptive red. Author of 14 books, she has long served as my mentor with her authentic real-woman words offering me a plumb line for this Jesus life, this life of hope and healing. Early on Mary played a pivotal role in my own healing journey as she penetrated the places I didn’t allow others to see. In the depths of her story, I found the courage to tell mine—no surface mining for this gal as she runs deep.

Mary uncovers the secret to living like Jesus in her new book, Everything: What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus. I read an advance copy this month; I’m thrilled it officially releases this week. Par for Mary (unafraid to step into the messy), this book confronts our battles with the truth of God’s Word.

As she navigates us to the answer, Mary unfolds a journey of hope—a hope that stems from God’s sovereignty. She lovingly challenges ingrained beliefs as they relate to what we think, who we are, and how we live.

The secret? Give Him everything (including control!) and receive everything He has to offer.

Spiritual growth is hard work. In Everything, Mary teases that unsettled yet slightly complacent spot inside all of us. Will we run, or will we bravely rise to the challenge? Will we dare to believe? Forgive? Surrender?

This is not a condemning could-never-live-it-out book packed with unattainable, perfectionist Christianity; this book is an invitation to go deeper still in genuine and intimate relationship with One who has already surrendered all for us.

What does it take to grow in Christ? Everything we have, but it’s oh so worth it.

Grab the book, a new highlighter (trust me, you’ll need it), and an eagerness to learn (no matter your spiritual age). One of my favorite highlights? We grow when life steals our control. Disturbingly beautiful, isn’t it?

Let’s look at the Everything trailer!

Want a test drive first? Download the introduction and chapter one here.


22 thoughts on “We Grow When Life Steals Our Control

  1. JoAnn,

    I did order a copy of “Everything,” and can’t wait for it to arrive. One of the best lessons I learned in my walk with Christ, one that has stuck with me through thick and thin, one that has given me more peace than I ever thought possible, was the lesson that God is a Sovereign God. That meant I could face anything without fear, and I was tired of that ol’ guy hanging around! It’s an ongoing battle. Anyone who feels the need to control due to a lack of control in childhood knows how hard giving up this control can be….but Wow…it is so worth it! Peace…it’s something we all need and want…and it’s there for us.

    • Oh Linda…how God and I have wrestled through his sovereignty countless times. Great reminder! He is sovereign. He does love us. And He’s got this, no matter what it might look like to us, right?

  2. Learning we don’t always have to know all the answers when we remind ourselves He is sovereign is half the battle….Final surrender is the key for me. Picturing that thing I feel so out of control over in my hands, dropping it into His hands…watching Him wrap His beautiful (and very male) hands around my precious concern, pull it up close to his bosom, and then turn and walk away with it….the profound relief I feel is palpable when I realize I don’t have to fix it with my feeble attempts, and what a better and complete job He will do in meeting that need. Huge weight gone. However, it is a daily practice because our enemy is at war to take away our peace.

    • Mary you model surrender beautifully as you have walked a crazy-making line of uncertainty with Julia this past week. You have trusted, and held to, God’s sovereignty when nothing else made sense. Thank you for being real. For letting us pray with you for His hand to move in ways we can’t comprehend while His heart holds you deep. Continuing in prayer for Julia, for you, and for your new book (which really rocks, by the way).

        • Oh! I just recognized your name. Head hung. 🙂 I have been on the road for weeks now and my brain isn’t cooperating. Yes — hasn’t it been an awesome experience and the time to process each piece individually. What a rich, rich blessing.

          • No problem. I understand. 🙂 (I’m a quiet one. I never really expect to be recognized. lol)
            It really has been a blessing!

            And even beyond the book, just the community and I love going through all the blogs. Everyone has such insight and a beautiful revelation of who God is that comes out when writing.

  3. This post resonates with me. I too have been on both ends of words that bring great pain & words that bring such sweet comfort & healing. It is good to be reminded that we should tend our words carefully.

  4. I think we all have trouble giving up control…it’s so very “human” of us to want to be the boss…but especiallly if we grew up having NO control whatsoever. This definitely sounds like a good read. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jo Anne! Praying you are well! It has been quite some time since we seen one another and I have so ended watching your ministry grow! You and Karen Trigg have both inspired me to start writing. I’m excited about the possibilities and how God will use my writing to shape me. Thankful for you!!! Oh and this is my official registration for the Jesus calling drawing too!!!

    Sarah Rideout, RN

  6. As we enter the “empty nest” season….all three kids in college, our dog if 15 years passing away…a quiet house that was once full of enough sutdents to qualify us for a community center status! I loved it all and now realize that I could navigate and contol it all with my eyes closed but now, the Father is beckoning me to a season of quiet healing and restoration and I want to manage (control) the agenda of my Creator. And He simply says, “Daughter, be still and know that I God.” And with His gentleness, commands me to enter into quiet solace and trust that He can navigate just fine without my help. I’m finding that surrending my control brings the peace that hurried navigating was hoping to obtain and could never quite capture…imagine that! It is only in laying it down at his feet in the stillness of the throne room that I could leave that place restored. Thank you for this… <3

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