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Its Not Supposed to Be This Way

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Spring 2020 Online Bible Study | It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.
How do you face disappointment?  One moment at a time.

And that’s how I spent the eleven months that I worked as the Executive Director at a small outreach ministry and retreat center.

I had not even received the keys to my office when the Chair of the Board of Directors called me to inform me of some troubling information that had been uncovered about the financial status of the organization.  And with each passing week, new skeletons emerged from the proverbial closet to the point that it was almost comical.  You know, in the way that unless you laugh, you’ll cry.

I was thrust into a situation, not of my doing, but that I was expected to clean up and manage single-handedly, as it was decided that the truth of the matter should not be made public.

So instead of a small tight-knit community, one with a strong foundation in faith, rallying around the organization and me, I was left to spend 70-hour workweeks alone, slaving away at simply trying to keep the place open and functioning.

There was no time to put in place the new vision and ministry that I was hired to implement.  There was only time for triage.  As a result, I found myself on the receiving end of criticism and verbal attacks, not only from members of the community but those who I was supposed to be “walking hand-in-hand in ministry” with.

To say that I was disappointed is a severe understatement.
To say that my confidence and trust in others was shattered is a remarkable truth.

My faith also received quite the blow in the process.  And that is how I came to purchase Lysa TerKeurst’s book, It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way.

This past summer I sat, tissue box within reach, and read the first five chapters.  It nearly broke me all over again, in the related message of hurt and disappointment.  For nearly a year, the book has sat on my shelf, as a reminder that God can heal all wounds, in time.

Just months ago, in January, our leadership team spent about a week praying about which book we should study this Spring.  It was a unanimous decision to read Lysa’s book.  And little did we know how God was preparing us to present a message of hope and unexpected strength during a time that it is needed the most.

As I prepared to write the weekly blog posts, I reread some of the chapters, now with the news of the COVID-19 outbreak playing in the background.  The message rang truer and clearer than the first time I read it.  There are hope and healing to be found in the pages of this book.  And I’m so excited to share its message with you!


Each week this space will provide prompts for you to consider and to act as a springboard for discussion.  The comments are open for you to share your thoughts and observations after reading through the weekly reading assignment as well.

Today, I’d love to know where you’re from and what you hope to gain from this study.

Share with us in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Hi! I grew up in central Louisiana, went off to Texas for college and law school and life for a while, and moved back home with my Texan husband in tow in the summer of 2012. Not quite home – we live further south now than where I grew up. But back to my home state, at least.

    What I hope to get out of this Bible study: structure. I do better studying when I have a structure, an outline. I also hope to get a deeper sense of how God works even through the times that seem the most difficult to me. If I’m honest, things often happen that I don’t understand, and those are the times I most question God, most question whether he really knows what he’s up to.

    1. Hi, Lisa! Welcome! Glad to meet you and have an opportunity to get to know you more over the next several weeks. It is my prayer that you will find the structure that you seek. Be sure to download the study schedule from the “What to Expect” email that was sent out. I will also be sharing an image you can download with the weekly schedule in the FB group. I think these will be helpful in structuring your time.

      I fully relate to your desire to understand God’s working in the midst of difficult times! In the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing this and how to seek and trust in His will for our lives, even when none of it makes sense. The road of the believer is not an easy one, but you’re never alone! Be blessed & safe, friend!

  2. Hi y’all! I’m Kara Bellen. I’m 35 y.o. stay-at-home mom of 4 from Moundsville, WV. So… What do I expect to get out of this study? At this moment in time, purpose and community, in a time where I feel that I have no structure and very little friendship. I know this isn’t true – I’m just an extrovert who craves personal interaction and I also know that my friends have lives and families and I’m not forgotten. So I’m choosing to add this study as a way to grow my faith, bring God to the front line of this weird point in our lives, and to surround myself with like-minded people so I will feel a little less lonely.

    1. Kara, I’m so grateful that you’ve joined us! Gloria and I both commented earlier this year how much we missed you at rehearsals for He’s Alive, so we’re both so excited for an opportunity to connect with you!

      You are not alone in your craving for purpose and community – especially in this unprecedented time of uncertainty and isolation! It is my prayer that the Lord meets you here in this study, to fill up those empty places with his presence and with true, deep relationships with other study members. Virtual hugs! Be blessed & safe, dear one!

  3. Hi! I’m a retired high school math teacher who moved to Sutton, WV from Hope Valley, RI in June, 2018. I love WV but do miss my friends from RI. My husband and I have found a wonderful church in Sutton and have a wonderful church family. I feel truly blessed but I know I am not giving God the attention he deserves! I am excited to join this bible study because I need a structured study that will get me to dig deeper into God’s word. I read various devotionals each day but never seem to dig into the word the way I know I should. I also want to be better equipped to handle those times when life goes in a direction I am not expecting!!

    1. Hi, Sue! Welcome to the Mountain State (West Virginian here, born and raised)! I’m glad that you have settled in here, but I am sure that you miss your people as that is quite the move. I pray that through this study you’ll be able to expand your community of friends and help you to continue to feel more at home.

      I think that at this very strange time in our lives we’re all seeking some structure, and that is my prayer that this study will provide this for all of us as we get to know one another and the God of the Universe better. The message of this book is so timely and I think it will be a blessing to learn together how to navigate the trials of humanity. As I’ve heard it said, it’s better to be proactive than reactive! I look forward to getting to know you. Be blessed & be safe!

  4. Hi! I am Lynne Zebley from Pennsylvania. I have gone through two painful rejections within the past few years. I purchased the book but have not read it yet. I thought now would be good time! I am hoping to grow deeper in my relationship with God even when hard times – rejections and other hurts – come into our lives.

    1. Hello and welcome, Lynne! I am so sorry to hear about the rejections that you’ve experienced recently. Please know that you are in good company and that this book has a message for you to help you work through and heal those deep wounds.

      I look forward to getting to know you, your story, and walking alongside you in this journey! Be blessed & be safe!!

  5. Hi Everyone! I am from Chardon, Ohio, which is about an hour east of Cleveland. I was born and raised in the same area and love calling it home.
    I am excited to be a part of this study to help find some answers and strategies to deal with these current and future difficult times. I am a new mom of an 8 week old baby boy, Sawyer. He has been such an amazing blessing for my husband and I, but we can’t help thinking this is not how it’s supposed to be. We imagined introducing our son to all of our family and friends to share all the joy he brings. Unfortunately, due to our stay at home orders, he has not met most of our family/friends. I have done a bible study with one of Lysa’s books before and really enjoyed it. I am looking forward to the structure of this study and coming away with some tools to handle whatever the future has to offer.

    1. Hi, Christine! Congratulations on the birth of your son!! What a mixed bag of emotions I’m sure you’re experiencing at the joy of his arrival in the midst of this confusing and uncertain time. Thankfully we know that we will come through this in time, but it doesn’t lessen the hurt we are experiencing now. Will be praying for you as you navigate the road ahead.

      That is wonderful that you’ve done one of Lysa’s studies in the past. I have as well. She’s a magnificent writer. May I ask which one you’ve done?

      I look forward to getting to know you and joining you in this journey through the book as we look for hope in this uncertainty!

  6. Hello! I am from Minerva, Ohio ( an hour south of Canton). I joined this study as a way to give more time to investing in and growing deeper in my relationship with Jesus. I look forward to learning on a deeper level and doing it in community with other believers. I read devotionals or verses or chapters, but I often don’t dig in deeper into Scripture or biblical concepts as I should. I need to take more time, intentionally, to think and reflect on God. I’m grateful that others are wanting to do the same and that we can process alongside each other.

    1. Welcome, Abby! You’ve come to the right place, as that is our desire, to seek a greater understanding of the Word and find a deeper relationship with our Creator. So glad you’ve joined us for the journey!

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