President of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst is digging deep into the anxiety, fear, and self-doubt that surround rejection in her latest book, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Thomas Nelson, Aug.). TerKeurst told PW that the new book is the “next natural message” to follow her past books The Best Yes (Thomas Nelson, 2014), Unglued (Zondervan, 2012), and Made to Crave (Zondervan, 2010), which have sold over 600,000 copies combined across all formats, according to Nielsen BookScan.
Uninvited introduces a concept you call “living loved.” What does that mean?
To me, living loved gives back the best of who I am by reinforcing the best of what’s been said to me. It means embracing the beautiful essence of how God made me, who we are, and what we’re destined for. There is a chart in the book that people can use called the Corrective Experiences chart. It helps you identify those things that are the worst that’s been said to you and correct them using other people in our life that we know, love, and trust, who can show us how the worst that’s been said to us is either not true or not entirely true.
What is an example of living loved?
I had a guy in high school tell me that I would be beautiful if I didn’t have such big ankles. That may sound like a dumb thing, but I still hear that statement every time I put on a dress and often I won’t even wear a dress because of it. And so it’s wonderful to take that statement and finally, after 30 years, walk myself through the Corrective Experience worksheet and realize that his lie became a liability that prevented me from loving myself—and definitely prevented me from wearing dresses.
Why did you decide to include your own painful experiences in Uninvited?
People don’t know that they can trust your advice unless they understand that you know the depth of their hurt. If I want to help people really trust that what I have to say is worthy, then I have to let them know that I feel what they feel. I want my reader to not feel alone in their pain and confusion. They need to know that I hurt like they hurt so they can have the hope that they can heal like I’ve started to heal, too.
What is the biggest thing you want readers to take away from the book?
Rejection may be a delay, it may be a distraction, it may be a devastation for a season, but it’s never a final destination. With Jesus’s love we are always invited in. We’re all on some sort of continuum—we’re either dealing with a past rejection, healing from a present rejection, or fearing that another rejection is right around the corner. It’s not like you get to this epic place where you feel like you finally have the solution to never feel rejected again so now you can write a book about it. That’s not the way it works. I’m still on the journey too. I’m still in the midst of fresh wounds of my own.