True You: Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created
By Michelle DeRusha
I know I am not the only one who struggles with identity, worth and purpose in life. I personally tend to go in spurts – I will either feel comfortable in my own skin and like I am living purposefully on the path God has paved for me, or, I’ll find myself wandering away from the direction God was leading and into a place where I question my value and doubt my purpose.
I was in that place of feeling lost and lonely, wallowing in the dark shadows of self-pity and brokenness, when this book came to the top of my reading list. (God always has a way of reaching out by connecting with my soul’s intent and redirecting me on my journey toward fulfillment!)
That journey was relit and repaved from the moment I completed the first chapter of True You: Letting go of your false self to uncover the person God created by Michelle DeRusha.
Using the imagery of a gardener’s technique to “prune open” natural creation, DeRusha beautifully paints a picture of God “pruning open” our souls in the various seasons we experience in life. One wonderful example I enjoyed was the image of a tree hiding its trunk over time because of the increase and development of leaves, branches and other foliage. DeRusha explains that our God-designed self is just like a tree – when we begin our lives “bare” and unexposed to the world we are the closest to our authentic self that God created, yet, over time we allow “stuff” to pile in our lives and cause clutter, chaos and confusion. The “stuff” we add to increase our sense of purpose and productivity ends up being the very thing we need to remove because it limits us from growing (and becoming) the person God designed us to be. Just like healthy plants and trees need to be pruned in order to thrive in their environment, we too, must release our false identities and declutter our heart, mind and soul.
“God yearns for us to live whole-heartedly and truthfully as the unique, beautiful, beloved individuals He created us to be.” ~ Michelle DeRusha, True You (pg. 19)
God has so much planned for our individual lives but our purpose can only be revealed when we limit our need to do more, have more and be more and instead allow God’s “more” to be found in the world’s idea of “less.”
“But the reality is that underneath those many, many leaves, we are straining beneath the weight. It’s crowded in there. Eventually, as we add more and more, there’s less and less light, less and less room to grow. Until finally, clinging tighter than ever to our branches and leaves…we break.”~ Michelle DeRusha, True You (pg. 54)
I mean, WOW.
While reading this book, I found myself thinking, “Yes!” “Amen!” and “That is SO me!” I absolutely loved the tree/gardener theme that was the main concept behind explaining God’s purpose for His individually designed creation. Other themes in this book included seeking rest, quieting our minds, stilling our hearts, quitting the busy lifestyle, and discovering the present of being fully present in each moment. Which ironically, is everything I am currently struggling with in my own life.
Oh, but God!
DeRusha encourages us to live out the themes described in this book (above) so we are more in tune to the work and role God has for our lives. It is impossible to unveil your authentic self until you discover your true identity found in Christ.
Additionally, there is a section at the end of each chapter that allows the reader to go deeper in their quest to uncover the person God created.
It is no surprise that I enjoyed True You because it spoke directly to me in the season I am currently in. I think everyone can benefit from reading this book but I would highly recommend it to those who are particularly questioning their worth, doubting their purpose, or are confused about their identity. True You will challenge you to dig underneath the surface and answer some very tough questions. I’m not much of a journaler but I ended up journaling a lot while reading this book because it made me ponder…What makes me come alive? What brings me contentment, joy and satisfaction? What fills my cup? What sets my soul on fire?
What is my “why” that motivates me to get out of bed each morning and choose to exist (thrive versus strive) on this planet?
Reading this book immediately after reading Fake or Follower by Andi Andrew was clearly part of God’s plan for redirecting me back onto His path for my life. Both Fake or Follower and True You ignited my soul and equipped me to pursue fulfilling my life’s purpose.
Both books enlightened me and perhaps they will spark some type of light within you.
*I received True You from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.