Impatient and imperfect. Yup, that’s me. And for a not-so-recovering perfectionist, these can be utterly paralyzing tendencies.
So when I was a mere two paragraphs into the preface of Aimee Walker’s new book, “But I Flourish,” struck by the simple yet deeply personal extension of hope to ‘grow and thrive…anyway’, I knew this was an immediate must-read. And when that bid was quickly followed by the first chapter’s empathetic story revealing we both suffered from the same soul syndrome of “one day when,” I was hooked.
Because of the inner drive within me insisting things must be good, right, soon, and the best they can be for them to be done at all, I often find myself crippled at the starting gate to making any progress if it can’t be all progress. I’m left helplessly stuck until I can accept the reality of growth: It’s slow, it’s steady, but it’s effective—and it’s better than remaining lifeless, foolishly awaiting perfection. Within the pages of “But I flourish,” I was challenged to reframe my perspective—to tease out and separate my knotty circumstances from the truth of my soul-standing and sanctification. I was forced to address the great internal tension we all face: But, my circumstances vs. But, my God.
The whole of this book is a refreshing invitation into the heart and goodness of the God who is orchestrating my growth, offering a life of flourishing that relies upon His perfection, not my own. I can live unconstrained by circumstances, thriving. Yes, even and especially in my rocky right now.
Perfectionists or not, impatient or not, we all desperately need that divine breath of life and hope into our messy everyday, and Aimee is a masterful mentor guiding us to the Almighty One—the only one able to beget the true transformation we long for. When rooted in Him, drawing from the ultimate Source of nourishment, each of us can flourish in whatever season God has us, flourish in our hearts, flourish in our callings, and flourish in our relationships. Aimee doesn’t tell us to—she shows us how.
One of the many things I adore about “But I flourish” is the fascinating discoveries gleaned from the slow-growing tenacious olive tree, the flexible palm, and the soaring lush cedars of Lebanon, and how they so beautifully parallel the captivating life of King David. Aimee’s relatable personal experiences help enliven and bridge those understandings from Scripture to my own past and present experiences. Weaving these engaging illustrations found in the heart cries of the Psalms with beautiful nuggets of the wise, personal, and practical, provided actual circumstantial breakthrough in my own life and perspective—reshaping my spiritual view. I learned to embrace where I’m planted like the olive tree, remain tender to the Lord, sturdy but flexible like the palm, and have a godly confidence because I’m firmly rooted in Christ. And all of these can happen now. (What refreshment to my thirsty impatient spirit!) Not because I’m ready and able; not because I’ve actualized all the things, the best they can be; not because I’ve toiled and mended and perfected, but because I am enabled from my roots to my fruit by the unshaken transforming power of God alone to flourish.
“God’s heart for us as His daughters is for us to have the maturity and resilience—the grit—needed to thrive throughout every season of our lives. In His Word, God has prepared for us a feast of truth and revelation, of wisdom and comfort, of love and affirmation, of correction and instruction, to sustain us and promote growth. As we learn to chew it over, eating from it for ourselves, our lives will be filled with His beauty and strength, and we will be able to reach the heights of maturity He always intended us to” (Chapter 10).
In whatever rocky, dusty, barren, crushing, waiting middle you find yourself right now, I encourage you to discover through these pages that growth in Christ remains not just possible, but certain. Unpack the whens, wheres, whys, and hows of flourishing in ways you may have never considered, through Aimee’s honest reflections and astute biblical insights.
Not merely a dear friend and faithful co-worker, Aimee Walker is a profound writer and Bible teacher, able to bring new life and practicality to familiar passages of God’s Word. We know well that these aren’t just lofty words on a page but years of raw hard-won sanctifying experiences and personal growth. All of us here at the Joyful Life celebrate the accomplishment of this beautiful new book alongside her and know God will use these resonant words mightily in the hearts of many and for His glory.
Meet the Author
A former pastor turned writer, Aimée Walker’s passion is to help people connect with the truth of Scripture so they can grow into maturity in Christ. These days you’re most likely to find her writing in the margins with a strong cup of black coffee in hand as she juggles the beautiful chaos of family life with her husband Dave and tries to keep up with her four kids who range in age from five to twenty-six.
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