The Textbook You Can’t Leave in Your Locker

Is your backpack full of textbooks? Geometry? American History? Earth Science perhaps? Or maybe your school has ditched the paper versions and loaded your textbooks onto laptops and iPads. Either way, you’d know a textbook if you saw it.

But did you know that you are a textbook? It’s true. Let me explain.

I’m in Indianapolis, IN—in a school of sorts. I’m at the True Woman conference. You’ve heard us talk about it before here on the blog. What is it? Well, it’s kind of like a crash course in God’s Word. All weekend we will study the Bible. Not cramming for a test exactly, but for life. More than 8,000 women from 48 states and 10 countries are gathered together here to learn as much as we can about God and His Word.

Tonight Joni Eareckson Tada was our professor. The subject was suffering. If that sounds like a class you’d like to CLEP out of, I understand. No one likes to suffer. No one would choose it. It’s not a course anyone wants to repeat.

If it were possible, Joni would have a master’s degree in suffering. You can read her whole story here. Here is the Cliff’s Notes version:

  • quadriplegia
  • chronic pain
  • cancer

Something Joni said stuck in my gut . . .

“Suffering is the textbook which will teach you who you really are.”

If you want to know what you’re really made of, pay attention to how you respond when things don’t go your way. If you want to grow to be more like Jesus, struggle is part of the required coursework. When people study your life, they will watch how you act when times are tough.

I wonder where you are suffering.

    • Are your friendships strained?
    • Are your parents fighting?
    • Do you have fear you cannot shake?
    • Are you anxious?
    • Depressed?
    • Angry?
    • Do you have patterns of sin you can’t seem to break?
    • Is your body broken?
    • Is your willpower weak?

    “Suffering is the textbook which will teach you who you really are.”

    What are you learning through suffering right now?

    I’ll check back for your answers soon. In the meantime, I’d love for you to join me at True Woman ’14. Don’t worry. No road trip required. You can follow us all weekend via LIVE Stream here.

    Class dismissed.

About Author


Erin is passionate about pointing young women toward God's Truth. She is the author of several books and a frequent speaker and blogger to women of all ages. Erin lives on a small farm in the midwest with her husband and kids. When she's not writing, you can find her herding goats, chickens, and children.

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