How Lucky You Are

I’ve facilitated a women’s book club known as Bibliotherapy for over 5 years now. That’s like 35 in dog years! I’m pleasantly surprised that we’ve been able to maintain our monthly commitment through births, divorces, transitions, moves, and most importantly, some horrible reads. I just finished up our pick for January, Kryistyn Kusek Lewis’ How Lucky You Are.

The Amazon summary reads:

an engaging and moving novel about three women struggling to keep their longstanding friendship alive. Waverly, who’s always been the group’s anchor, runs a cozy bakery but worries each month about her mounting debt. Kate is married to a man who’s on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but the larger questions brewing in their future are unsettling her. Stay-at-home mom Amy has a perfect life on paper, but as the horrific secret she’s keeping from her friends threatens to reveal itself, she panics. As life’s pressures build all around them, Waverly knows she has some big decisions to make. In doing so, she will discover that the lines between loyalty and betrayal can become blurred, happy endings aren’t always clear-cut, and sometimes you have to risk everything to gain the life you deserve.

I haven’t figured out if I liked it or did not like it. Part of my disappointment is that I was expecting chick lit, literary junk food on my night stand. But, what I got was Brussels sprouts. Alas, there is no emotional porn to be found amidst these pages. Nope, this here novella includes real life drama that hits home. If I wanted that, I would’ve just read one of those World War II memoirs.

None the less, Lewis’ work of fiction begs some important questions about our non-fiction lives. Why do we find it so easy to keep secrets from even our closest of confidants? Why do we shirk away from revealing our deepest pains? Why, when a friend reveals something heavy, do I wince and nod as if it’s unfathomable, despite the fact that I share the same sorrow? {Don’t tell me you’ve never done that.}

If I place the model of the early church on top of my 21st century American life in da burbs, I realize that it’s not about meeting the physical and financial needs of others. There is a time for that, but it doesn’t happen as often in my circle as it did back then, when they were being forced out of homes and families for confessing the name of Christ.

The needs of those around me are much more emotionally and spiritually based. These are the things that I gloss over by making small talk about kids’ activities or a home improvement project. I dismiss the fact that my friend doesn’t seem like her normal self for weeks now. I don’t ask why she keeps rescheduling our coffee dates. I don’t pursue her when she doesn’t show up to regular commitments for weeks on end. Then, I’m utterly astounded when she reveals that her husband has moved out.

Waverly is completely taken aback by the secrets of her friends. She is caught off guard, not even suspecting themĀ in the least. The struggles of my friends should not come as a surprise to me. These things should be shared well before the big crisis strikes. Lewis’ characters are missing out on the blessing of true community. I’m writing all about what that looks like in the context of marriage over at Bohemian Bowmans today. Here’s a snippet of my post:

We need others to point out patterns, to affirm what we’re doing well, and to ask us the hard, awkward questions that reveal the true state of a union-especially when we’re not willing to admit it more here.

2 thoughts on “How Lucky You Are

  1. I know I’ve said it once (perhaps more), but you are an incredible Writer – One that speaks truth to my heart. Again, a repeat here, but I’m going to miss Pop Parables (but am hopeful for the next project).
    Probably my biggest challenge with community is T.I.M.E. It’s so hard to find the time to really get in depth with friends. Or maybe that’s just my excuse. While I try to be intentional about how I live (and family will always be the top priority), how can I make sure that intentionality spills over in to my relationships outside of family? (I am more than happy for thoughts/suggestions in this area…!)
    PS: I liked the book. I, too, was expecting flitty chick lit, but was pleasantly surprised by the depth of it. Keepin it realz.

    1. Melanie…thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. :) As for your thoughts and questions…wow, I feel like I could write an entire blog series about how to cultivate community during this busy, chaotic life season. But, perhaps the greatest tip I can share {and I hope this applies to you} is to be try to go deep with those in your immediate circle, at home, work, or church. I read a great post today about some questions that might serve this purpose >

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