REVIEW: “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lysa TerKeurst

“It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered” by Lysa TerKeurst

Hardcover, 256 pages

Published Nov. 13, 2018, by Thomas Nelson

ISBN: 0718039858

My review

“What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful?”

Haven’t all believers wondered something along these lines from time to time? When we are living “between two gardens,” as TerKeurst puts it, disappointment in many forms is inevitable. This book delves into the ways we struggle with disappointment and how God calls us to respond to it.

“It’s Not Supposed To Be this Way” is the first TerKeurst book I’ve read. I really appreciated the way she laid bare her own disappointments in real time and managed to find the truth of God’s promises — which are waiting for us in His Word — in the midst of heartbreak. Each chapter is great for discussion with a group, which is how I read it with some other women from my church, and there’s even a companion study guide available.

I am so glad to have my own physical copy of this book, because it is ALL marked up! I did lots of underlining. It is loaded with Scripture-based wisdom, not to mention humor and tears. I enjoyed it so much. TerKeurst has a great conversational style of writing that makes me feel like I’m sitting with her at her kitchen table over cups of coffee. I was both challenged and encouraged by this book.

My favorite quotes

Here’s some of my favorite quotes (one per chapter):

“To wrestle well means acknowledging my feelings but moving forward, letting my faith lead the way.”

“Dust doesn’t have to signify the end. Dust is often what must be present for the new to begin.” (This is something I cling to after losing two loved ones in the past year.)

“God loves me too much to answer my prayers at any other time than the right time and in any other way than the right way.”

“God’s Word is the Truth. And His Truth says you are a holy and dearly loved child of your heavenly Father. You are wonderfully made. You are a treasure. You are beautiful. You are fully known by Him and lavishly loved by Him. You are chosen. You are special. You are set apart. No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you, these words of God are true about you.”

“While God converts with truth, the enemy perverts with truth. God wants us transformed, but Satan wants us paralyzed. So when we hear thoughts like ‘I’m not good enough’ that cause us to shrink away, we must keep in mind that the enemy will do anything he can to prevent us from moving closer to God or connecting more deeply with other people.”

“When we think the process of longsuffering is unbearable, we must remember it would be deadly for God to put us up on that solid rock before we we are strong, firm, and steadfast. And it would be cruel for Him to require us to sing before we have a song.”

“You see, we’re all living out a story, but then there’s the story we tell ourselves. We just need to make sure what we’re telling ourselves is the right story. And the right story is, yes, God will give us more than we can handle. But He always has eventual good in mind.”

“To be able to be free, we must do three things: We are to throw off what hinders us. We are to stay free of the entanglements of sin. We are to persevere by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, who is the author of our story of faith.”

“Dangerous desires birthed inside our unsettled disappointments are nothing but a setup for a takedown. A quick rise to a hard fall.”

“Using God’s truth as your fighting words will not change what you see, but it will absolutely change how you see.”

“To live is to love. To love is to risk pain. To risk pain is to live. It’s what it means to be truly human. As fragile as dust. The breaking of us. The making of us. The building up of our faith.”

About the author

Author bio and photo courtesy of Goodreads

Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times best-selling author of Univited, The Best Yes, Unglued, Made to Crave, and 18 other books. Her newest book, It’s Not Supposed to be This Way, is scheduled for release in November of 2018. Lysa was recently awarded the Champions of Faith Author Award and has been published in multiple publications such as CNN and Fox News online. Additionally, she has appeared on the Today Show as one of the leading voices in the Christian community.

Each year, Lysa is a featured keynote presenter at more than 40 events across North America, including the Women of Joy Conferences and the Catalyst Leadership Conference. She has a passion for equipping women to share their stories for God’s glory through Proverbs 31 Ministries’ annual She Speaks Conference and writer training program, COMPEL: Words That Move People.

Connect with Lysa on social media @lysaterkeurst or at

4 thoughts on “REVIEW: “It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way” by Lysa TerKeurst

  1. Pingback: WRITER’S CORNER: A grandma like no other | That Book Lady Blog

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