Book club met last week to discuss the book, “The Girl on The TRAIN” by Paula Hawkins. As Justine picked up the book to read for the May meeting, her head was filled with the thoughts that she ruined the last book club meeting and maybe she should quit going: Justine took hold of that thought and tormented herself for 20 hours about how horrible she was.
The first words spoken about the book were. “I don’t like any of the characters!”
Justine quickly responded, “I like all the characters!” Then the thought of the men in the book came to mind; she knew she didn’t fully tell the truth, she didn’t like Tom much at all and Scott has some issues, but she didn’t mention it.
What she should have done is ask, “What about each character did you not like? Wasn’t Cathy acting as a Good Christian should; helping someone in need or was she just gullible? What about Megan? Wasn’t she just a broken girl struggling because she feared the secret she held would ruin her life? How hard is life with that kind of secret? What about how Rachel still thought about life with Tom after she found out his secret?”
Justine has always loved the books that have the downtrodden rise from the ashes; it gives her hope that she will also rise from the ashes.
Later on in the conversation a fellow reader mentioned, “The characters have no depth.” Justine opened her mouth standing up for the characters and said,”I was like them just few years ago; this book club has helped me to change and grow: years before that I was much worse and none of you would have liked me.”
Not one person responded.
Justine remembered, God doesn’t tell you something for you to be condemned; it is Satan or yourself giving you bad thoughts. Even though she knew it was a lie, she couldn’t pull herself out of it: God kept working to set her free!
God was whispering to Justine, “Come to Me!” She went to the computer instead. The next morning, God was pulling her, “Come, spend some time with ME!” The television was a wonderful distraction! God finally had his way during the Easter Service and set her free from her self condemnation during the Praise and Worship!
In the book, Rachel didn’t have any support from people around her; she turned to alcohol to drown out the feelings of insufficiency, and inadequacy: this causes her to shrink and not grow as a person. Justine hid behind the television: the moment she walked into the house the television was turned on for the noise to block out her thoughts. At night, the radio and the television or tape/CD/podcast to help her to fall asleep: anything to block out the thoughts that fill her mind.
The wonderful thing about learning a lesson again is it sticks with you a little bit longer. Today, Justine was leading a Bible Study and she talked to much and didn’t give the other people much chance to speak; she had the chance to condemn herself all day again, But she remembered the lesson she just learned and asked God to cover her mistake and let it go.