It’s Okay Not to be Okay
Written by Dagmar Morgan
It’s OKAY not to be okay.
On the days when it feels like you could use a field guide just to help you navigate life on this spinning globe hurtling through space and time, look no further than Sheila Walsh’s book of the same title.
It’s Okay Not to be Okay is filled with insights, stories and hands-on ways that we can access Jesus, His teachings and use the Bible for its intended purpose. As Sheila says, “the Bible is not a just book but a living letter, alive and able to change our lives.” In IONTBO, Sheila Walsh points us keenly to Jesus and the Bible as a tool and gift that transforms us. Especially in this confusing modern world, Walsh helps us to dive deeper into God’s word in a way that is not only meaningful but also intensely relevant.
Sitting beside her at a table in a 100 Huntley Street board room, her Bible perched between us, I had what I can only describe as a life-changing moment. We had a long conversation about her book and the personal journey it is based on. Many of us are trying to figure this all out: how to follow Jesus and find our way in the world. Though it is no easy feat, Walsh reminds us of the importance of putting Jesus at the front our lives and not thrown in the back.
As we chatted, I asked her to unpack what it means to only have Jesus as an afterthought or “hashtag” in our life. In response, she told me the story of a specific time she spoke into a young man’s life about how God needs to be the centre of it all, even in our struggles and insecurities. She explained,L “My son is twenty-one, and because he’s an only child, my husband and I determined early that our house would be the place where everyone would hang out. So, we’ve had this awesome privilege of having conversations and getting to know many of the friends in our son’s life. One of these conversations happened not so long ago with a group of four of them who had a house and went on to college and university together. I was up visiting and one of the boys said, ‘Can you help me with this? I’m struggling with online pornography.’”
And my thing was that if Jesus is just a hashtag in your life, everything that comes before the hashtag is up to you and you alone. He had tried everything to help with this—they had even taken off the door to his bedroom.
But when we sat down to really talk it through I told them, here’s the deal guys, you are all trying to do this by yourself. It’s like, I can stop this… I can stop this on my own and Jesus is a just a hashtag; “Oh, by the way, Lord, help me with this?” What if we shift this whole conversation so that it begins with, “Jesus, I struggle with pornography and I don’t want to. Can you help me?”
We came up with all these ideas of how my son and his friend could start their days together. For a whole year each morning, they shared what they were struggling with and laid it out on the table. Then asked the Lord to help them with it.”
This is just one of the many ways that Walsh’s book brings us right back to the heart of Jesus. He is not a background player or an afterthought, but a key player in our future and present.
If we connect with him authentically there can be healing, love, hope and direction. We are not alone spinning out of control in this world. Instead, we are invited to dance through both hard times and good ones with an ever-loving God who wants to be there with us in every moment. It’s Okay Not to Be Okay is a must read for youth-leaders, young adults and the people that love them. Find it where books are sold.