In True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created, Michelle DeRusha prunes open her soul through quiet reflection and discovers a deeper relationship with God. She comes to peace with her authentic self and learns to embrace her unique qualities and gifts.
DeRusha felt driven to succeed and struggled with basing her self-worth on achievement. But when she slowed down and decided to sit on a bench under an Oak Tree for 5 minutes a day during her daily walk, she not only saw deeper into the beauty of her surroundings, she saw deeper into her soul.
Using the metaphor of tree pruning, this book encourages you to slow down a few minutes each day and take an introspective look at the branches in your life that need pruning.
“For the first time in my life, I saw and understood that relationship with God is the foundation of everything. I saw that all things—intimacy in marriage, parenting, and friendships; relationship to community, vocation; knowledge of self—are all built on knowing and being in relationship with God.”
The process not only leads to discovering your true self but also helps us recognize and understand our place in God’s kingdom on earth. I appreciated DeRusha’s vulnerability in sharing her struggles as an author and coming to accept and value her own style and gifts as a writer.
One of my favorite parts of the book emphasized the importance of community using the forest as a comparison. Trees that grow closely together in a forest are more likely to survive than those with ample space between them. Underneath the roots and soil is a “labyrinth of fungi entwined among tree roots, nicknamed the wood-wide web.” This network enables trees to distribute nutrients between one another.
“Like trees, our well-being depends in large part on our connection with and integration into our community. We need each other for nourishment, connection, and support. We sustain each other through season of droughts; we hold each other up as violent storms rage around us; we flourish together in seasons of abundance. Like a tree that is only as strong as the forest that surrounds it, we humans thrive best together.”
Each chapter concludes with questions to help you explore and prune your soul in order to live into the purpose God created you for.
I received a free copy of this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for my honest review.