David wrote, "My soul follows hard after you" (Psalm 63:8). About 1,000 years later, Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).
Following God sounds super easy, but it seems like we all struggle with it at times. Whether we face our own sin, pressures from work, screaming kids, depression, anxiety, or anything else in life, following God seems anything but easy. But Jesus promises if we take up this "cross" we'll find life.
Gretchen's passion is to follow hard after Jesus, knowing He is the treasure of a lifetime and worth every minute she commits to Him. God’s Word has been life-changing for her through the most trying times—a great source of strength, wisdom, and truth. She's a Bible teacher who speaks and writes because she loves to see Jesus change lives as He’s changed hers. Gretchen is a wife of 29 years and mother of 3 young adult children. Check out her speaking schedule to see if her next event will be near you.
You can find Gretchen on:
Or check out her website gretchenfleming.com
Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Why I Need to Stop Measuring by Gretchen Fleming
Chapter 1 - Loving the Word of God
Have you ever struggled with reading the Bible? Sometimes it can seem boring or irrelevant, even for Christians today. It's anything but boring or irrelevant though. And it's something you can grow to love and treasure as you grow daily. Gretchen tells the story of her own journey of developing a passion for the Bible and the thrilling journey of knowing God through reading his word.
Chapter 2 - The Dark Night of the Soul
St. John of the Cross wrote, "In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, Nor I beheld aught, Without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart. This light guided me More surely than the light of noonday To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me–A place where none appeared." The dark night of the soul is a bitter-sweet place where pain and growth meet. It's a place where you feel completely alone, as though God will never be near again. In this chapter, Gretchen tells her story of the dark night of the soul and what it was like when she felt God wasn't listening.
Chapter 3 - When the Darkness Begins to Lift
As you drive through a long mountain tunnel, there's a moment when the light from the outside world begins to slowly brighten the walls of the tunnel around you. Sometimes coming out of a dark night of the soul can feel the same way. You fight to see the light and get back to a time when all you knew was bright daylight. But the darkness doesn't always lift immediately. In this chapter, Gretchen tells about her experience coming out of the dark night of the soul and the growth she experienced as a result of it.
Chapter 4 - Why You Need to Stop Measuring Yourself
Perfectionism. It's tough to admit you aren't perfect. Internally, though, there's always a tendency to measure yourself in some way. You may think about how your friend reads the Bible and prays so much more than you do. You may think about how all your friends are better parents than you because every time you visit their house it's always clean and their kids form a single file line as they march to their beds every night. In this chapter, Gretchen describes what happens when we measure ourselves and how we can stop this bad habit.
Chapter 5 - Gratitude as a Spiritual Discipline
Gratitude changes your perspective on life. It puts God in his place as creator and provider, and you in your proper place as created and receiver. Learning to live a life of gratitude can be a powerful spiritual discipline in your journey to grow daily. Gretchen talks about the power of gratitude in her journey to escape perfectionism.
Chapter 6 - Following Hard after Jesus
Follow hard after God! In this final chapter of our conversation with Gretchen, she sums up the Christian life in this one statement. No matter what life throws at you, no matter how deep the darkness gets or how imperfect you feel you are, follow hard after God! Keep pursuing him and all that he has for you. And when you do, you'll find you're on a thrilling journey that's more fulfilling and exciting than you could have ever imagined.
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