William Paul Young in Breckenridge, TX

Here is a pic I took of Paul Young speaking last night.

A car load of us girls headed to Breckenridge High School last night to listen to Paul Young speak, via Albany where we stopped for a good dinner at the Icehouse. It was a meaningful trip in so many ways. I was so blessed. Some background info first...

Here is a link to a previous entry on my blog, I was blessed to be a part of a "bloggers conference call" with Paul Young. We each asked him a question which he answered. Here is my review of the Shack.

I twittered some of my favorite quotes by Paul Young last night and listed them below.
Relationship destroys religious paradigms.
It took me 50 years to realize how many lies I believed about God.
You can't compare your hurt with anybody just like you can't compare your healing with anyone else.
Used to live from the outside in, now I live from the inside out.
Forgiveness is central to our own freedom.
I want to be a part of what God is blessing, not what I think is a good idea.
It took me 50 years to wipe the face of God clean because I had painted his face with the face of my father.
The deepest pain asks the best questions.
Walk don't run, living each day in the grace of God.


Paul Young is a humble man and a humble speaker. He said last night he was working 3 jobs up to the beginning part of last year. Selling machine parts and scrubbing toilets. I think my favorite thing about Paul is that he see's this phenomenon called The Shack is God's deal. Paul is just blessed to be a part of what God is doing. Paul started his talk by speaking about the rise of the book, different God stories that have crossed his path. One story I had heard before, but I loved hearing it last night. A man called his father who lived across the country from him and said he would be showing up on his doorstep with a wonderful gift for him. The father and son had been estranged for decades. The son drove days on his motorcycle to his father's home and only had time to stay a couple of hours before he had to get back on his motorcycle and head home. He wanted to personally place his marked in and dog eared book in his father's hand.

There were a half dozen more stories some even more amazing than a several day motorcycle ride.

After he spoke about the book, the publishing, the initial orders...he moved on to the Q&A. Answering questions he spoke to his inspiration to writing the book, his personal pain that inspired McKenzie's pain, and then spoke to his healing, and forgiveness for those who hurt him. If you are not familiar with his story, he was the son of missionaries to a cannabilistic tribe in Africa and he was sexually abused by that tribe, then put in boarding school and was sexually abused in boarding school. His mother was completely disconnected emotionally and father abusive. He had a lot of crud to deal with. His healing took 11 years, which he condenses into McKenzie's visit to the Shack which lasts 3 days.

I am in awe over his spirit of forgiveness, submission and humility. I find it completely amazing how God uses the most broken of His children to share His love and grace. It seems to me that the very broken are the ones who will let God have His way with them more completely than those who have it all together.

I could talk about his quotes above. Several are piercing. Several can almost take my breath away.

One specific question last night was why he chose such a heartbreaking way to start the book. Those of us who have read it know how it is just so difficult to read. Nothing graphic in nature, but it takes the worst fear as a parent and pierces our heart with McKenzie's journey. He said he was asked that question a lot and that led to the quote..."The deepest pain asks the best questions." What happens to McKenzie's daughter is representative to what happened to Paul as a young child.

If I had to pick one thing that I took with me last night, it would be difficult, because there was such rich gifts in his speaking, but I would have to say that it would be that God is all about our relationship with Him. If I cling to any rules, any legalism in religion, I am putting a mask over my relationship with my Heavenly Father. He is a God of redemption and reconciliation, not a God of rules. Some people might read that and think, well does that mean we can do whatever we want? Absolutely not, but the Holy Spirit and scripture are our guides in that. The love of God draws us in, we then are naturally convicted of the sin that is separating us from Him, we then are convicted to clean our life and make it pleasing to Him. The rules I set down for other people because of my journey are nothing but a hinderance to them. I love in scripture when Paul and Peter were arguing about circumcision, Peter thought that the Gentiles needed to be circumcised to be pleasing to God and by the end of the chapter it is decided that it is not best to enforce the Gentiles to live under the rules of the Jews as it could hinder their relationship with God. I am so guilty of this. The older I get and the more I grow in the Lord I struggle with this much less, but I still have to say that it is where my head goes first, then I remember that God's love will be what draw people to Him, not my spouting rules at them. Totally sinful on my behalf, God please forgive me for this and help me always love with Your love.

Overall a wonderful evening. Would love for Paul to come to Abilene.


Anonymous said…
I loved this post! William Young was in Sydney last year and I am so sorry I missed hearing him speak. I am glad I have had the opportunity to read your impressions.
William Paul Young's book, The Shack, spent 43 weeks as the number one book on the New York Times Best Seller List. This book is great.

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