5 Stars Out Of 5
LIFE CHANGING for women who struggle with poor self worth / unhealthy relationships. PLEASE READ if you relate.
February 9, 2017
I want to start off by saying that I agree with the person below me that this book is meant for a specific audience. That being said, I happen to be a person who falls into that rightful audience. And this book completely changed my life. If you can relate to my next words, please read my story that follows it. If you can't relate but know of anyone who might, please tell them to read Lacey's book. The money and the reading time is a small price to pay if it affects others as much as it has me.
*For women who were raised by an ABSENT FATHER; for those who have a habit of magnetizing the WRONG TYPES OF MEN; for the ones who are DESPERATE for earthly love and will make UNHEALTHY sacrifices in an effort to obtain it; to the ones who GIVE WITHOUT ABANDON just to get SCRAPS OF AFFECTION back; for the ones who see the good over the bad in ABUSIVE people; the ones who have TROUBLE CREATING BOUNDARIES with the opposite sex or with others in general; to women who have, like me (and Lacey I learned from this book) got caught up in "FOLLOWING THEIR HEARTS," and in FEELINGS - artists, songwriters (like myself), reflective souls and dreamers - the ones who dwell on emotions a little TOO much. The ones who isolate ourselves from others who we feel just don't get it. (I never realized that was a narcissistic way of thinking until I read this). The ones who chase feelings over reality / rational / God's instructions for our lives.
This is my story. Even if only one person relates, it is worth telling.
In early December, I went to Barnes and Noble at the end of a long work week with the sole purpose of buying Lauren Graham's (Gilmore Girls star) autobiographical book. I had been eagerly awaiting its release since half a year earlier when it had been announced that she had written it. Its actual release date was on a weeknight, but I was pretty drained at the time so I waited until Friday night to pick up a copy.
Emotionally, I was in a horrible place. I was far from God and angry. My parents were going through a sticky divorce and I had found out that my dad was a bigger liar and scoundrel than I had ever known (and trust me, I already thought low of him.) I was heartbroken for my mom who was getting screwed over. I was distressed over the fact that we had ever tried to be family unit in the first place. I was angered that I hadn't had better role models growing up (my mom is a strong Christian but has her share of psychological issues too due to her own poor upbringing and past with abuse). Instead of turning to church support, my selected form of escape was messing around with an older divorced coworker who I had built an acquaintanceship with for some time before that. (AS I LEARNED FROM THIS BOOK, THAT WAS MY FIRST MISTAKE. One (of many) earth shattering quotes for me in its contents - "The enemy of our souls (devil) will always send someone INAPPROPRIATE to MEET AN UNMET NEED in our life") Amen. There's a lot of insight that she shares about becoming too attached to non-Christian people in general, even as friends. We have to really guard our hearts. I wasn't creating those necessary boundaries.
This man that I was spending time with is a narcissist (like my father), but he has that boyish charm about him and was giving me attention that I desperately craved - and that's how I justified involvement with him. Even though I knew darn well what his personality was. I'd been a magnet for people like him for some time, because that's what I was used to having grown up with that. The situation that we were in could have gotten both of us fired. But I overlooked that because I enjoyed our banter and the excitement that I got from breaking workplace ediquette. From a rational standpoint, I despised myself. I knew he was unsaved; I knew he was poison to me; I knew at the end of the day, he didn't give a crap about me. But I would get the courage to walk away just to get swept back in. And the deeper I got involved with him, the harder it was for me to interact with God, because i knew the situation was wrong and I stubbornly did not want to give it up.
Flash back to my bookstore venture. I easily found Lauren Graham's book in the new arrival section and was about to head to the front desk to purchase but decided to browse a little more. After all, it was Christmas time and a Friday night, and quite frankly, I had no where else to be. Yes, I'm in my late 20s. Most of my peers were out and mingling. But most of my peers don't deal with bad anxiety that causes them to get little sleep. By Friday night, I have no energy left. I just wanted to unwind that night. So I started to wander. No more than five minutes later, I passed the Christian section of the bookstore and saw Lacey's face staring at me. Most of the books are stacked sideways on the shelves but hers was cover-first in my direction. My first thought was, WOW! I know who she is! I used to listen to her band in high school and some of her relatives go to my ex's church (weird coincidence). I already knew about her suicidal struggle. But what moved me to actually pick the book up were the words on the front that say "FINDING TRUE LOVE IN A WORLD OF BROKEN LOVERS."
I thought, well crap, my whole generation needs this. None of us know how to love! Way to go, internet. Destroying our love lives. I didn't think about my own situation; just my age bracket at large. I didn't know what Lacey's history with men was. I figured the book was probably a bit cheesy and something I couldn't relate to. I read the back of the book, smiled and then put it down. And went to walk away.
Then, I felt a tug in my heart that said "But what if?? What if that book is actually really good? ....Yeah, ok but what if it's not? Anyone who ever goes to Barnes and Noble know that their pricing is high. (******The price here is so much better so you have no excuse but to buy!!!! I payed $16 dollars, guys!!****) And I've read plenty of Christian books that really are cheesy and, pardon my bluntness, boring. BUT... it WAS Christmas time. And I did feel far from God. And I usually get a bonus in December, so I figured, what the heck, FINE. God, this better be good!!
I still hadn't read through enough of the book to realize that Lacey's past relationship that the book greatly focuses on ALMOST MIRRORED THE EXACT SITUATION THAT I WAS IN AT THE TIME. She had been in an unhealthy relationship with a coworker (who actually was still married, but still similar situation). Let me reiterate, I did NOT KNOW THIS when I put the money down for the book. I just trusted God that I would get something out of the book somewhere.
I had no clue that by the end of the read, I would literally be a different person. I didn't know how much pen ink would go into marking and starring many of the lines. I had no clue that I would go through way more tissues than usual in those next few weeks. I didn't know that I could flat out relate to a book this much. Honestly, I could have written it myself. Almost all of it. And this is why it was so life changing for me. I realize that not everyone will feel this way. You have to have a history of low self esteem and chasing the wrong men for sure. But I know plenty of other women who do. And this is why I wanted to share.
Guys, THIS IS HOW GOD WORKS. (Sorry that I keep capitalizing, it just gets me going more than I can express) Go back to my quote about the devil above. Sometimes, the enemy DOES get to us. At the WORST times for us and the BEST times for him. I had already been caught up with my coworker since the summer before I first laid eyes on The Mystery. The devil had got me BAD. God allows us to get tempted, and sometimes we fail. But, guys, HE CAN ALSO MEETS OUR NEEDS at JUST THE RIGHT TIME when we need it most. Even in the times when we have strayed so far that we believe that he wants nothing to do with us anymore. When I opened Lacey's book and started reading and bawling, I tossed Lauren Graham's book that I had been waiting half a year for right into my bookshelf and shut the door. Because all of a sudden, I was reminded and shaken by the truths that I had been running so fast from in an effort to find some so-called "comfort." God was speaking directly to me in those pages. And in words that I could understand. From someone who had been there. So say that I was captivated is an understatement.
I've said so many times in the past, there's no hope for me in love. I was raised wrong. I always find bad men. They may have different physical features and some personality differences, but it's always the same story. It would take a whole lot of work for me to ever find real love. And it probably doesn't exist in our sex-saturated, self-fulfilling culture anyway. Well, guess what? This book proves that it is possible. Even if it's not the norm. So there go my excuses out the window.
The journey that Lacy took to unleash toxic people from her life and find love through Jesus first was not an overnight turn. She was stubborn at first like I was. She wanted to feel needed by a man. She wanted to emotionally connecting to someone. That made her feel whole. I get that!! I've been there. I still struggle. A lot of reality was slapped into me from reading this, but you better believe it's going to take more time and surrender to God to get to the place where I need to be. And a lot of discipline. But I was reminded that THAT IS POSSIBLE. And that is everything. We have to be ready to take that first leap. We have to be ready for accountability. She got that. I reached out myself recently to obtain it, as well.
We can't do it on our own. We cannot grow as Christians on our own. Because again- periods do come when we go through rougher storms. You have to be prepared at all times. Thankfully, God got to me through this book when I needed it. And I am forever grateful. But next time, I need to be prepared in advance and have accountability already lined up. But I'm happy to be back on the right track. I have that fire back. And I hope to either write my own book one day or share more of my songwriting with the world. Because if this book changed my life as much as it did - I think that all our stories have the potential to change lives. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
So for everyone that's curious about this book after reading this, get it! The price on here is a steal! If you can't relate, that's fine, but seriously, don't be scared to share your own stories about how God has changed your lives!