I never thought of myself as being "boy-crazy." I remember driving around in high school with two of my best friends in the car, both of whom were screaming and giggling at boys in normal teenage girl fashion. I considered myself a little above that.
And yet when it was time to come up with a name for our son, my husband and I had to cross several off the list just by virtue of the fact that I had dated guys with those names. Now, I'm not saying there were scores of names. But there were more than a couple. My boy-craziness might not have led to posters of JTT (google it) on my wall, but I can look back and see that I was indeed far too concerned with the approval of boys, and, later, men.
Would I have the guts to spill all my journal entries and heartache in a book that anyone might read? Um, no. But one author did just that, and I wish I could go back and give it to 13-year-old Catherine, the AWANA trophy winner who had a major crush on the high school drop-out who had been shot in the arm. Seriously. Or the 15-year-old Catherine who was naively sure she would marry the 18-year-old she was dating. Or the 18-year-old Catherine who got into a serious relationship 2 weeks into her freshman year of college, convinced she had finally found "the one." The list could go on, but the point is the same--I was looking for something none of these guys could give me.
In Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey From Neediness to Freedom, Paula Hendricks shares her heart with her readers. And not just a little bit of her heart. I mean she really pours it out, holding nothing back out of love for those girls who might pick up this book and see the incredible love of Christ written on its pages. This is not a story of "I became the woman God wanted me to be, and then He brought me an amazing husband."
Instead, this is a book that exposes our idols, what she calls "'little g' gods," and encourages us to replace them with something far greater. I found young Catherine on so many pages in this book, and honestly, I found 30-year-old Catherine on some too. I still want to be liked, admired, and loved. There's not a lot of difference between a 15-year-old girl and a 30-year-old, now that I think about it. The individual situations and idols may be different, but the root is the same.
But there is hope, and the author shares it so lovingly and passionately. She encourages her readers:
No, you can't fix who you are on your own, but God is in the business of transforming broken girls into beautiful trophies of His grace.
I commend this book to every younger girl (middle school, high school, college and beyond), as well as to parents who want to see the depths of what their daughters are going through. The freedom from neediness is only found in Christ, and Paula Hendricks writes from a heart that has clearly been transformed by Him.
*I was given a copy of this book by Moody Press, but the opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.