Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Becoming Myself


Back Cover
Becoming Myself is a hope-filled book for anyone who wonders if her life will ever change—if she will ever change.  In Stasi Eldridge’s most intimate book yet, she shares her struggles with self-worth, addiction, and her past as she shows readers how God is faithfully bringing us to a life of freedom and wholeness.
God desires to restore us, and he is able to restore us—the real us.  As he heals our inner life he calls us to “rise to the occasion” of our lives.  The most important journey any woman can take is the one into becoming her true self through the love of God.  It’s a beautiful paradox:  the more God’s you become, the more yourself you become-the woman he had in mind when he thought of you before the creation of the world.
When I first saw this book, I was intrigued.  Becoming myself- what exactly did the author mean?
As I dove into the book, it quite often became very hard to read.  Written more like a personal memoir, Stasi walks you through some difficult times throughout her life.  She hit on some very positive points such as we should not prison ourselves to fear (i.e. fear of what others think/say, fear of circumstance, etc.), but rather, release those fears and insecurities to God.  Other points were that beauty does not relate to some specific measurement, hair colour, or height (everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way!), and to always strive to be a good friend.
However, for the most part, I felt the book was wrought with some very troublesome issues.  What felt like rants against mothers (and two whole chapters of it), didn’t exactly coincide with one of the author’s agendas of helping eradicate misogyny, or hatred against women.  To blame your mother for any and all weight issues, insecurity, self-esteem, addiction, thoughts, feelings---- reminded me of a “scapegoat”.  Casting blame on others has been around for a loooong time – remember Adam in the Garden of Eden when God spoke to him about eating the forbidden fruit?  Adam said “This woman you gave me…”  And Eve goes on to say, “The serpent deceived me!”  While I understand that circumstances can and do mould us to a certain point, in the end, it is our choice to decide whether or not they will continue to define us. While I think that the author’s end point is about overcoming difficulties, it is shrouded in just heaping blame for our problems on someone else.  Instead of doing that, we need to take responsibility for our own mistakes and run to our Father in heaven, Who is always there with open arms – “Cast all your cares upon Him for He careth for you”.
There were other points of concern, such as talk of “soul ties” between two people, which was just plain bizarre, and feministic ideals and refusal to embrace to the God-ordained and wonderful roles of men and women as outlined in the Scriptures.
In closing, I want to put out there that I really dislike writing negative reviews.  As an aspiring writer myself, I understand how one person’s written work is viewed like their “baby”.  It’s something you’ve poured yourself into, and nurtured into the finished product it is now, so reviewing books is a task I do not take lightly.  But as this is a book about Christian living, I fear I had to raise some very key issues that do not align with Scriptural truths.  I did not hit on every single thing I was at odds with in the book, but instead choose to end this review with a strong word of caution.  If you decide to read this book (and really, any book about Christian living!), I would highly recommend to have the mind of the Bereans that the Apostle Paul spoke of in Acts 17:11, who after hearing Paul speak would search “the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

Book has been provided courtesy of David C. Cook and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller.