“Who do you think you are? Who are you on the road to becoming?” These are the main questions author Stasi Eldredge asks in her book, BECOMING MYSELF. Many women have an innate tendency to be who they think everyone else wants and expects them to be. Comparisons and insecurities about our weight, our looks, and our abilities hold us back and cause confusion in our hearts about who God really created us to be.
According to Eldredge, it all comes down to choosing to change the way wesee ourselves. As quoted in the opening pages, “The very fact that we long for change as we do is a sign that we are meant to have it. Our very dissatisfaction with our weaknesses and struggles points to the reality that continuing to live in them is not our destiny.” She points out that, yes, change is hard, but it is most certainly possible. And, most of all, it brings the freedom we long for --- freedom to become ourselves.
"BECOMING MYSELF is a book to read several times through, just to catch and process all of the wisdom and truths presented."
The first few chapters focus on looking back at our lives to see how our past has affected the way we look at ourselves today. Eldredge talks candidly about her own childhood and shares her personal struggles with self-esteem, weight and abuse. Chapters four and five deal specifically with how mothers play a significant role in shaping our self-worth, as nobody has the power to affirm us --- or hurt us --- more than our mothers. Once again, Eldredge shares intimate details of her relationship with her own mom to substantiate this fact. But, as she also reminds us, no matter how wounded we were and how much pain we’re still carrying around today because of it, we can find healing.
The last two thirds of the book deal more with how readers can find that healing. In chapters 6-14, you’ll find these titles: “From Accepting to Embracing,” “From Fear to Desire,” “The Company of Women,” “Beauty Forged in Suffering,” “Stumbling into Freedom,” “Becoming a Woman of Faith,” “Becoming a Woman of Worship,” “Becoming Our True Name” and “Take Heart.” Each chapter includes plenty of scripture, as well as inspiring quotes to highlight the key points.
I personally “discovered” Stasi Eldredge in a video Bible Study class I attended on her New York Times bestselling book, CAPTIVATING. From that moment, I fell in love with her teaching style. She is down-to-earth, relatable and vulnerable with her emotions. Her genuine heart for women shines through, and it’s evident how passionate she is for us to experience healing from our hurts and realize our true worth. Not once does she imply that she has it all figured out, or that there is a magic answer for our insecurities and issues. But her insight is impressive, and her conversational style of teaching invites readers to come along with her as she continues to learn and grow herself. Reading her book is like sitting down with a friend, having a heart-to-heart chat over coffee.
In the last chapter, Eldredge sums things up this way: “Becoming ourselves requires standing against the world’s current --- the demands, the expectations, the assault of daily realities, and our own histories. We cannot afford to indulge in our inner diatribes any longer. To become true ourselves will require that we speak the truth in love, even to ourselves.”
BECOMING MYSELF is a book to read several times through, just to catch and process all of the wisdom and truths presented. Truly accepting and “becoming ourselves” --- the ones God made us to be --- is perhaps the highest compliment we can pay to our Creator.
Reviewed by Lynda Lee Schab on January 23, 2014