5.11.2014

Book Review: Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl

I recently read a book which I normally wouldn't read. I don't think that I, a mid-20s accountant with a minor obsession for theology, hymns, old guns, and scotch, would be considered the target audience for "Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom" by Paula Hendricks. However, as luck (and the wonderful connections Twitter can make) will have it, I have somehow found myself in the midst of the target audience of a gaggle of teenage girls swooning after dreamy junior-high boys. As abnormal the topic of this book was compared to my preferred genres and topics, I really like it and would recommend it.

Paula Hendricks, the self-confessedly boy-crazy girl, who blogs at paulawrites.com and is a regular contributor to the True Woman blog, has penned a helpful and brief memoir about her journey from seeking joy in boys to seeking (and finding) her joy in Christ.

Paula breaks down her story in two main parts: her search for happiness in a relationship and her "breaking and remaking" effected by Jesus' gospel. I don't need to be a boy-crazy girl to relate to the experiences she shares and the pains and dead ends of making a relationship an idol. Paula writes each chapter in a colloquial tone which is easy to read and well suited for her presumed teenage girl audience. Each chapter also has questions for reflection which were thought out quite well and would certainly prove helpful.

As a (rather) amateur theologian coming to a book which I normally would not read, I was very curious to see how Scripture would be applied and if it would be handled faithfully. I was quite pleased with Paula's use of the Scriptures and detected no real errors in exegesis or application. On the contrary, I often found myself underlining and marking up many passages which I found to be faithful interpretations and applications of the text of Scripture. For example, I found the tremendously encouraging assertion, "God is a Person - one who's more interested in securing my forever happiness than my temporary happiness" (p.13). Here is a woman who recognizes something that I fear much of the Church misses: the real personhood of God.

One more thing I loved that Paula wrote, which I think shows that she is a trustworthy writer who is planted on some firm doctrinal ground as to how God reveals Himself: "And then I heard Him. Jesus. He spoke to me through Matthew 11:28-30..." (p.92). A writer working through difficult desires and life situations who doesn't look to her circumstances or mystical experiences to hear from God, but hears his voice in the Scriptures? I can really dig that. Oh, and she quoted a favorite hymn of mine and a Thomas Chalmers sermon, so perhaps you should take this review with a grain of salt. Or you can pick up a copy of the book and read it. If you are a teenage girl...or not.

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