“But as a girl who struggled through difficult seasons, painful circumstances, and had been hurt by others; as someone who made bad choices, suffered the consequences, and gotten weary of living; as a person who studied the Bible, memorized parts of Scripture, and underlined and highlighted sections with different colored pens, this is what I also know: It’s not enough to know you are a unique, divinely created soul. You must believe it. And to believe it, you must choose to remember what you already know—or learn what you don’t. Then you must choose to rehearse the idea of your value until it becomes so ingrained in your mind that it affects what you do, how you think, and the way you respond to what has occurred in your life, whether you caused it or not”. Chrystal Evans Hurst, She’s Still There
She’s Still There is Chrystal Evans Hurst’s first solo book. In the introduction, Chrystal tells the reader “Parts of the words I’ve written will be gentle and kind. You may cry as you see yourself and your story on these pages. Some parts of this book will leave you smiling and feeling inspired because I will come alongside you as your cheerleader. But I have to tell you that some of my words will be direct and firm. Why? Because real friends tell their friends the truth, even when it’s not easy for them to hear it.”
In my opinion, she delivered on this promise, and I’m so thankful for her bravery. Chrystal is the daughter of Tony Evans, sister of Priscilla Shirer and Anthony Evans, a wife, and a mother. With all that noise around it might be easy to lose your voice, but Chrystal leads by example the encouragement that she offers.
She’s Still There is the encouragement needed for the woman at any age who feels she has lost her direction. We all wonder if we’ve stepped too far to the left or right at some point, and this book is filled with practical advice as well as encouragement about how to regain focus and motivation.
Having grown up in the church, I appreciated Chrystal’s transparency around complacency. Her reminder that God has a plan for everyone, and he has created us all uniquely is one that I’ve heard before. What I appreciated is the practical discussion that is presented. Rarely will we fill out a worksheet, figure out our strengths and look up to find the rest of the pieces have fallen into place. It just doesn’t work that way, and that’s ok. God is with us on the journey, and this book gives great suggestions as to what the journey might include. The GAIN steps that are explained in Chapter 9 are easy to apply, but not the totality of how Hurst presents finding our way to God’s best for ourselves.
“But I also want to tell you that the joy that can fill your soul through your senses and significance is temporary. That kind of joy doesn’t last.”
“While God calls us out of complacency, His peace allows us to choose contentment with our place in the world.”
“I choose to believe that God takes great delight in me and that He rejoices over me. (Zeph 3:17) and that his banner (and declaration) over me is love (Song of Sol 2:4).”
The timing of reading this book couldn’t have been better. It was a perfect reminder that God delights in us wherever we are on the path, and he is present to help us see him a little more clearly every day when we choose to believe he delights in us.
Interested in hearing a bit more? Check out Chrystal’s Podcast. I’ve linked episode #124 where she reads from her book.
In exchange for an honest review, I was given a free E-book copy of this book via Book Look Bloggers. The opinions expressed are my own.
I’m still participating in Write 31 Days! Head on over and see what others are saying via this link.