Thursday, 16 March 2017

"Never Unfriended" - It's As Great As It Sounds!

It was a simple comment on a devotional, typed from my desk at the office. I truly didn't think I even had a chance of being selected for the Book Launch Team... but I felt impressed to share my heart on the subject of community. That's the funny thing about women: we often get used to rejection, but are somehow determined to conquer it.

The Book Launch invitation came with a digital sample of Lisa-Jo Baker's book, Never Unfriended. I had read no further than the first paragraph of the introduction before I was hooked! When I read the following quote, I knew this book would be one of those rare, life-changing reads:

"We want to matter to the people we think matter."
I had spent my entire life trying to matter:
  • To my father, who always chose my sister when each parent took one sibling
  • To the one schoolteacher who understood the depths of my sorrow after my grandfather passed, but excluded me from attending her wedding
  • To the cousin who took my only sibling for a one-on-one drive when he got his driver's license
  • To the boy who called me "Darling", but didn't respect my moral boundaries
  • To the man I first chose as my husband and father to my children, who beat me mercilessly while pursuing other women
  • To my step-daughter, whose attachment issues magnified my own inadequacies
  • To anyone. Anyone at all.
Never Unfriended unfolded like the pages of an old journal. It spoke of friendship PTSD, of the fear of being and/or welcoming the new girl, and of unresolved conflict. My life was nothing if not a series of all of the above! The sting of rejection and fear of conflict had led me to abandon a number of relationships to avoid more of either. This book is a manual for people who, like me, have grown tired of trying.

If you think you are alone in your friendship frustrations, please read Never Unfriended. Rays of hope shine from every page as Lisa-Jo Baker shares both her wounds and steps to healing. Tears will fall and spirits will rise as you read a book that ministers so deeply to the heart that it is impossible to put down. Never Unfriended has traveled with me to the lunchroom, to the bathroom, and to a hotel room. It will continue to travel in my heart.

I am so grateful to have been chosen as part of the Book Launch Team for Never Unfriended! I have been blessed by the fellow Team members, who shared stories, graphics and prayers. Authors like Lisa-Jo Baker, who come alive on the page and seem to sip your coffee with you as you read, are rare treasures. I see every woman through new eyes: I understand now that the challenge is the same for all of us - it is merely our reactions that differ.

Near the beginning, the author writes, "No one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman." The remaining pages are a road map to this eloquent statement near the end of the book: "Our business is to believe the best about people. We are not their judge, their jury, and we are certainly not their god. We are intended to be their blessing. On purpose."
My heart's desire is still to matter - but not to the people I think matter. I want to matter because I have made the world a warmer place with friendship offered freely.

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