Sometimes blog posts take awhile to percolate...this has been one of those.
I read a book by one of my favorite authors, Irene Hannon. It isn't her "typical" book. At least, not like the action, suspense, drama thrillers I've read of hers in the past. I knew that going in, so it wasn't a surprise, though I wasn't sure what to expect.
Surprisingly, I really connected with each of the two main female characters in very different ways. I say surprisingly, because while I usually fall in love with the characters Ms. Hannon develops, I don't necessarily connect with them. I might want to be more like them. I might sympathize with them for their hurt. I might get angry on their behalf. But, I don't always connect with them because I have that same emotion or hurt or baggage or perspective. However, I very much connected with Karen and Val from That Certain Summer.
Some of the details were very different, but the main core was the same. I was impressed and pleased that Ms. Hannon chose to address such a weighty topic that is so real in our culture. That of low self-esteem and self-worth.
Karen struggled with feelings of low self-esteem. She constantly tried to please every one around her, to the point that she was a bit of a door mat and no one really wanted to be around her, because she never voiced her opinions or stood up for herself.
I don't think there is anyone that would say I don't express my opinions. In fact, there are many times I need to SHUT my mouth instead of open it.
However, I can very much relate to the low self-esteem. Karen even marries a guy simply because she likes the attention he bestows on her. I didn't get that far before I called off one particular relationship, but that has always been a concern of mine. An internal, private one. If a guy shows some interest, am I going to fall head over heals before I realize he's NOT a nice guy?
Val goes so far down the road of regret that it's difficult for her to see her worth. She punishes herself, withholding life's joys from herself, because she doesn't think she deserves it.
Oh, the ways I have done that! Oh, the heartache I have heaped on myself because I don't acknowledge the One who created me!
Each evening, I read my little one the story of Creation from a Children's Storybook Bible. When we get to the part about God creating Adam and Eve, the sentence is "They were lovely because He loved them."
YES! I get choked up a little reading it sometimes, because she is lovely because God made her and loves her. I am lovely because God made me and LOVES me.
It doesn't matter what America's standard of beauty is. I am lovely because God loves me!