The idea behind this book drew me in right away. Life requires bravery, and sometimes an immense amount of it! I was hoping to find encouragement and wisdom within these pages, and it came through above and beyond my expectations.
Lee Wolfe Blum shares many stories from her own life and the lives of women who have faced many of the hard things we fear. Abuse. Husbands with addictions. Family members with personalty disorders. Health crises. Loss of dreams. Loss of loved ones. Heartbreaking stories of things we wish did not exist in our world. Yet we face them every day, in our own lives or the lives of those around us. These things often don't make for polite conversation and they certainly aren't seen on social media. How can you live bravely and honestly when you feel the world doesn't have a place for your story?
One can start by recognizing that your story is valuable and you are not alone. We need each other, and we do not win by keeping these things to ourselves. As the author says in chapter 12: "When [the Enemy] makes us feel like we can't share the most broken parts of ourselves with one another, he wins. If I'm afraid of what you might say or think about my choices or decisions, if I believe that you can't understand, I stay alone in my pain." Please don't stay alone. Share with someone trustworthy and you will immediately begin to feel a difference in the weight of these things. I loved the wisdom from this quote on page 58: "Telling our stories is only the beginning of the healing process, but as the first step, it's often the hardest."
I felt the author did an excellent job being real and focusing on healing while not glorifying pain and tragedy. These things are hard, but they are not all there is, and we need to remember that. It's part of being brave and making the best choices we can even if we don't like the options. We don't stay stuck. We reach for Jesus, we reach for our community, and we be brave. I found something thought-provoking in every chapter, but I especially loved the last two where the author explored the importance of realizing God is not through with our stories and that we need to be cheering one another along the way. This is so important, and it's where we can find the courage to go on one step at a time. "To think we don't face this choice between life and death every day is denial. We need to talk about this. This is why we need a Savior and why we need one another. Real life is hard stuff." (page 202)
I would recommend this to all the brave, beautiful women in my life who need to know they are seen, loved, and appreciated. We are in this together.
I received my copy of the book from LitFuse Publicity. All opinions in this review are my own. If you would like to see what other people are saying about "Brave is the New Beautiful," click here.