She’s Still Here by Crystal Evans Hurst

One of the hardest experiences to go through is discovering that you are carrying you first child when you are just about to about to join college/university with a full scholarship. The situation is exacerbated when you when you and  your parents are very active in the Church.

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Title: She’s Still Here: Rescuing the Girl in You

Publisher:  Zondervan Non-Fiction

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars

One of the hardest experiences to go through is discovering that you are carrying you first child when you are just about to about to join college/university with a full scholarship. The situation is exacerbated when you when you and your parents are very active in the Church. This was Chrystal Evans Hurst’s experience.  In her book, She’s Still Here: Rescuing the Girl in You, she shares how she accepted her role as a single mum while juggling school, rediscovering her faith and eventually expanding her family.

Chrystal sprinkles vignettes of her life experience into different chapters as opposed to delivering it all at the beginning. I love her conversational tone which makes the reader feel as if she chatting with her big sister or favourite auntie who is sharing her ” been there, done that and got the t-shirt ” experiences. She highlights the importance of being able to serve in the church community but also being able to exercise “self-care”.  In this case, self-care does not necessarily mean having a spa day but some element of emotional hygiene, particularly for young adults. I mean that just because you are in Church or a Christian does not mean you should the human aspects of your life. To be honest, there have been times when I have had to turn down participating in church activities so that I can serve my family by just cleaning up the home or just make the meal.

Another major takeaway from the book is that even though you feel disappointed by life, you need to press the unpause the pause button because the clock is ticking. Chrystal gives an interesting example of preparing for her first (and only?) marathon. She says that in life one needs three main people to help them along the way. A pacer who volunteers to run ahead of you guides you and helps you avoid any unnecessary pitfalls because of their experience, maturity or knowledge. Then there’s a partner who works with you to accomplish a shared. A promoter will encourage you and be willing to campaign on your behalf even if they’ve never done it themselves.  From the business world, I would basically translate these three people into mentor/coach, accountability partner and sponsor. Wouldn’t you agree?

When I saw this book in my Netgalley feed, I did not hesitate to pick up. It was a timely read since it was at a time when I felt like I had little emotional margin. I have already highlighted numerous paragraphs on my Kindle edition. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:

“Anyone who is faithful to the process of their progress can live fully”

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work” -Mary Oliver

“Yes you may feel unqualified, uneducated, under-gifted or even unworthy. Yet, those are excellent qualifications for God to do mighty work” -Chuck Swindoll

This book would be great for women at any stage of their lives who would love to press the reset button but are not quite show how. Fellow Millennials would appreciate it especially if you feel like you have been jaded in some way or you seem to have lost your sense and would like to get off the career treadmill to rediscover yourself.

It is quite tempting to read this book all in one sitting but I think it’s best savoured in bits. There are also end of chapter exercises that she has dubbed “reflections for the rescue” and which are further broken down into remember, reflect and respond.  This would make this book perfect for personal devotion or a book club. I think you would enjoy this book if you have also read Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life (Emily P. Freeman); One More Step (Rachel Wojo); English Lessons (Andrea Lucado) and Daring Greatly (Brene Brown).

Photo Credit: Goodreads

 

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