Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Friendship for Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way by Lisa Whelchel

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Book Description

Former Facts of Life star Lisa Whelchel shares her experiences of growing up without true friends and how she learned to find and develop them as an adult through God's grace.

Not many people can say they lived their most crucial developmental years on the sound stage of a wildly popular TV show. But that's exactly what happened in Lisa Whelchel's life. As a child, she learned to guard her heart so tightly to avoid true hurt that she found herself unable to form lasting friendships as an adult.

Friendship for Grown-Ups details her experiences of learning to come out of her shell, to trust, risk, and become vulnerable by God's grace and find meaningful friendships. Readers encounter her captivating story and refreshing perspective on life's most precious gift—and they find practical tips for their own friendships along the way.

My review:

Although I’m not quite a grown up, I’ve had my share of both unique, tight friendships and heartbreaking, failed ones. One of the biggest lessons I learned in college was that friendship is tough, and it can change how we interact with people in our daily lives. I was anxious to read Lisa’s book to hear her story. I was very touched by her open heart, but also came away learning more about myself. Through Lisa’s journey, I was able to discover my own strengths, weaknesses, and desires regarding friendship.

In the book, Lisa reveals some of her most genuine, raw moments in her relationship with God, her family, and friends. Chapter after chapter, I found myself laughing, crying, and grabbing a pencil to underline a phrase (or five) that particularly touched me. I loved reading about Lisa’s highs and lows with friendship, and I believe anyone who reads this book can relate to her story one way or another. I could not believe how similar our hearts were, and now know how to deal with certain issues as they arise in my own personal journey.

The biggest lesson I learned from this book may seem quite simple, something I may have learned before…trust God. At 22 years old, with my heart on my sleeve. I’m a person who can be very easily hurt. So, like Lisa, I struggle getting too close to others, and often hide the real me, in fear of people running away. This book reminded me that people come in and out for a reason, and while it may hurt, God knows what He is doing. In addition, the book also taught me strategies for learning how to listen to my heart and be able to share with others not only my struggles, fears, but also my goals and accomplishments.

I enjoyed the entire book from the first line to the last. I was grateful that Lisa included chapter by chapter discussions questions, because that allowed me to dive even further into my personal journey. The book was genuine, inspirational, and emotional. I feel blessed to have read it and to have taken the first baby step in my journey. Thank you, Lisa, for being so incredibly open and gracious and for the gift of this book. It is one I plan on sharing with all the women in my life.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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