Lisa-Jo Baker has been an inspiration to me ever since I read Surprised by Motherhood a few years back. I was then (I still am!) a struggling new mother and Lisa-Jo’s words spoke volumes of comfort and encouragement as I battled with self-criticism and never-ending sleepiness. This time, Lisa-Jo once more sends out her comforting and truthful words to the world as her newest book, Never Unfriended, is being launched today. Yes, today, this very day as I am writing this post.
I don’t know how to begin describing Never Unfriended. I immediately started reading the book the very moment I received my advance copy but I had to stop at intervals (ever paragraph, if I must say) to savor the words and to battle with my self as I deal with my own issues. This, when I am not a big non-fiction reader.
Though Never Unfriended talks about the joys and woes of keeping and maintaining friendships between women and the quirks that go with being a woman, there are too many instances that reading the book has actually helped me deal not just with friendships but in all my relationships as a whole. More importantly, it helped me become a better me in my dealings with my fellow mom, parent, sister, daughter, wife.
Never Unfriended helped me see through my cracks and my broken pieces and gave me enough reason to pursue Jesus and become a better version of my self.
The joy in reading this book is in the fact that it was designed to be non-linear. You can just hop on to the particular chapter that you feel you’re in, whether you’re the new girl in town, or you’re constantly disappointed by a friendship, or you’re longing to build genuine and lasting friendships. This book is written in a way that you can simply start anywhere. And I chose to begin by reading Part 1: What Are We Afraid Of? Because this is me right now – afraid of establishing connections because I’m afraid of what others might see inside (and they might not like it.) And you know what? The chapters in this part taught me how I am already valued, loved, and cared for – even of others may not like my messes.
I’m already special as I am because Jesus died for me. If only I had lived this truth when I battled with my own insecurities.
It was really painful to confront the truth that this book revealed in me: I was not actually the friend who was unfriended. I was the friend who had “unfriended” my friends. Because of the walls I built around me, I cocooned the real me inside while I try to flutter in my fake wings and try to show the people that I am good, I’m fine, I’m okay. When the reality was I was afraid and insecure and lonely.
Never Unfriended is revealing. If there’s one word I can describe this book, it would be honesty. This book is so honest. Lisa-Jo’s honesty is so compelling it’s so painful to read. But the honesty is necessary in order to be free. The words reach down and touch every raw part of my being that I try so hard to keep from others. It is a comfort to know that I am not alone in my struggles to connect and to be accepted and that I can come out of this senseless struggle and become victors as I build (and rebuild) honest and lasting friendships — messy homes and messy selves notwithstanding.
Read this book. With tissues in hand. And with an honest and open heart. Let us be the friend that Jesus wants us to be.
“So I’m going all in. I’m going to keep showing up and going first and telling my embarrassing stories because I’ve learned that it’s when we let people see the un-Photoshopped parts of our lives that they’re the most comfortable.”
More about Never Unfriended here.