So my mom’s been bugging me to clean my room. Big deal you say? Happens to you all the time, you say? But you’re not 24 and living in another apartment away from your mom. Nope. It’s a lot harder clean out your room when, 1. You live in a small apartment and have virtually no closet space and 2. You’re kind of emotionally attached to still having a room at your parents’ house. Just in case.
What’s the point of all this? Last week, amongst the armload I managed to bring back to my apartment, were two books I’d never read, though I’ve had them for years. They are two books in the Brio Girls series from Focus on the Family. I was annoyed to find I don’t own earlier books in the series, these obviously come later, but I still got totally lost in them!
They are When Stars Fall by Kathy Wierenga Buchanan and Bad Girl Days by Lissa Halls Johnson. I’m going to talk about them together because they really go together. These books take you into the real lives of four high school girls and a guy friend. Their happiness, their grief, their guy troubles, everything. So you feel what they’re feeling. Which may have been sad for a bit in places, but then again, they certainly helped me deal with some real world problems, and I’m not even in high school anymore.
Five words that came to mind:
Questions- Do you ever have questions for God? Not about God. We all have those. But these girls have some serious questions they’re asking God, questions I think we also all have, though we rarely admit it until something bad happens. Questions like, why does God let bad things happen, especially to really good people, like missionaries who are serving him? If something bad happens to me, does that mean I did something wrong to make God angry? These girls ask these questions, and the answers they come up with are messy, like real life, which I really liked.
Anger- These books have plenty of anger, because when you have questions that don’t have any easy answers, it gets frustrating fast. I thought it was a good reminder that God can handle our anger, even if it’s directed at him. In the Psalms, David cries out to God, sometimes worshipfully, sometimes begging for revenge, sometimes just downright angry. And we have this in the Bible why? I think so we know it’s ok to be angry with God. What’s not ok is to walk away from Him because of it, and I found these books had a healthy view of how to balance anger with not running.
Support- What do you need when you’re in the middle of a crisis besides a large tub of Mocha Mudslide ice cream? That’s right, the best friends in the world. This group of friends does support in a crisis better than anyone I know … except a few of my own friends of course. Remember, when you’re grieving or hurting, the worst thing you can do is pull away from your friends and family. Trust me I know. You need them. The people I consider my best and longest lasting friends are the ones that were there when my grandmother died my sophomore year in high school. If you’re hungry to read about a good dose of friendship with a nice little serving of romance on the side, these are the books for you
Respect- You can’t get a much wider divide than between Solana who’s dating around (not very healthily) and Hannah, who believes in courtship and courtship alone before marriage. Then in between them you’ve got a serious dating relationship and someone who’s not dating at all. But no matter how different they are these friends have enough respect to stay friends. Not that you have to approve of unhealthy dating for one of your friends. But always, always respect and love them. That’s what these girls (and guy) pull off.
Fun- Some of the projects these guys come up with the enjoy their senior year are fantastic. Some are crazy. My favorite was cleaning out an attic filled with historic stuff from long gone eras, how cool! Did you ever think of doing a community service project like this with your friends … not just because your youth group leader or teacher arranged it, but because it was something you felt strongly about yourselves? Think about it! Now’s the time, with school just starting back you won’t have as much homework as you will later in the year. Seize the free time and do something cool together! And let me know what you do. We’d love to hear more about it. We might even feature some of your stories on Unfading.
Totally loved these books. To find them, check out this link.