In a nutshell, Beautiful Warrior — Finding Victory Over the Lies Formed Against You by Tina Yeager is a phenomenal book!

I was at first put off by the subtitle (Finding Victory Over the Lies Formed Against You). I don’t think of myself as a person about whom others are forming lies, and I felt confident that over the past 13 years I’ve developed an honest assessment of myself (more on that later). I simply didn’t see how this book related to me, but something kept drawing me back to it. I reluctantly purchased an electronic version and began reading.

Before I was even finished with the second paragraph of chapter one, I was captivated.

Yeager opens with a candid and very moving account of her own experience at a women’s weekend retreat that leads the reader into an issue that is relevant, timely, and critical.

In today’s culture, women (and men, for that matter) are continually bombarded with messages from the advertising and entertainment industries, social media, peers, etc., upon which they conceive and develop a sense of their own identity and self-worth.

The result? Feelings of insecurity. Loneliness. Bitterness. Self-doubt. Rising rates of anxiety and depression. Self-harming behaviors and even suicide.

Yeager, a licensed professional counselor, offers an antidote, a more sound approach that leads to a more accurate and and infinitely-healthier sense of self.

In thirteen very informative chapters, Yeager addresses topics such as comparison, human approval vs Godly approval, overcoming loneliness, addressing bitterness, and developing emotional strength and dignity. Each chapter provides practical, doable strategies and study questions that lead the reader from unhealthy self-assessment to a healthy one based on who she really is — a woman created in God’s image.

Yeager delivers her life-altering message not as a lofty scribe preaching from the mountaintop. Instead, hers is the voice of a friend sitting across from the reader at the kitchen table, cup of tea in hand, recounting with refreshing transparency her own experiences and sharing life-changing wisdom. It is one of a trusted friend — kind, compassionate, and loving.

As I read, I quickly realized that this book does apply to me. For much of my life I had assessed myself on the basis of societal norms. At age age 46, after a life crisis and wake-up call, I began to reevaluate who I was. I pondered and prayed and journaled, and I was honest in my assessment — brutally honest. Harsh. Unforgiving.

Yeager gently guided me to see that neither yardstick — society’s or that of a rigid, unforgiving judge — is healthy. More importantly, neither is valid.

Instead, it is imperative that you and I see ourselves as God sees us. That we finally, truly understand who God says we are and live accordingly.

Beautiful Warrior is indeed a life-changing book. It’s so wonderful that, minimalist though I am, I purchased a second copy — a print copy that I can hi-lite and annotate. And 5 more copies are in my shopping cart so I can give copies to young and not-so-young women who are dear to my heart.

It’s that kind of book — the kind you will read once and again, rave about to your friends, and give as a gift.

It truly is phenomenal!