Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: Girl in the Song by Chrissy Cymbala Toledo

I don’t often use the word “powerful” when I describe a book, and I very rarely say that you need to read one.  But Girl in the Song by Chrissy Cymbala Toledo falls into both of these categories.  In case you don’t know who she is, (I didn’t before I read this book) let me fill you in quickly.  Her dad is the founder and pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and her mother is the Grammy Award-winning director of the Brooklyn Tabernacle choir.  Chrissy was raised in a home filled with love, but surrounded by the brutality and heartbreak of the streets.  When she became a teenager, she made some very bad choices that lead her down a terrible path.  Her wrong, misguided decisions eventually led to estrangement from her family and sleeping on people’s couches.  But God miraculously touched her heart, and brought her home again to her family, and gave her a life she could never have imagined.

This book really hit home for me.  I’ve had personal experience with family members and friends who have shunned all that they’ve been taught, including the love and safety of home, to find, “what they really wanted.”  This book is a great eye-opener to the thought processes that can lead down a road of sadness and regret.  Chrissy’s rebellion stemmed from situations that happened to people around her when she was just a child that she didn’t fully understand.  It was compounded by listening to music that portrayed the perfect woman as one that was so beautiful and perfect that men desired her.  As Chrissy worked harder and harder to become like the “girl in the song” she moved further and further away from her Christian upbringing and family values. 

I think this book is important for parents of young girls to read, to really see the things that can influence them to go the wrong way.  Admittedly, not everyone’s story is as drastic as Chrissy’s.  Not every teenager who listens to non-Christian music will end up lying to their parents, stealing and getting thrown out of Bible college, but these things can happen and parents need to be aware of them.  It’s important to see how easily girls can be influenced by things around them, even if they don’t show it. 

This book is actually marketed towards girls, and I believe it is important for teenagers, and even some girls who are younger, to read this book.  The events in this book take place over a span of about ten years, and it’s very painful to see the destruction that Chrissy’s lies and terrible choices caused.  But since the book doesn’t take very long to read, you can see it all in a short span of time.  Being able to see them this way is important.  It can really show young girls how their lives can be impacted by choosing the wrong friends and the wrong guy and how these decisions can destroy a life. Chrissy’s ministry to reach out to girls (and women) who feel the pressure to be perfect is admirable.  I hope that through this book she can reach out to those who need to be rescued from bad situations. 

So, I’m telling you again, you need to read this book.  Even if you don’t fall into the category of parent, or teenager, this book is a powerful testament to the grace of God, and the power of prayer.     

Happy Reading,

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. 

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