This book, like many by Christian authors, keeps emphasizing over and over that "God has a plan--a new beginning--for each of us." While this in itself is vital to keep in mind, Joyce Meyer does a great job of reminding us "Before we can take these positive steps forward,it's vital that we develop a fresh new view of the way God sees us. God does not withold his love, acceptance, and assistance from us because we fail from time to time. He is not looking for a perfect performance--just a willing heart that is surrendered to him." I think that is extremely important--the idea of trusting God even when you feel like you have totally run out of luck.
My favorite chapters in this book are Chapter 74 Rejection Protection and Chapter 80 Give Yourself a Break. While Joyce does not go into the reasons why women expecially tend to suffer from low self esteem, she does quite nicely address the issue of constructing defenses or "walls..to prevent others from hurting us." She describes quite specifically the issues of INNER VOICES (telling ourselves "I'll never let anyone get close enough to hurt me again"), SELF DEFENSE ("We become very defensive, even at times when we're really not even being attacked."), and BUYING PROTECTION ("Giving things or doing things for people to gain their acceptance and approval.") She ends Chapter 74 by reminding us "No matter what you may think about the way others view you, God doesn't reject you! Remember His love for you is eternal and unconditional..." I like the fact that Joyce has the courage to acknowledge her own vulnerabilities. In chapter 80 she admits "Throughout much of my life, I didn't like myself. I didn't realize it but my self-rejection was causing me a lot of unhappiness and problems in my relationships." She tells other women that they too might be too hard on themselves, thinking they have too many flaws, comparing themselves to other people and finding themselves not measuring up. She ends that chapter by encouraging women to accept themselves just where they are "knowing that God is working in you continuosly, making healthy changes and positive adjustments."
I especially love the accepting way the book is written towards ALL women. There appear to be no judgments placed on women who have no children while acknowledging women who do. Joyce seems to be very focused on the personal relationships we have with God and the ones we have with family members if, in fact, we are blessed to have them. She does admit the existance of sin "God does not close His eyes to our sin. If we do something wrong...---there are consequences, and He will correct us. However, HE WOULD NEVER REFUSE TO HELP US JUST BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH "POINTS." I like this because as a childless woman I have often felt judged for not having any children and I know of stay-at-home mothers who feel they have been judged because they have not been out in the world working. It is refreshing to read a fundamentalist Christian author who is so accepting.
Joyce very powerfully ends her book with much hope by stating "No matter how deep the pit you are in, God's arm is not too short to reach down and pull you out. If you have made mistakes, get right with God and go on. Every day God gives you the the opportunity for a fresh start with a clean slate....Get your mind off the past. Open your eyes to what God wants to do in you today. In Him there are no dead ends--only places for new beginnings."