New book by Dr. Valerie Wardlaw reminds teens of the power of God’s Word
Insecurities, depression, and confusion don’t only attack adults, an increasing number of teenage girls are experiencing it as well.
As a practicing behavioral health consultant, Dr. Valerie Wardlaw noticed the rise as more and more teen girls were referred to her for counseling and guidance in battling these negative feelings.
Frequent requests from her young clients to “write down” her advice inspired her to compose something more permanent. But Wardlaw didn’t write a typical self-help book. Instead, she penned a message of encouragement, affirmations and scripture for teen girls to help them defeat self-doubt and enjoy a life of endless possibilities.
“For Girls Who Choose to Believe – #IMatter” is Wardlaw’s book of “positive self-talk.” The compact volume contains seven chapters providing direction in handling teen issues such as belonging, hopelessness, dating, choices and faith.
As for the reason, Wardlaw explained, “I felt that it was important to impress upon girls that they are the ones that have to believe that they can accomplish their dreams, that they can do what they would want to do. They have got to believe it and believe that they matter.
“I added the hashtag because, as we all know, they are on social media. (Wardlaw created IMatterSister.com on the web and @IMatterSister on Twitter for girls to post encouraging comments.) I put my thoughts in book form so they could access it when ever they need it.”
Each chapter begins with positive quotes like “I am uniquely special…even if I don’t feel that way right now,” and “It is a blessing to love and be loved.” After sharing facts and enlightenment about the topic, Wardlaw ends the chapter with a statement of affirmation that readers are advised to “repeat as often as needed,” a blank page to record personal thoughts and a scripture verse that reveals God’s word on that particular subject.
In light of her own relationship with Christ, Wardlaw felt strongly that the word of God would help teens as they go through the healing process of changing their outlook and conduct.
“I am a firm believer in the word of God and in the power of the word of God,” she declared. “I hope that even if you are not a Christian or a believer, that you will still come away with positive affirmations. I know that through God’s word, we can excel. He tells us He loves us unconditionally just the way that we are.”
Wardlaw also incorporates lessons learned from various biblical heroes. For example, in addressing pain and self-destruction (such as self-inflicted cutting), she urges readers to seek help and cites Exodus 17 where Moses received assistance from Aaron and Hur to hold up his hands, thus securing the Israelites’ victory in a battle with the Amalekites.
King David is featured in the chapter on “Faith, Hope and Love” that assures teens that they can overcome any challenges they may face. Recounting David’s defeat of the giant Goliath, Wardlaw writes, “David knew that the obstacle (Goliath) was a temporary one [that] he could overcome with God’s help, and He is available to you.”
Although directed at teens, “For Girls Who Choose to Believe” offers practical insight and advice, regardless of age, belief, ethnicity or gender. Recommendations are spread throughout the book to help conquer fears about appearance or acceptance with positive, uplifting words.
“We all have challenges thinking, ‘Am I good enough? Sometimes we feel stuck in a situation and we feel downright hopeless. Fortunately, God looks at us through the lens of love and that is exactly how He wants us to see ourselves,” said Wardlaw.
“I am encouraging people to talk to themselves like David in the Bible, encourage yourself, have positive self-talk. I say to teens to say it and believe it. Learn how to talk to yourself and encourage yourself.”
“For Girls Who Choose to Believe – #IMatter” is available in printed form or e-book at Amazon.com.