In You Are Enough: What Women of the Bible Teach You About Your Mission and Worth, author Danielle Bean helped me trust the goodness of God through the struggles and victories of fascinating Old Testament women. She writes,
It can be frightening to throw ourselves at God’s feet and trust in him, but when we do, God rewards our faithfulness. … Through these stories we can come to know that we are called to that kind of trust in the goodness of God, even when it’s hard (especially when it’s hard.)
You Are Enough helps each woman take the phrase “God loves me” from her head to her heart.
It’s also a book about many facets of femininity, including sisterhood. When Danielle described the closeness of her biological sisters, I teared up. My childhood sisterhood experience did not prepare me to trust “soul sisters” as an adult, even though I deeply longed for that need to be fulfilled – and later recognized it when it was. Yet my sisterhood experience was not as disastrous as those endured by Rachel and Leah, which Danielle highlights. God gave me the grace to forgive, even though we were unable to trust as close sisters until our mother was dying.
Ruth and Naomi’s relationship touched my heart. I grew close to my husband’s mother, who quietly influenced me to convert to Catholicism, so much so that I later chose Ruth as my Confirmation saint. We quickly became friends, and unlike Danielle’s mother-in-law experience, my relationship with my mother-in-law embodied Danielle’s quote from St. John Paul II: “A mother is one who understands everything and embraces each of us with her heart.” That’s what my mother-in-law did. I wasn’t in need of a mother (although my own mother told me that she was always trying to find me another mother) but a mother figure who knew in her heart I was meant to be a Catholic member of her family.
Danielle’s humility, storytelling, humor, and vulnerability made You Are Enough a memorable and healing read for me. She helped me see my need to “foster that feminine part of myself that is inclined to see the needs of others and give of myself by nurturing the people God has given me to love.”
Danielle Bean is the brand manager for CatholicMom.com. She is the former publisher and editor-in-chief of Catholic Digest. She is creator and host of The Gist, a weekly Catholic women’s television talk show in its seventh season on CatholicTV. Danielle is author of several books for women including Small Steps for Catholic Moms, Momnipotent, and You’re Worth It!. She is also creator and host of the popular Girlfriends podcast and a popular speaker on a variety of subjects related to Catholic family life, parenting, marriage, and the spirituality of motherhood.
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Copyright 2019 Nancy HC Ward