If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that no matter what we’re going through, no matter what we’re trying to discern, it’s absolutely necessary to our sanity to know that we aren’t alone. It’s a lesson I’ve learned time and time again as I speak about NFP. We need to know that someone else out there has traveled a road similar to ours, and not just survived, but learned to thrive.
My friend Chloe Langr has such an incredible gift for providing this fundamental need for women through her Letters to Women podcast, and now in her new Letters to Women book. Letters to Women: Embracing the Feminine Genius in Everyday Life is a beautiful compilation of 30 letters from women in all different stages of life, ages, and backgrounds – all showcasing the wondrous diversity of the feminine genius highlighted by St. Pope John Paul II in his Letter to Women.
Now more than ever, the words of St. Edith Stein ring true: “The world doesn’t need what women have; it needs what women are.” This book is a thorough way to explore that truth in the lives of real women.
Some of my favorite letters include one by my good friend and FAbM Base cofounder, Mary Bruno. She writes to the woman discerning adoption, and shares her own journey through infertility and adoption with a poignant vulnerability. Another friend, Nicole Maarja, shares her experience of discerning, and ultimately being rejected from, religious life. Even though I had never discerned as she did, her story held a valuable lesson in surrender that I found I needed to apply to my own life. Then there is the letter from Avera Maria Santos, who shares the depth of love she has found in remaining faithful to Church teaching even while struggling with same-sex attraction. I wrote a letter too, to the woman discerning staying at home with her kids.
Stories of faith, like the ones in Letters to Women, are powerful because while each of us is loved by God and respond to that love individually and uniquely, we are all called to that same love. The lessons we learn from our very different struggles and lives have dramatic similarities, namely that God is good, and surrender to his will is the key to joy. Seeing the way God acts in the lives of others in tangible, painful and beautiful ways always works to bolster our own expression of faith, encouraging us to trust that God is always good.
This truly is a book for every woman, no matter her age, stage of life, or background. Get a copy for yourself, your mom, sister, and girlfriends!