As women, we have all felt the sting of betrayal. We’ve all been jaded after the girlish innocence fades away. We’ve been hurt, perhaps even abused. We bear guilt and shame upon our hearts as unnecessary burdens. For many, we are “not enough:” we’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, good enough, smart enough. For others, we are “too much:” we are too sensitive, too emotional, too much of a deep thinker.

All of these issues are unveiled in Colleen Mitchell’s latest book, When We Were Eve: Uncovering the Woman God Created You to Be. Women everywhere will open this book and feel as if they can, at last, breathe a sigh of relief. Mitchell herself writes in a very intimate, personal way, so that the reader feels gently encouraged and never judged. But Mitchell understands the journey of self-image and the many layers of emotional, psychological, and spiritual distress related to the complexity of feminine genius.

Based on the premise that all of us are naturally inclined to long for our “Eden days,” or the time before Original Sin infected Adam and Eve, our first ancestors. We are designed by God to yearn and strive for that wholeness through holiness (or vice versa, as Mitchell often writes – holiness through wholeness). The reader takes a journey into herself as she turns each page, finding herself in the women’s stories who were brave enough to become vulnerable and frankly share about sexuality, body image, abuse, and caring for themselves.

The reality is that most women feel caught between that not-enough-but-too-much condition, and we are constantly bombarded with the confusing signals we receive from society and perhaps our loved ones. Mitchell reminds us who we are as beloved daughters of God! She allows us, for a time, to become those little girls once again and to remember what life was like before we felt ashamed of who we were. We are invited to delight in God as He delights in and through us. We are invited to celebrate our bodies and the beauty, strength, and nourishment they provide us and our children.

Mitchell unravels a tough topic in such an eloquent way, it’s almost as if reading scriptural poetry. She understands the depth of women’s struggles, and yet she also encourages us to enter into them with God accompanying us. When We Were Eve is perfect for young women on the cusp of becoming adults; women who are lost and long to find their true selves; or women who aren’t aware of how their brokenness affects their daily lives. It’s a book with a universal message for every woman who longs to become whole again.

Text (c) Jeannie Ewing 2018, all rights reserved.