Reviewed by Tracy Darlington
"Perfect for youth groups, women’s Bible studies, or your own personal use."
She’s probably best known for her catchy music ministry which began in 1991 at the age of 13, when under the stage name “Rebecca Jean” she released an independent album titled Refresh My Heart in Australia. Soon after its release, her family moved to the United States where her father received a job offer, and the rest is history. Rebecca St. James is no stranger to the book world, either. She has authored numerous titles such as: Pure; She: Safe, Healthy, Empowered; She Teen; Wait For Me, among others.
Now, in her latest book Loved - Stories of Forgiveness she dons the editor's cap.You will find true stories of God’s amazing love and forgiveness for young women from all walks of life. Divided into six parts, each begins with a dramatized story from the Bible and continues with seven present day stories of women who have made mistakes but found God’s love in the end. These sections cover the issues: identity crisis, addictions, family problems, friends, man trouble, and faith crises.
The theme of the book comes from St. James’ song “You Are Loved” which Rebecca wrote for her friend, Daniel. The words to the track can be found on the frontmatter. With its 6 week devotional format, each vignette can be gone through quickly. Perfect for youth groups, women’s Bible studies, or your own personal use.
The stories are real eye-openers. As the young women find themselves in bad relationships, eating disorders, and lost in a sea of rejection they discover that God cares for them in the midst of their turmoil. Like sixteen year old Naomi, whose prescription drug abuse and early childhood memories of molestation drive her to rock bottom. But “instead of running away from the pain she has learned to run to God in her pain.” Not all the entries are as dark as Naomi’s, but they depict real life for women in today’s society without sugar coating.
Loved - Stories of Forgiveness does remind us how much God truly loves us. As Rebecca puts it, “Loved is about prodigals and for prodigals - which is all of us. God has His arms open wide, waiting for us, no matter what we have done. This is a message of hope that our generation needs to hear. No matter where you’ve been and what you’ve done. . . you are loved.”