Book review

Just One Day – Gayle Forman

I stayed up last night reading a book…something I have not done in a very long time.  Just One Day is the story of an 18-year-old girl who meets a man for just one day when they travel to Paris together.  When he disappears the next morning she spends a year wondering what happened to him – eventually returning to the city to try to find out.   But more than that, it is an exploration of the idea that we are not all who we pretend to be.  There is the public us and there is the different person hiding behind a mask we create to protect that person.

When I read that paragraph it sounds like a different book than the one I read.  It is not really a love story.  It is not really a mystery.  It is not really a deep psychological study of the human condition.   But it touches on all of those things.

I related to part of the story personally.  I know what it is like to be 18 and be learning who you are as a whole and complete person – separate from family and old friends and school.  I did it in my 30’s.  In some ways that made it easier and harder.

I know what it is like to be in a situation you don’t really understand and feel that compulsion – against pressure from people to just let it go – to get an matter what.   I felt that way with T.  I had to have answers even though to those looking in from the outside they were staring me in the face.

I know about the depression that comes when you feel like you are not enough.  This is probably the most connected to the book I felt.  I have always struggled with the thought of being enough.   It is the one insecurity that no matter old I get, I can’t seem to get rid of.  I can’t seem to shake this idea of enough.

And this is where God likes to bring me full circle.  I have been slowly working my way through Kelly Minter’s book The Fitting Room.  The book talks about clothing ourselves in the virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12).  And she takes quite a bit of time talking about the verse and breaking it down bit by bit.    And here is the kicker: the beginning of the verse says this:  “Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved…”  It doesn’t say, when you put on those virtues you WILL BE loved, it says you are already loved and chosen and thus you need to put on the virtues.

I am already loved and chosen…enough in God-speak.

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