Women Made New: Reflections on Adversity, Transformation, and Healing by Crystaline Evert is an anthology of short articles by various women about their journey with God. Each of these women is raw and vulnerable in the places God has healed her and how He has worked in her life. Their stories are a beautiful testimony to God’s love and power in our lives. Interspersed with inspiring quotes from Mother Angelica, this book is a treasure for every woman.
I received this book for review courtesy of the publisher; all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Women Made New overview
The stories in this book represent the different seasons women go through, good and bad times. This book is for women who want to change, to have a better life and be happy. ~ Foreword, Rev. Solcia
Each chapter in Women Made New is as unique as the woman who wrote it. These twelve women share their stories, their faith, their journeys, hoping to inspire and encourage other women. Crystalina Evert and Cameron Fradd tell parts of their own stories and how God has healed them and worked in their lives. Sister Bethany Madonna offers a reflection on the three times fiat is used in the Bible, and Mother Angelica uses Peter and Judas to show how regret and remorse are different. Lisa Cotter explains the feminine genius and Sarah Swafford dives into the story of the woman at the well.
In “Whom Shall I Please?”, Catherine Hadro shares her experience of hosting a global, pro-life television show for EWTN. Standing on the front lines of the pro-life fight was not easy for her, as many people attacked her for her work. Catherine shares honestly that this triggered her childhood wounds, as she’s a classic people-pleaser who wants to keep everyone around her happy. And yet God used this to draw her closer to Himself:
The insight I would like to offer you—especially my fellow perfectionists and people pleasers—is that you must put to death your desire to please others and focus on pleasing God alone. This is not to say that you may intentionally hurt others or quickly brush aside their feelings and opinions, but cannot place them before God.
Quotes by Mother Angelica intersperse the reflections in Women Made New. Many of these are worth reflecting on in personal prayer, or sticking to your fridge, or memorizing. For example, Mother Angelica says, “If you’ve got a cross, carry it. It’s to make you holy.” She also says, “The essence of evangelization is to tell everybody that Jesus loves you!”
My thoughts on Women Made New
I cried as I read. I dog-eared pages and really wanted to get out my highlighter. These women spoke to me, heart to heart, with their stories and their journeys. While I haven’t been on national TV like Catherine Hadro, I can identify with her people-pleasing tendencies. I found something in common with nearly every woman in this book and felt like each was a new best friend, sitting down to coffee with me and sharing what was on her heart.
Each of us may have our own unique story, our own unique journey, and yet we often struggle with the same wounds, the same questions, as Sarah Swafford shares:
And like us, those women [in Samaria in Jesus’ day] struggled with some of the same things we struggle with—the doubts, fears, insecurities, loneliness, competition, pressure, and anxieties that can plague the human heart. In my ministry over the years, I have noticed two questions that seem to come up often, not always asked out loud, but definitely in the minds and hearts of people… “Am I enough” and “Am I truly loved?”
Women Made New is a celebration of the unique gifts and struggles of being a woman. These women show other women that we are never alone, that God is here to carry us through our struggles and to deliver us from evil. These women teach us how to unite our sufferings to Jesus and to listen to His voice. These women share their own traumas and struggles, and also helpful resources for the journey to healing.
For women who are in or have left abusive relationships, Leila Miller’s chapter on divorce may be triggering (and unhelpful). She writes for “daughters of divorce” who enter marriage with various wounds and without good examples of healthy relationships. For a daughter of divorce currently in a healthy marriage, her advice to heal those childhood wounds is sound. However, like so many others in the church, she treats divorce as an option chosen only by selfish people and brushes aside abuse.
With International Women’s Day coming up on March 8, this book is the perfect read for yourself or a friend. Grab a coffee and sit down with Crystalina, Lisa, Joy and the other ladies to laugh, cry and dive into what it means to be a woman deeply loved and called by God, despite all her past hurts and pains. If you have a book club or mom’s group at your church, share this book with them and consider reading through it together and discussing what you learn in each chapter.
About the Author
Crystalina Evert is the founder of Women Made New! and co-founder of the Chastity Project. She is a best-selling author of Pure Womanhood, How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul, and the curriculum YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body.
Crystalina has spoken internationally to more than one million people about the virtue of chastity, healing, and God’s plan for human sexuality. She has a weekly syndicated radio show on EWTN and has made television appearances on MSNBC and the BBC network. Crystalina has hosted several television series for teens and women on EWTN.
She and her husband, Jason, have spoken at World Youth Day in Sydney, Madrid, and Poland. Crystalina and Jason have been blessed with eight children.
Women Made New is available from EWTN, Amazon, and your favourite Catholic bookstore. You can also drop by the website to download and read the first chapter, “Unbroken,” by Crystalina.
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