One of my favorite things I do these days is speak in schools. Before I arrive, I try to talk to the counselor. If anyone knows what goes on behind the masks of junior high and high school girls, she does. Sometimes my heart hurts when I get off the phone with her. I found out disturbing things. Girls are skipping lunch to be skinnier. Girls are getting weird about food. Girls are dressing promiscuously, but it’s tough to do much about it since they are following their mother’s example. Girls are sharing their bodies with boys, girls are posting sexy images of themselves, girls are cyber bullying. Girls are being abused at home. Their parents are critical of their weight or grades. Girls are trying to be the perfect athlete to please Mom and Dad. Girls are cracking under the pressure to perform. Girls – even in junior high – are cutting and forming suicide pacts, or trying to recover from the pain of a friend who killed herself.
And you’ve called me? I think. Who am I? I am nothing but a girl who raised her hand one day and said, “Here I am! Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
In my “You Are More” message to the girls – and sometimes boys too – I do my best to unmask the lies they have believed and tell them the truth: they are made for more than eating disorders, cutting and suicide; they are worth more than jealousy, bullying, and sexting. They possess beauty, worth, and purpose. It’s up to them to choose: live like you are less, or live like you are more.
When the boys are there, it’s amazing how many want to stand up and help the girls live like they are more. Even with their challenges, this generation of kids is fantastic; many are making great choices and will go to great destinations. Many choose love over hate, service over self, destiny over drugs, and faith over doubt. As a voice in their lives, I am incredibly proud of the people many of them will become.
What can we do about suicide pacts and cutting and abuse? What can we do about kids who feel alone in a sea of faces?
All I do is look to God for help. Then step on the stage and pour out my heart like I did the very first time.
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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”