Twenty-Two by Allison Trowbridge


Twenty-Two — Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning

In Twenty-Two, Allison Trowbridge writes a series of personal letters to Ashley, a young woman searching for a mentoring relationship. These letters cover so many topics and questions that rise in the hearts of young women — from relationships, work, purpose, and fear to wisdom learned from the course of life. All of this is woven together not just by wisdom but a heart that seeks to bring God to every circumstance and season of life.

Twenty-Two is an inspiring read, one that had my maybe more experienced heart say “oh yes” so many times. I found that these letters covered topics and themes that I have been wondering over the course of my life, from searching for identity to facing failure and fear. I loved the heart behind these letters, the wisdom that Trowbridge so clearly tries to impart on the reader but in a personal, “learn from my experiences and mistakes” sort of a way.

Maybe it is because I have already experienced many of these seasons that require making difficult decisions, that I found there were more of those things that stirred my thoughts and heart, rather than spoke right into my circumstances. But that is one of the reasons why I so liked this book — as I believe it would speak to so many who are facing a season of change and the challenges of adulthood. At the same time, there is much wisdom in these pages and the way that Trowbridge writes will have you thinking about these topics for long after reading about them.

I would recommend Twenty-Two for all young women who are about to embark on a new journey in life — like graduating from high school and thinking about college, changing majors in university, trying to find a job after college, or even facing new relationships. Allison Trowbridge writes with wisdom, trying to guide the reader with wisdom while still giving the freedom for them to choose and live — and this, I find, is like true mentorship.

Get yourself a copy here.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. The opinions are all my own.

When Fear Keeps You From Living

“She seemed to suffer from… you know, the fear of life.”

It was this phrase I heard while walking down the corridors at the University, passing by a conversation while I was deep in thoughts — but this phrase, these few words caught my attention and kept swirling around in my mind for many days after.

The fear of life.


In all honestly, I so understand that. I am looking at this season of endings and beginnings, of completion and new things. I am graduating with a Bachelor’s degree this month, and I am already more than half into my Master’s. In two and a half months, I will start my internship (as a speech therapist) after which I will be graduating very soon. Suddenly, I am staring at this thing called life where so many options seem to be open and there is the desperate seeking to know whether this option or that option is right or wrong — and honestly, it is quite terrifying on most days.

So this phrase, the fear of life — it makes sense these days.

I keep wondering, that maybe it comes easily to the heart that has crashed and burnt one too many times. Maybe it is the way that a heart remembers the bleeding wounds, the same way scarred skin still remembers the cuts. Maybe the hurts of the yesterdays, that we thought were long forgiven and forgotten — still sway our hearts and beg us to take cover, to build these walls of safety around us.

When we come to that crossroad where decisions need to be made for the future, it seems like this iron-fisted fear takes hold of our hearts and steals our strength, creeping into dreams in the restless, fitful nights and leaving a weight on our chests, heavy enough to make us forget to breathe. What once seemed like barely manageable but somehow doable, now becomes this impossibly great mountain — and on most days, we are too exhausted to even try and take the first step.

But the moment we make giving up an option, I know the iron-fisted fear keeps pushing us towards that and only that option. Though giving up seems like the best option — it is also the option that forgets our Maker, whose scarred hands carry us through every season of life.

“My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)

But we are all only human. I think we forget that quite often, requiring this supernatural knowledge and capabilities of ourselves — so that when failures comes around the corner and bumps into us, we stumble and fall hard, our balance thrown off in the swirl of life because no part of us thought that falling could ever be an option.

Fear keeps us from living so easily. I wish it would not, for your sake and mine. Because fear has a tendency to make things bigger and worse than they actually are — and the truth is, you are a conqueror in Christ.

So maybe that is where we are right now. Empty-handed and exhausted, the fear of life looming behind our shoulders and we let the shadow of fear cover us, cover that spark of hope that is set in our hearts. Maybe we have nothing to offer — and yet, that is always the biggest lie that keeps us from living for the glory of God. Because when we have nothing to offer? We have everything to offer, as we raise our empty hands to the Lord and ask Him to fill our hands with His purposes.

Maybe the only thing you have right now to offer, is your heart — the one broken, bruised heart that has been knocked around too many times to bear much more. But with that heart comes your faith, your dreams and prayers — and with those, your nothing becomes everything.

Because in all of it, God is with you. He is able. He is willing. He sees you, your weaknesses and failures, the fears and doubts — and He loves you. Just as you are. He wants to use you. Just as you are. And He wants to bring you forward.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Dear friend, I wish I would have the right words, the needed advice on how to let go of fear. I wish I could tell you to live life with a heart that is free from fear, that isn’t stopped by the crippling anxiety of the unknown. But all I can do is to remind you, like I am reminding myself so often these days — that your soul has been redeemed and set free. Death cannot touch you; the darkness cannot hold you down. His grace is always greater than any circumstance. He is with you. You are so much braver than you know.

Linking up: #MomentsofHope Link-UpGlimpses Link UpModest MondayGood Morning Mondays#HeartEncouragement ThursdaysGrace at HomeTune In Thursday

To The Girl Waiting For The Right Guy

Waiting For The Right Guy

Girl, I know it is hard to wait. I know it is so hard to face rejection after rejection and the fear of never finding the right guy. But the right guy is worth waiting for. Stop settling for guys who do not wholeheartedly follow Jesus. Stop dating guys who are “good” but do not follow Jesus, who do not bring you closer to Him.

If a guy does not follow Jesus, he cannot love you right.

He can treat you great but if he has no desire to grow closer to Jesus, he will not be good to you in the long run. If he does not believe in Jesus, you should not be dating him at all. Yes, he might be okay with you being a believer but if he is not one, he will not be able to encourage you or challenge you or call you out when you sin. He might be okay with your faith now but he will also be okay with your sin.

You do not want that, dear friend. You want someone who challenges you to correct your ways. Someone who reads the Bible with you, grows closer to Jesus with you, and prays with you and for you.

Friend, f you find yourself saying “I know he is not (perfect/patient/humble/faithful/growing closer to Jesus) right now but it will get better” – please, don’t believe yourself. You are worth more than that. You are worthy of a guy who honors you and respects you above all else. You are worthy of a guy who will challenge himself to become better so that he can love you right — right now, not in the future.

Because you will do just the same for the right guy. You will see your flaws and you will want to grow, become better so that you will love him rightly. You will give him your heart, your time, your everything – just to be with him and to make him happy.

You were not created to be married, you were created to honor Jesus and to fellowship with Him. 

Girl, singleness is not a curse. You are not single because God does not love your or because He is punishing you. So it might be that it will take weeks, months or even years before the right guy comes along. But that is because God wants to use you as you are right now for His glory. Please, don’t rush the process. See what God has for you in this season of singleness and make the most of serving Him, as you have freedom with your life and with your time right now. You can do amazing things, and you do not need a guy to do all that.

Dear one, your heart is so beautiful as it is already now. Root and establish yourself in God’s Word and how He sees you — and do not let relationships define you. Your singleness is not a sign of unworthiness or failure. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and the Lord is using this season to make and mold your heart.

Linking up: Glimpses Link UpModest MondayGood Morning Mondays#MomentsofHope#UNITE Link PartyCoffee For Your HeartWord Filled WednesdayWise Woman LinkupCoffee and Conversation, Christian Blogger Link Up, #GraceMoments Link UpGrace at Home#HeartEncouragementFaith on Fire Link Up#DanceWithJesus Link UpFaith Filled Friday, Grace & Truth

Just Be Brave

I am only starting to learn what it means to be brave in the midst of this mess that is called life — how to share from this trampled soul of mine; how to touch gentle with His redeeming love; how to pour out the overflowing grace and pour into that darkened place of a broken heart. But I know this: that though I am not, I know the I AM. I know the One who has set us free. And maybe we truly are building the walls of Jerusalem here — brick by brick, side by side and all the while, His brilliant grace will show us the way.