1. You spot a cute boy (we’ll call him Boy A).
2. You dream about Boy A.
3. You do whatever it takes to make Boy A notice you.
4. Even though Boy A doesn’t pursue you, you hang on to your dream of Boy A until he (a) moves to the North Pole with no access to a cell phone or computer, (b) dies and is buried or cremated, or (c) begins dating another girl.
5. You mend your broken heart by hating Boy A and finding another cute boy (Boy B). You replace Boy A with Boy B and begin all over again . . .
Paula has gone through an entire alphabet—and more—of boys over the years.
As she shares her journal entries and stories—the good, the bad, and the ugly—you’ll be encouraged to trust God with your love life and buckle up for the ride!
Written for teen girls, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl will help you on your own journey from neediness to freedom.
Part of the True Woman publishing line, whose goal is to encourage women to exude God’s beauty by embracing his design for womanhood
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About the Author
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confessions of a boy-crazy girl
ON HER JOURNEY FROM NEEDINESS TO FREEDOM
By paula hendricks, Lydia Brownback
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2013 Paula Hendricks
All rights reserved.
the prayer that rocked my world
It was a desperate prayer I prayed that fall—that God would free me from my idols and teach me to trust Him with my love life. I don't know what I expected, but it certainly wasn't a punch to my gut that left me reeling with shock and my whole world spinning out of control. To say I didn't see it coming would be the understatement of the year. Had I known how God would answer my prayer, I'm not sure I would have had the courage to pray it.
While the light fixtures swung, the walls did the tango, and the evidence mocked, "Your God has purposefully been cruel to you," deep down I knew the truth. This blow was a severe mercy. Yes, it hurt—hurt so bad my tears didn't dry up for months—but I also knew God was answering my prayer in a way that would ultimately bring healing and freedom.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I Want Off!
The reason I prayed this bold prayer was that I wanted off my merry-go-round ride that never stopped its perpetual spinning. It went something like this:
1. Spot a cute boy (we'll call him Boy A).
2. Dream about Boy A.
3. Do whatever it takes to make Boy A notice me.
4. Even though Boy A doesn't pursue me, hang on to my dream of Boy A until he (a) moves to the North Pole with no access to a cell phone or computer, (b) dies and is buried or cremated, or (c) begins dating another girl.
5. Mend my broken heart by hating Boy A and finding another cute boy (Boy B).
6. Replace Boy A with Boy B.
7. Dream about Boy B.
8. Make sure Boy B notices me.
9. Hang on to my dream of Boy B until he ...
10. Move on to another cute boy—Boy C.
The truth is, I went through an entire alphabet—and more—of boys over the years.
I was ten years old when I first wrote about a boy in my journal. It didn't seem to matter that his last name was Roach, or that he came in and out of my life one short afternoon. I wrote, "Dear Diary, today I really got to know Nick Roach! I really like him! I wouldn't ever tell him that!"
Nick Roach wasn't the first boy I noticed. A couple of years earlier I had lain in bed night after night praying, "God, please let me marry Chadwick Chandler Chadderdon. Please let me marry Chadwick Chandler Chadderdon." (If you like tongue twisters, try that one on for size!) I don't remember much about Chadwick, except that he had blond hair, lived on a farm, and was in my Sunday school class.
As the years passed, my "cute, innocent crushes" became more and more frequent—and more and more costly.
But it didn't look that way at first. In high school, my friends thought I was hilarious because I'd pretend I was in love with the most unpopular guys in school. We nicknamed one guy Jello (because of the way his stomach jiggled), and we sent notes back and forth laughing about how much I liked Jello.
If my friends and I had known where my boy craziness would take me, though, we wouldn't have laughed. I was about to experience Psalm 16:4: "The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply."
"Little g" Gods and the "Big G" God
I should explain: I wasn't running after one of those fat, little, golden idols. A friend once described a god, or an idol, to me this way: an idol is something that, without it, you think you'll face a "hell"—your own personal version of torment and pain. But with your idol, you think you'll be saved from that hell. Whatever you think will save you from your "hell" is your idol.
Have you ever thought about what your "hell" and idol are? Most of us have more than one, but my main idol was a boyfriend. I thought it would save me from the hell of not being loved.
An idol, or a "little g" god, is a dangerous thing and will always disappoint us. That's because it's a cheap substitute for the "big G" God, the one we were made by and for. This "big G" God is our Creator and the King of the entire universe. Not a cruel, capricious king, but a kind and just King.
In the beginning everyone and everything was subject to the King. But then one of the King's servants decided he wanted to be king. Ever since that day he has been leading a rebellion against the King. You may have heard of this servant. His name is Satan. Whether you know it or not, you are now caught up in this cosmic dash—the King desiring (and deserving) your wholehearted love and submission, and Satan wanting nothing more than for you to rebel against the King.
And most have rebelled against the King. When He sent His Son, Jesus, to earth over two thousand years ago, His people hatefully shouted, "We do not want this man to reign over us.... Crucify him, crucify him!" (Luke 19:14; 23:21). So they did. Some, though, said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Matthew 27:54). And because He was, death couldn't keep Him down. He rose from the dead and returned to the throne room of heaven.
The King of Kings
In Revelation 19:11–16 we're given a sneak peek of Jesus' soon return to earth to destroy His enemies and set up His kingdom for good. Read about it for yourself:
I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems [crowns], and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Did you catch that? Jesus is the King of kings. It doesn't get any higher than that. Jesus is the greatest. The highest. The bestest. (Sorry, I know that's not a word, but I just had to.) As the King of kings, He deserves our fear, our obedience, our honor, and our celebration.
But instead of loving and worshiping the King of kings, I gave my love, worship, and affection to a "little g" god: boys. You'll get to read all about that in the following chapters. But first, let's talk about you.
Your Turn: Take the Boy-Crazy Quiz
Can you relate? Let's stop for a minute so you can take the Boy-Crazy Quiz and find out how you rate. Simply circle yes or no to answer the following fourteen questions. I'm going to make a quick cup of chai while you're working on it. See you in a few!
1. In a room full of people, do you always know where "he" is? (yes / no)
2. Are boys your number-one favorite topic of conversation with your friends? (yes / no)
3. Do you often dress to catch a guy's attention? (yes / no)
4. Do you replace one crush with another almost as soon as you realize the first relationship is not going anywhere? (yes / no)
5. Have you asked a guy out? (yes / no)
6. Do you have your eye on more than one guy at a time? (yes / no)
7. Do you believe you'd finally be completely happy if you had a boyfriend? (yes / no)
8. Do you change your schedule or plans in order to bump into him? (yes / no)
9. Do you tend to have more guy friends than girlfriends? (yes / no)
10. When you're relaxing with a good book, movie, or song, do you pick those that are filled with ooey-gooey romance? (yes / no)
11. If you journal or pray, are your pages or prayers filled with thoughts and requests about guys? (yes / no)
12. Are you always trying to figure out which guys like you? (yes / no)
13. Would you be willing to get a total makeover for a guy? Not the hair, makeup, and new clothes kind, but the "I'll change who I am at my core if that's what it takes to get you" kind? (yes / no)
14. Anything I've missed? If so, write it here:
If you answered yes to any, several, or all of those questions, then keep reading—this book is for you!
YOUR JOURNAL CORNER
Is your life more marked by submission to or rebellion against the King of kings? What "little g" god are you living for, and what personal version of "hell" do you hope your idol will save you from?
early lessons in love
When my friend Hannah was in eleventh grade, she noticed that peer pressure was getting tougher. So she told her dad, "I think I'll need more hugs than normal." I love that. I wish I'd moved toward my dad during my teen years rather than shutting myself away in my room.
But I didn't. I didn't feel close to my dad. As the gap between us grew, I looked to guys to fill that gaping love hole inside of me.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it was my dad's fault I was boy crazy. As Nancy Leigh DeMoss says, "The outcome of our lives is not determined by what happens to us but by how we respond to what happens to us."
But my relationship with my dad is an important puzzle piece in my boy-crazy tale—just as your relationship with your dad is in yours. Like it or not, our relationship with God is shaped by our relationship with our dad, and our relationship with both God and our dad shapes our interactions with guys.
Missing God in a God-Saturated Home
Growing up, God was as much a part of my life as food, sleep, work, and play. He was the foundation of our home. We read the Bible as a family morning and evening and worshiped God with other Christians every Sunday and Wednesday.
I don't remember a time when I didn't believe that God was holy, holy, holy and that I was desperately sin sick. My parents still have the many apologies I wrote and drew for them when I'd disobey as a little girl.
Almost every night I asked Jesus to save me from my sins. I knew God's standard is perfection, and it wasn't hard to see I didn't measure up. Somehow, though, I missed the fact that Jesus lived a perfect life on my behalf.
Instead, I set out to earn God's love and approval. But, no matter how hard I tried, I never felt I had it. Oh, I knew the Bible says God loves me, but I sure never felt it. How could He? I couldn't begin to meet His standards.
As I already mentioned, our first understanding of God is shaped by our relationship with our father. I have a great dad. He worked hard to provide for our family. He spent many evenings playing board games and teaching us how to play a mean game of basketball. He bought us candy (I have a serious sweet tooth!) almost every time we stopped for gas. He even helped me with school projects (my favorite: the time he gave my brother a haircut and helped me make a toupee for my book report What's the Teacher's Toupee Doing in the Fish Tank?). I could go on and on about how great my dad is.
But no parent is perfect. Not even the good ones.
It might have been the time I spilled my milk as a little girl. Dad got upset, and I believed from then on that I couldn't mess up. Ever. Or I'd make him mad. I was always on edge, afraid I might set off his anger.
It didn't help that I was sensitive. I cried when I was happy, cried when I was sad, and cried when I didn't even know why I was crying. My dad often told me to cut it out when my tears flowed. The only way I knew to hide my "weakness" was to maintain distance.
So while everything looked good on the outside, I didn't have a close relationship with Dad—or with God. And because of my perception of my dad, I viewed God as an angry, hard-to-please authority figure. I was afraid of Him.
I came to believe I always had to be strong and could never show any weakness in order to have a relationship with my dad, with God, or with guys. I had to have it all together first. I had to be perfect.
By the time I hit my teen years, my relationship with Dad was especially tumultuous. He didn't trust me (you'll understand why in chapters 4 and 5). On top of that, we just didn't understand each other—or even seem to like each other. We both have strong personalities, and we butted heads. A lot. And since I didn't yet understand the importance of treating Dad respectfully, I sent a whole lot of icy glares his direction when I didn't agree with him.
Also, I've always liked to ask tons of questions and have deep conversations. My dad, on the other hand—like many men—preferred talking about the latest sports scores to talking about relationships. He may have felt I was judging him when I probed into his past and tried to understand what made him tick.
All these differences led me to feel unloved and rejected by Dad. So I turned to guys. But here's the thing it took me years to learn: boy craziness is really just girl neediness. Boys will never do the trick; only God can fill those empty, needy places.
Miracles Still Happen
At some point, I began to cry out to God for help. Slowly, as I started to believe and receive God's love for me, He freed me up to love my dad. After all, true love doesn't take—it gives.
As I received God's love, He helped me choose to forgive my dad for not being perfect. He helped me release Dad of my expectations. I began to learn to express respect and love for Dad in ways he'd appreciate rather than waiting for him to express his love in the way I wanted. Like this time I captured in my journal:
Last weekend, I traveled four hours with Dad to the Buchanans'. I purposely didn't ask him questions, so I think he's more comfortable and happy with our relationship. And lo and behold, today he called me! He asked all about a trip I had just taken. Then he said "I love you" before he hung up.
That phone call was just the beginning of many sweet surprises to come:
My heart is ready to burst. Dad picked me up from college. We talked the whole two hours home. He talked openly to me. He told me he'd been hurt so he had distanced himself. I'm amazed at how You're working, God.
What He Wasn't Made to Satisfy
Don't get me wrong. It's not like Dad suddenly had a personality transplant and started craving deep conversations. He didn't. But I learned an important lesson: dads are human, too. They have their own hurts, and people who are hurting often hurt others. Sometimes they don't communicate their love to us in ways we recognize.
And that's okay. Because no guy—dads included—was ever meant to give us the love we crave. Check out this solemn warning (and then promised blessing) in Jeremiah 17:5–8:
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert.... He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness....
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green.
The Gift of Your Dad
Maybe your dad is as close to perfect as they come. Or maybe he left when you were little. Maybe he's an alcoholic. Maybe he's in prison. Maybe he just sits in front of the TV, night after night, barely noticing you.
God knows and He cares. In fact, according to Acts 17:26–27, God determined the exact time and place you would live—including your "dad story"—so you would seek God and find Him, the only one who is love.
This God is the "Father of the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5). He loves you with a "Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love."
As you receive your Father God's love for you, don't underestimate what He can do as you forgive your dad, release him from your expectations, and love him with God's unconditional love.
As a teen, I never would have guessed that someday I would feel loved and treasured by my dad. But I do! While writing this book, I got an email from him saying, "I love you, and I love what you're doing." How cool is that? Nothing—nothing—is impossible with God.
Excerpted from confessions of a boy-crazy girl by paula hendricks, Lydia Brownback. Copyright © 2013 Paula Hendricks. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of ContentsPart One: The Searching (Doing it My Way)
Chapter 1 - The Prayer That Rocked My World
Chapter 2 - Early Lessons in Love
Chapter 3 - Awakening Love
Chapter 4 - If I Could Just Be Beautiful Enough: My Ticket to Love
Chapter 5 - Lusting Behind My Parent's Back
Chapter 6 - The Relationship in My Head
Chapter 7 - Forcing a Fairy Tale
Chapter 8 - Running From Love
Chapter 9 - The Broken Fix-It Woman
Chapter 10 - Breakdown—and Breakthrough—in a Twelve-Passenger Van
Chapter 11 - You Want Me To Love Him More?
Chapter 12 - When You Get What You Want But It's All Wrong!
Chapter 13 - A Shattered Dream: Winter in My Soul
Chapter 14 - The Knock on My Door
What People are Saying About This
Teenage girls often look to others for security and significance—most often, it's boys. Good-looking boys. That was me at the age of sixteen, and had someone put this book in my hands back then, who knows the heartaches I could've avoided. Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl is a must-read for today's young women!
Joni Eareckson Tada, CEO/Joni and Friends International Disability Center
What a joy it has been to watch Paula on her “journey from neediness to freedom.” The transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. Her reflections on that journey are honest, engaging, refreshing, and insightful. In this book, young women will find Paula to be a relatable, caring, wise friend. She will make you laugh; she will make you cry; she will make you think. And she will point you to the only true Satisfaction for a heart that longs to be chosen and cherished.
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author; Revive Our Hearts radio host
Love the boy. Hate the boy. Long for the boy. Wait for the boy. If you want off the roller coaster ride of romance, this book is your ticket. In a style that feels like a great conversation with a good friend, Paula gives us front row seats to her up and down ride on the roller coaster of love and then teaches us that there is a better way. You will be encouraged, inspired, and entertained by her story and ultimately you'll find the surprising secret to the lasting Love you're looking for.
Erin Davis, author of the One Girl series
There are not many words that describe this book . . . because it was amazing. I cannot tell you how much it related to me and gave me the example and Scripture I needed to get through my obstacles. I am really boy crazy and love the thought of love, but this book helped me in more ways than could be counted.
Ginni Mathis, a teen reader
Here iswarm, wise, and clear headed counsel from someone who has dug past the surface and has identified the root cause of boy-craziness. Paula knows firsthand about the “expulsive power of a new affection.” Take the quiz in the first chapter and see if this book is for you or for someone you know.
With encouraging transparency, deep faith, and wisdom learned in the crucible of pain, Paula Hendricks invites us into her heart. As I read, I saw myself over and over again: as a "boy-crazy girl" and as a woman who has been taught by Christ that He "is in the business of transforming broken girls into beautiful trophies of his grace." Nothing is more soul-satisfying than the realization that surrender of all to him is not a loss at all. If you are a boy-crazy girl (or woman) or if you're a mom or grandmother who knows one, this book is a wonderful resource. I heartily recommend it!
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, author of Found in Him: The Joy of the Incarnation and Our Union with Christ
Here is warm, wise, and clear headed counsel from someone who has dug past the surface and has identified the root cause of boy-craziness. Paula knows firsthand about the “expulsive power of a new affection.” Take the quiz in the first chapter and see if this book is for you or for someone you know.
Bob Lepine, cohost, FamilyLife Today
Paula allows us to take a peek into her life through stories, transparent journal entries, and God’s guidance along the way. She’s relatable, humorous, practical and just plain real. Gospel-saturated and biblically sound, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl provides wisdom for young girls, teens, and moms navigating the tendencies of our boy crazy hearts. Paula has written a book that gives hope for every boy crazy girl.
Trillia Newbell, author, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity
Paula Hendricks has charged right into the heads and hearts of most females with her Confessions. I wish I could've read this book as a young teen; it addresses so many common temptations and provides gospel-centered help. With refreshing transparency, Paula invites the reader into her struggles with image, beauty, insecurity, lust, and of course—guys! Paula comes alongside the reader as a friend and opens her heart to tell her story. She doesn't run from the tough questions, but uses Scripture to grapple with the heart issues. If you're a teen, you need this book. If you're a parent or you have input into young women's lives, you need this book. May the life lessons Paula shares here impact the next generation for God's glory!
Kimberly Wagner, True Woman blogger and author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior
Boy-crazy? It doesn’t have to define you! There’s a way to get your heart back. Jump inside Confessions, get to know Paula, and find your way out. And in the process, you’ll discover that the true love you seek is actually seeking you.
Carrie Ward, author, Together: Growing Appetites for God
Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl is so brutally honest and biblically encouraging that I wish I had read it when I was younger. Like Paula, I also believed that all I had to do was trust God enough and be pretty enough to attract a boy. Wrong! If you're the least bit boy-crazy like Paula (and like me) you will be thoroughly encouraged challenged in your faith and relationships.
Renee Fisher, the Devotional Diva is an author of four books including Not Another Dating Book and Loves Me Not. She writes for young adults at http://www.devotionaldiva.com.
A greatread that is both poignant and relevant to teens today. Paula speaks truth into the lives of her readers in a way that convicts, motivates, and inspires. I know it inspired me!
Katie, a teen girl
In Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, Paula bravely opens her heart and journals to confess what many young women struggle with—a deep need for a guy’s approval. This raw and honest look into her journey will encourage others to seek the One worthy of seeking. Paula shares how God helped her step off the crazy cycle of heartbreak over meaningless crushes and get on to a more meaningful relationship with Him.
Heather Patenaude, author of Emotional Purity: An Affair of the Heart
I’ve watched dozens of “boy-crazy girls” wrestle with God on their journey of trying to find love, value, and acceptance in romantic relationships. In Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, Paula intentionally reorients all girls to the gospel with gut-level openness and honesty, and for that I am grateful.
Brad Neese, student ministry pastor (and daddy of two beautiful girls)
Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl takes an honest look at the core heart issues that hide behind the lies and mind games that can keep you trapped in the repeat cycle.. Sprinkled with humor and filled with biblical truth and realistic wisdom it navigates you on your own heart-searching truth journey pointing to a new direction, purpose, and resolution. In the end, it will encourage you to believe unashamedly with Paula and others, “This was me before Christ transformed me from the inside out. This is the radically different person I am today—crazy after Christ!”
Susan Henson, founder of Pure in Heart Conference Ministries, coauthor of Life Lessons from the Princess and the Kiss and Life Lessons from the Squire and the Scroll