Stress Point by Sarah Francis Martin
In Stress Point Sarah Francis Martin tackles different “stress points” in the lives of women in their twenties. The areas she identifies as these stress points are: career, self image, body image, love and dating, friends and family, money, stepping out on your own, making a difference and spiritual maturity. Each of these points takes up a chapter except for love & dating which takes up two: one focused on the young woman seeking a relationship or healing from an ended one and the other focused on the young woman IN a relationship. Martin approaches the readers as a chatty older “girlfriend” and has at least three “girlfriend studies” about each stress point. These illustrate different ways of handling that particular point. Those studies help make the book easily applicable and the stress points more real. Martin often uses her own story in one of these “girlfriend studies.” She also occasionally uses definitions of concepts from readers which contributes to the book feeling more personal. There are also multiple journaling opportunities in each chapter to think through the particular stress point and possible application.
I appreciate that this book and Martin’s ministry to young women in their twenties are out there. I definitely agree with the stress points she listed and just the aspect of learning how to navigate through these areas as difficult. With that said, I wished this book had gone deeper. It felt like she barely scratched the surface of each of these issues and while the acknowledgement is helpful something more is needed. Sometimes the “girlfriend” language was a little too much for me. I don’t think that’s really a critique as much as personal preference: I’m not really that type. I liked the organization and set up of the book and the Scripture verses as well as Martin’s commitment to pushing readers to find their identity, worth and hope in Christ. It was nice to read a book about these issues that didn’t feel like self-help.
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