In the introduction the authors said that if the reader was college age or older that there would not be much for us in the first chapter. They were right for for the most part. I was not the reader they had in mind for this book.
It has been a while, so I’ll review why I am reading this book. Just Friends by Mike Ray and Cary Schmidt, is about maintaining healthy, godly relationships with the opposite sex. I had read up on this subject when I was younger but my lack of interest in the opposite sex made me not think I needed to pay attention. I had a girlfriend already so following the rules was high on my to do list. As long as no one knew, I felt like I was fine. I did not know how strongly sex addiction had me, or understand the God strong enough to deliver me.
Years later, after developing a deep attraction to the opposite sex, I met Edward. He heard my testimony and did not see me as a lesbian that abused her ex-girlfriend, but as a great story of redemption. He was also in a trap of lust however. Despite this we drew closer. Close enough for my old addiction to kick back in with a Jones for males.
I am treating the addiction by breaking off the relationship with Edward, drawing closer to God and going to Reformers Unanimous. But I want to be able to hold friendships with men soon. I am not the hormone filled teen but I need this book.
They do spend the first chapter on puberty. Ruth, a young girl from the Animal Zoo, or AZ for short, thinks I suffering my way through a second puberty. As I read I noticed why.
The first thing addressed in a rather general tone was physical changes that teens endure. Ruth says that in my case this manifest itself in my body that has health that doctors are just starting to understand. The current problem that we are facing is low blood pressure.
Next addressed change of the teen years is the rewiring taking place in the frontal lobe. I could rant about how I believe that adults use it as an excuse for low standards for teens. But Just Friends agrees with my take on this troublesome lobe. As the judgement part of the brain develops, we need to use it well to reinforce good neuron connections. Part of turning away from addiction is telling the mind that it can do what it wants for satisfaction. I’m rewiring my brain to rely on God for it now.
The last addressed change is emotional. I think this is the change I feel the most in my “second puberty”. Edward and Chad, another AZ, spent hours teaching me to let go of the guilt that I had been using to hold my addiction and attractions where I wanted them. I allowed them to teach me to allow myself to feel emotions instead of locking them out. I dealing with emotions other than guilt to tug at my heart strings.
The major parallel is being new to being attracted to the opposite sex. Sexual attraction in the teens was something I acted on. I am learning how to submit my sexuality to God for real this time.