Choosing to See: A Journey of Struggle and Hope
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Choosing to See: A Journey of Struggle and Hope

4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  8,154 ratings  ·  761 reviews
I've told my kids for years that God doesn't make mistakes," writes Mary Beth Chapman, wife of Grammy award winning recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman. "Would I believe it now, when my whole world as I knew it came to an end?" Covering her courtship and marriage to Steven Curtis Chapman, struggles for emotional balance, and living with grief, Mary Beth's story is our s...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Last October, my church had the Chapmans (Steven Curtis and his wife and kids) for an outreach event. I didn't buy tickets because I wasn't sure I would be able to handle the grief of this family not far removed from the death of their 5 year old daughter in a horrific accident in which her brother ran over her with a car. I can't stand the sugary sweet "God is in control" and we were instantly happy that he had taken our daughter to be with him schlock that is so common in Christian books/speak...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
I remember hearing when the daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman was killed in a tragic accident. I knew of Steven's music, but wasn't really familiar with him or his family. I remember thinking at the time what a difficult thing to go through. Steven's wife Mary Beth writes of the experience here in her book, Choosing to SEE. She shares their early life; their young marriage, Steven's perseverance in moving his career forward, the birth of their three children and the adoption of three daughters f...more
This book was recommended by a variety of people, so I thought it was time to read it. I feel very hard-hearted admitting it didn't live up to my expectations. Mary Beth Chapman is working through the grief of losing her daughter who was hit accidentally by her son. The book is not well written, although I appreciated the quotes and song lyrics at the beginning of each chapter.

I identified with two particular quotes. In talking about her past, Mary Beth writes, "I'm not sure whether it was the...more
What I loved most about this book was Mary Beth's honesty about her struggles with depression, adoption, the loss of her daughter, and trusting in God and His word. Her journey of faith is easy to relate to. She admits to being a flawed human being, desperately clinging to Jesus. She's not a perfect Christian wife and mother (because NO ONE is), yet she is living out the journey God has placed her on. I can definitely relate to her as she talks about telling God her plans and then having to admi...more
Leah Beecher
This book has been sitting on my book shelf for close to two years. I have not dared to open its pages because it is too scary to immerse yourself into a memoir that is based on "God allowed my child to be hit by a car and die, that has driven by my son". Makes no sense. Shakes you to the core. But what a good book. Mary Beth starts the book, just skimming The Day. Then she backs it up, goes into a wonderful narrative about her own childhood, faith, brushes with The church, some crappy, some goo...more
I marked five stars, but I really needed more. This is an awesome book about walking your faith even through the dark days.
Mary Beth did a beautiful job of sharing this family's story in a way that is so powerful you can feel God's presence in all of it. I am in awe of the light this family has been able to share even while they carry such a heavy load of grief and loss. Remarkable!!

I want to remember from this book, Maria's message to "SEE";
the touching image of Will's brother, Caleb, holdin...more
Amanda Stevens
Anyone who kept track of the Christian music industry in 2008 (and many who didn't) heard about the loss of five-year-old Maria Chapman to a tragic accident in the driveway of the Chapman family's home. This book feels more like two shorter books: the first half being a general biography of Mary Beth's journey as Christian, wife to a CCM superstar, and mother ... the second half being her journey of sorrow and anger and hope after her daughter's death.

My reading diet of primarily fiction may ha...more
It's not often you can say you "accidentally read a book," but I'd say that's a pretty apt description. I picked this up at the house where we were staying on vacation, thinking, "oh, maybe I'll get a quick look at what happened." Next thing I knew it was 1 a.m., I'd read the whole darn thing, and my eyes were in a pretty bad state. I typically don't care for what I'd call "Christian Bookstore writing," but the Chapmans' story is very compelling, and I thought Mary Beth was incredibly brave to b...more
Natalie Wickham
I remember hearing about this book almost as soon as it came out and have been eagerly anticipating reading it ever since. Having heard of the tragic accidental death of the Chapman’s little adopted Chinese daughter when it happened, I knew the Mary Beth’s story would be heartfelt and insightful. I was not disappointed on either count. Mary Beth’s style of writing is very real and personable. It has you laughing one minute, gasping the next, and then wiping tears from your eyes. But in it all, s...more
"Choosing to SEE" was recommended by a trusted friend. "It's about God" is how the author, Mary Beth Chapman, describes the book, in her own words. It's about how her family's faith in God is questioned and challenged. How they find God's will, in signs they choose to see, like "bread crumbs of grace", left during those times when the path is darkest. While most would consider the Chapmans a devoted Christian family, their story holds great meaning for non-Christians too.

Mary Beth's book covers...more
Choosing to See
By Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn

c. 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1991-3
$21.99, Revell

Review by Lisa J Lickel

You gotta love a woman who admits to peeing on her future husband before they’ve even had their first date.

I don’t tend to read much non-fiction. I picked up this book because I thought it would be another nice Bible study-themed guide I could share with a ladies group. And I like SCC music. I prefer fictional people doing fictional things to escape from the reality of all...more
Victor Gentile
Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn in her new book, “Choosing To See” published by Revell brings us into the life of her family.

What do we expect of those individuals who have the spotlight of the Gospel? Do we hold them on a high pedestal where we can show them off and say that is hos God treats His elite? Are those whose names we hear practically every day different from the rest of us?

Steven Curtis Chapman is a multi Grammy award and Dove award winning artist. He has played at The White Hous...more
Title: CHOOSING TO SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope
Author: Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn
Publisher: Revell
August 2010
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1991-3
Genre: Inspirational/memoir

All of us in the Christian internet world remember the day that the news broke that Steve Curtis Chapman lost his five-year-old daughter, Maria, in a tragic accident. Some of us flocked over to their blog, reading the terrible story and crying tears of symphathy for this family. I remember telling my husband that I thought...more
Clockstein Lockstein

Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman and Ellen Vaughn is a heart-rending account of a mother's loss and trusting in God. I remember the day I heard about the death of Maria Chapman, the daughter of popular Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman and wife Mary Beth. She was tragically killed when her elder brother Will's car hit and killed her in the family driveway. I sympathized with their pain because I had a son just Will's age and a daughter Maria's. Our son had recently gotten his license, a...more
Love, love, LOVED this book! I am a big fan of Steven Curtis Chapman's Christian music and remember hearing about the tragedy of his daughter being killed when his son accidentally hit her with the car. This book is by his wife, Mary Beth, and her life. Just from the dedication to her husband, I knew I was going to love Mary Beth's sense of humor. The first half of the book talks about her early life, her struggles with depression, and her faith journey. The second half of the book deals with th...more
Jenny Wells
What did I think? I THOUGHT it was only an okay written book, skipped and rushed at certain points, but I FELT powerfully touched as a result of reading it. I read it straight through in 24 hours, even catching moments in the car. Tears came just reading the opening dedication from Mary Beth to her daughter, Maria, and I closed the book with wet tears as well.

I am deeply thankful for Mary Beth's honesty. She writes of the pain and ache up to the end. She doesn't try to wrap her family's loss and...more
I truly enjoyed reading this book. I love how honestly it was told. MaryBeth talks about all the emotions she went through including being angry with God. Yes, she's married to a Gospel singer and they are a religious family, but she was not afraid to say she was mad at God for taking her child. It seemed like this book was her way of dealing with the grief. In the end she holds onto her belief in God, and there is no fault in that. Every single person deals with grief and their religion in diff...more
Karen Harasick
I enjoyed reading the story of Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman's life, and my heart grieved along with her in the loss of her precious child. I must say though, that her theology in places disturbed me. Having lost a child of my own (to cancer at age 14), I thought I might relate to her, but I did not. To me, she came across as ungrounded and mystical in places. I do appreciate her writing the book though- I'm sure it took a lot of courage. I have always loved the theology of Steven's music...more
I had to stop reading this book for a little while, as it had my emotions 'all tangled' almost from the beginning.
As my husband and I are on the adoption journey, the descriptions of how the three Chinese princesses came in to the Chapman's lives had me very emotional. This is where I had to put the book down for a bit. I knew that the book was not only about adoption, but about the Chapman's youngest dying in a car accident. I had to gather myself before I moved on in the book.

I much admire Ma...more
The CD Stephen Curtis chapman made from this tragic accident was a lifeline for me during a very difficult time. to learn the whole story behind the music was even more inspiring. Mary beth's willingness to share all of her emotions gives such hope to those going through painful losses and sufferings in their lives. This is a book of hope and encouragement that calls on believers to trust and have faith in the sovereignty of God.
Mary Beth wrote this book following the tragic loss of her precious daughter Maria. It documents hers and Steven's life in their youth and early marriage, her battle with depression, their journey to adoption, and then their family's grief after losing Maria. I appreciate Mary Beth's transparency, and reading this encouraged me to continue praying for this family as they continue to cope with their loss.
This is a true story of Mary Beth's life. She takes you through all her thoughts and feelings through major obstacles in her and her family's life. The major part of this story is her youngest adopted daughter, Maria's death. Mary Beth takes you through every step that happened before, during and afterwards. You will cry, and laugh and want to learn more about this family. Good and easy to read.
Kim Denardin
Unbelievably heartbreaking account of how the Chapman family survived the tragic loss of their young daughter Maria. Appreciated Mary Beth's honesty. Although it is not the most beautifully written book, I couldn't put it down - was frequently reduced to tears. Definitely recommend!
This book is the most beautifully honest book. I cried during pretty much the whole read. Having lost loved ones recently, this really ministered to my heart. God is so good and He has used Mary Beth in a very special way. I highly recommend it.
This book was captivating. It was hard to put down. The story is riveting. The loss of a 5 year old child should never happen. But we live in a broken world. The last section of the book, which was her blog posts after the accident was less interesting to me. Although it was neat to read about the orphanage that they helped build in the Henan province in China. They also helped create the Show Hope organization that helped fund our adoption. I am grateful for their work in promoting adoption and...more
I lost my 12 year old daughter unexpectantly this year. I have read many books on grief in the months following. However I was desperately searching for a book that would let me know that the pain I love with daily is normal and I will survive. For me, this book was this and so much more. I know some reviewers of this book felt Mary Beth Chapman wrote this book when her grief was still too raw. I strongly disagree. There aren't enough books out there where people who are living this grief can se...more
Tina Peterson
What a bitter sweet sign of gods power. Really liked this story. Thank you tami.
Sara Boghdan
I read this book all in one day...TODAY. I already knew the story of the loss. I am so impressed that Mrs. Chapman was able to be so honest about her grief. I'm exhausted because I feel like I breezed into that grief with her.

I really appreciated the chance to see that EVERYONE: rich, poor, popular, anonymous--we all bounce around the 5 stages of grief.

Even better, we Christians hold fast to Jesus, the One who died to save us.

All in all, this book is an easy read and was nearly impossible to put...more
I read this book in the first weeks after suddenly and unexpectedly losing my 10-yr-old son. A dear friend gave it to me, hoping it would help me in some way. I appreciated the honesty shared by Mary Beth Chapman. I did feel a little bit as if she were more accepting of her daughter's death than I were of my son's. Chapman shared her strong faith and it did help me, but I find it hard to just accept it as "God's plan for us". Maybe I should re-read it after more time has passed? Overall, I still...more
Jamie Garrett
What a tear jerker!! Great book, highly recommend.
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“Everything, including our pain, is His. I am thankful He will meet me in it.” 11 likes
“Real success in the kingdom of God is not about being strong and looking good and knowing all the right answers. It's about continually yielding oneself to Jesus and determining to take purposeful little steps of obedience, and the ragged reality that it's all about God and His grace at work in us.” 5 likes
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