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 wouLast 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/speaking events.
A co-worker had an extra ticket and I ended up going. The night was a mix of SCC's music, their sons' band and Mary Beth speaking. I could take or leave the music. But I liked her immediately. It was the first time she'd ever spoken in public and of all subjects - about the journey of acceptance following the accident. But she was sarcastic always, angry at times and real. I'm not a terribly emotional person when it comes to this kind of thing. She spoke, I was touched and left moved -- but not to tears.
I got a Kindle for Christmas. I saw this book on the "limited time offers" for like $2 a few weeks ago. After church today, I was especially raw and something made me start this book. I finished it today as well. I took about a four hour break in between the first and second sections. The first section sets up Mary Beth's story of faith and doubt. She tells of her struggle with clinical depression and the difficulties in her marriage with Steven Curtis. Mary Beth doesn't linger over the details but gives enough for me to connect with her in a way that I don't with other women Christian authors. Thankfully, there are no "beloveds" or "dearests" in this book. (You Beth Moore and Kay Arthur fans know what I'm talking about.) I saw a lot of myself in her description of herself. I'm hoping that is what made the second part of the book so terribly painful for me. I cried from the moment I knew what was coming right until I finished the book. Not because I know what she feels from having lost a child but from the raw emotion of her daily struggles questioning God and finding the answers through others and Scripture, then losing it and having to start over the next day.
This isn't the deepest book you'll ever read. And having heard her speak, I can fill in where the narrative is lacking which others won't have the benefit. But I'd recommend this book. It will spur good conversation about what you build a marriage on, when your faith becomes real, how you deal with anger at God, etc.
And I'm not a crier. I have a horrible headache from all this stupid crying. ...more
For anyone of you reading my recent Facebook post, this is the book that made me ask the question, "When do you stop reading a book you can't stand thFor anyone of you reading my recent Facebook post, this is the book that made me ask the question, "When do you stop reading a book you can't stand that you know you SHOULD read?" Our women's ministry leader at church has gone on and on about how life changing this book is for about a year now. Late last fall, we had a series on becoming a praying church. So I picked up this book. I read and I read and I just don't see it changing my life. I can't finish it. Maybe it says something about where I am spiritually (probably) but I always have a hard time connecting with those "perfect" Christian couples who never do anything wrong and homeschool their kids. This book is written by one of those couples. He writes the biblical half of the chapter and she writes the personal application part of the chapter. He focuses on warriors in the Bible and prayer warriors. The lives of some of the men (and they are all men) and their prayer lives are amazing.
But I'm not where I can spend hours, weeks or months in prayer. Nor are most of us. We should all strive to lead a life of continuous prayer. My minister spoke about asking God to allow our eyes to see those things around us for which we should be in constant prayer. I fervently believe that prayer can change your life and I'm glad this book changed someone's life.