Saba's Reviews > Destined to Live, Despite Me: Biblical Truths for Suicide Survivors

Destined to Live, Despite Me by Yolanda Shanks
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May 07, 2011

it was amazing


As I read Destined to Live Despite Me by Yolanda Shanks, the pages came alive with a renewed and wondrous confirmation of the power and presence of God's love. The author, at the age of fourteen, was pregnant and believed that she faced a hopeless situation so she attempted to take her own life. Thank God this suicide attempt failed and her life went on to bear much fruit that would feed many hungry souls. This book is a portion of that fruit and, although written for survivors of suicide, it will inspire and help all individuals who are facing trials and tribulations. Whether or not a person has accepted God's gift of love through the acceptance of His son, Jesus Christ, this book will impact his or her life if read with an open mind and a desire for true happiness and peace. The more we learn of God's love, the better we understand ourselves. As readers follow the author on her journey toward salvation and Christian growth, they will cry for what she endured and rejoice because she is an overcomer.

While in the hospital from her suicide attempt, this frightened and lonely girl remembers the details of her experience. She also recalls one of her older sisters telling the doctor that an abortion was not what Yolanda needed. Once released, the teenager went home with this sister who lived with an older lady, a compassionate Christian woman with a ministering heart. She cared for Yolanda, both physically and spiritually. She introduced her to Jesus Christ and soon, thereafter, Yolanda accepted Him as her Lord and Savior. Yolanda did not have an abortion but gave birth to a son.

What I like most about this book is the honesty with which it is written. Yolanda Shanks admits that everything did not go perfect in her life after this, but she says emphatically that she learned and grew in her Christian walk through the difficult times as well as the good ones. She teaches her readers that choosing to live a Christian life is just like preparing for a hurricane. If their belief system is based on a solid foundation of hope in God, then this hope will keep them rooted during their personal hurricanes of trials and tribulations. The author also discusses evolution VS. Creation, faith, hope, prayer, our Creator's love for us, the Trinity (I loved her illustration of this), free will, why we were created, trusting God in all situations, our armor for battle, studying the Word of God, etc. There is so much life-changing material in this book that readers will want to read it several times, absorbing the information and rejoicing in the truths that are presented. The author emphasizes that she is not perfect--that as a saved person who has achieved personal success--she still makes mistakes. According to Scripture none of us are without sin; however, she and all true believers have perfection in Christ. You feel the joy of Yolanda's life on earth as well as her certainty of eternal life. She knows that she is greatly loved by God, and this gives her a great sense of self-worth, erasing the shame and guilt of her past. She wants us to know that we too can be set free by this love and what was accomplished at the Cross.

All the teachings of Destined to Live Despite Me are backed up by Scripture. In writing this book, the author makes it clear that individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts should get help from a qualified professional. She provides resources for assistance and information as well as a list of recommended readings. Her book is intended to deal with life as a suicide survivor--how to deal with the "afterward" of such a sad time in one's life. But, again, I must emphasize that this book is for all people as they seek to build a foundation that will withstand the hurricanes of life that will surely come. I highly recommend it as a "must read." It is well-written, personal, holds one's interest all the way through, is not "preachy," and truly speaks of love, faith, and hope.
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