Monday, January 24, 2011

Choosing to SEE

I want to recommend a book to you that I friend lent me a few weeks ago.  It's called Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.  Mary Beth is the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman, a Christian musician who was most well known during the late 80's (he wrote a lot of Amy Grant's songs).

The Chapmans married young and had three children in their early 20's.  In their 30's they adopted three girls over a period of five years from China after their older daughter pestered them into considering it.  

In 2008, their five year old daughter was killed when their 17 year old son accidently hit her in their driveway.

It is a heartbreaking, harrowing story.  But a very powerful testimony to God's sustaining strength and purpose through such terrible, terrible tragedy.

Mary Beth is by no means a super Christian.  She is a woman who has struggled with depression and self-esteem problems since she was young.  She is a woman who has struggled to see God and understand his grace.  But she has kept trusting him.  Her story tells the real story of a real woman struggling with enormous difficulties.

I think there would be people who would be surprised that someone like her has these types of  struggles.  Many women look at other Christian women and think they never have doubts or depression or anger - they just look so perfect - their marriage - their children.

This book certainly chucks all those impressions out the window.  Here she is married to a famous musician, a beautiful woman with beautiful children and brave enough to adopt three extra children but on the inside she has found it very hard.

Made me remember that God doesn't choose the 'together' Christians to go through hard things - he just chooses the ordinary person, with all their faults and weaknesses.  In the past 12 months I have met four families who are my age, with children the same ages as my own, where one of the parents is struggling with cancer.  These are normal families - some I've known since I was a teenager.  Tragically sad, but real.  It's there.  And the hard things will come to all of us, at some time in our life.

Steven Curtis Chapman has also released an album titled Beauty will Rise, which is worth getting if you are struggling with grief or want a gift to give to a friend who is going through grief.

I need to hear stories like this one, even though they are so painful, to be reminded again and again - that we are not alone, God loves us and he has so, SO much more promised for us beyond this broken world.

1 comment:

Kath said...

Thanks for the recommendation Jenny.