Finished reading one of my books today: Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman with Ellen Vaughn.
Hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read.
So often, Christians talk about our victories without being real about our struggles.
We’ll discuss what we “used to struggle with” but very rarely will we be honest about what we struggle with now.
But I think that means we’re missing out on a huge part of what Jesus offers us.
He not only gives us the power to overcome, but He also walks with us through the struggles.
So when we only talk about the past struggles and fail to be open about the current struggles, we’re missing out on the opportunity to see and display God’s grace through our trials.
If you’re only going to read one book this summer, first I’d tell you to read the Bible.
If you’re going to read two books this summer, read Choosing to See.
Mary Beth’s honesty is amazingly refreshing and such a testimony to the grace of God.
For those of you who don’t know, Mary Beth is the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman, a well-known Christian musician. I wasn’t a diehard fan of his music or anything (I was pretty young when he first started getting really famous), but I came to admire the Chapman’s after finding out that they were huge advocates for adoption. I’ve wanted my parents to adopt since I was a little girl. For countless Christmases (okay, I could probably count them, but anyway…), my Christmas list would state the following:
Rosh’s Christmas List
1) Please adopt a baby. If you do this, I’ll never ask for anything else ever again.
…then I’d go on with my list, since I’ve always been a fan of back-up plans.
When I read in a magazine that Emily Chapman had been the one who convinced her parents to adopt (especially her mom, who was initially very opposed to the idea), I felt a connection to her (there I go again, making connections with strangers…) and tried to sway my parents, hoping that Steven Curtis Chapman may do the trick.
Anyway, I followed the Chapman family news as they adopted a little girl named Shaohannah Hope, then another daughter named Stevey Joy, and finally adorable Maria Sue. I remember driving to high school one day and talking to my friend Matt that carpooled with us, when suddenly the radio caught my attention. I hushed everyone and turned up the volume to hear the shocking and devastating news of Maria Sue’s death. I still remember going to school that day and feeling sick to my stomach, as if I had personally known her. Maybe all this just chalks up to me being a dramatic teenager, but I recall being devastated about her tragic death (her brother accidentally ran into her as he pulled in the driveway because she was too little to be seen, and the hit was fatal) and later watching the memorial service with tears as Matt Redman led worship.
So, 4 years later (Maria went to be with Jesus in 2008), here I was reading the book that her mom wrote. And I dare you to read this book and not cry. Even if you know nothing about the Chapman’s or about God, you will be affected by this story. I read a review that said “this book will make you laugh and cry” and thought, “Doubt it. I don’t laugh or cry easily while I read.” But I did both as I read this. I loved the honesty. Like I said, one of the best books I’ve ever read. And by far, the most honest book I’ve ever read. She doesn’t try to make them seem like a perfect family that handled the tragedy in the perfect way. She’s real. And because of her honesty regarding her struggles/doubts, God is so glorified in this story.
It’s amazing to see His sovereignty. I don’t want to say too much, because you really should read it yourself. But seriously, our God is so sovereign. And loving. And abounding in grace. I’m thankful that I read this book, because it strengthened my faith and helped me love my Lord even more as I saw His grace displayed through the Chapman family.
So please, pick up a copy and read it!
And then tell me what you thought about it so we can discuss the book and my amazing Heavenly Father!!
And if you won’t read it, or you need further motivation to read it, check this out:
God’s grace in my life today:
This blog has been a blessing for me to choose to SEE His grace each day.
I was so unaware before, but now that I’m writing about it, I go through each day amazed at His grace in my life.
His grace is there even when I don’t notice it, but I’ve gotta say…I sure do love noticing it!
You are good, Abba!