Thursday, June 17, 2010
Life, In Spite of Me. Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice, by Kristen Jane Anderson, with Tricia Goyer
At the tender age of 17, Kristen felt hopeless. In the past several years, she had struggled with depression, death of loved ones, and rape. She felt as if life was no longer worth living, so she decided to end it all. In the middle of a cold night, she lay down on some train tracks, in an attempt to live her life. Miraculously, she lived, but lost both of her legs. This book details what led up to her making that choice, how the choice impacted her life, and the journey God had always intended her to walk
I honestly cannot praise this book enough. I knew going into it that this was a book about a girl who had attempted suicide, and that was pretty much it. I had no idea what was in store. Kristen writes her story with amazing and graceful honesty. Hers is a story that we all can relate to, and it served as a blessing to me as I read it.
Talking about the emotional pain she suffered could not have been easy, but Kristen showed so much faith by writing this book. She talked about her journey with such frankness that she was more than an author of this book; by the end, she was a friend. She prays for and with the reader throughout the book, and one cannot help but be filled with joy. Even the picture of her on the cover is so....joyful.
I love the fact that Kristen talked about how mental health treatment fit in to the plan that God had for her, and that at one time she needed it, but with His grace and the help of her treatment team, she received real healing. There is so much proof in this story of God's mercy, love, and grace.
At times, it was surreal hearing Kristen talk so bluntly about not having her legs, not being able to walk, and the anger, guilt, and fear that it provoked. But what a blessing, to watch her grow into the wonderful woman of God that she became as a result of her accident.
I would highly recommend this book for all teen youth groups, because I think so many teen suffer the same way Kristen did, and it would benefit them to hear her story. Her story is so full of hope. I really love this book, and I applaud Kristen for trusting that sharing her story was part of God's plan. So much good can be done with this book. If you are hurting, and lonely, read this, it will help.