Monday, August 30, 2010

Book Review: Choosing to SEE

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope. Mary Beth Chapman. With Ellen Vaughn. 2010. Revell. 288 pages.

The sky was a bright, springtime blue that day. We were planning a wedding and a graduation. We were happy. It was May 21, 2008. It didn't look like winter--yet.

This memoir by Mary Beth Chapman--wife of Steven Curtis Chapman--is more than just an accounting of what happened "the day the world went wrong." Yes, the book is about Maria--the (adopted) daughter she loved and lost. Yes, this book is about the grieving process--the healing process. But Mary Beth is sharing her life, her story. Some chapters of her life are not ones she'd have written for herself. Even before the tragic accident that changed her family forever. But God has written the story of her life. The book is about her personal journey to SEE God working for good in her life. To see God's blessing, his grace, mercy, and love.

Who is Mary Beth Chapman? She grew up a perfectionist rededicating her life to God every summer. Grace being an unfamiliar word to her. She strived to stay in a good, working relationship with God. But something was missing. She wasn't perfect. She was never good enough. She never felt good enough. But. In college, things changed. She met God, learned about grace and forgiveness, and met the man she'd soon marry. A musician. Steven Curtis Chapman. Of course, he wasn't THE Steven Curtis Chapman yet. And the couple was definitely "living on love." The book is about being a wife, being a mother, being a woman of faith. An imperfect wife, mother, woman. She spends time talking about her struggles with depression, her struggles as a parent and a wife.

The book is also about her experiences with adoption. She and Steven had three biological children. But. After many years, after many discussions, they decided to adopt internationally. At the beginning, she was unsure about wanting to adopt even one child. But. God showed her--showed the family--that he had a different plan in mind. The couple would eventually adopt three children--all girls--from China. One of these was Maria.

For those that may not be familiar with the tragedy, Maria--just five--was run over in the driveway of the family home. Her older brother was driving. And that was the day the world went wrong. Steven Curtis Chapman turned to music--though not immediately--to heal. His Beauty Will Rise album is amazing. And Mary Beth turned to blogging, to writing. Reader see how the Chapman family can "do hard" and keep the faith, keep the hope.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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