"Choosing To See"

Choosing To See by Mary Beth Chapman (with Ellen Vaughn)

Mary Beth Chapman is the wife of gospel music artist Steven Curtis Chapman, a well-known singer/songwriter whose career has spanned two decades and is still going strong. Mary Beth is also mother of six and a public speaker at Christian women's groups. 

On May 28, 2008 the Chapman family suffered a horrible tragedy when their little girl, Maria, was hit by a car in their own driveway. The driver of the car was their son, Will. I remember when this story hit the news; the unthinkable circumstances left parents around the world wondering how it is even possible to survive so much pain. This book is Mary Beth's story, from childhood to present day. It includes much more than the accident, but that event has been the defining moment of her life that has coloured every other moment since.

At the time of their daughter's death the Chapman's were in the midst of planning the wedding of their eldest daughter, Emily, and the high school graduation of their eldest son who was the one behind the wheel when the car struck and killed his little sister. The impact on the whole family was overwhelming. Will fought hard with guilt and  Mary Beth and Steven struggled with God over why it happened and especially why it had to happen the way it did. The other children were devastated by the loss of their sister.

Their struggle to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, to carry on with wedding and graduation plans, to go back to living a life that would never be normal again is a testament to their faith in God. They chose daily to trust that he would carry them all through this, help them endure the pain and bring something good out of all the bad.

It's a remarkable story of hanging on through a kind of heartache most of us can only imagine. The authour is very honest about their pain and anger as they agonized over the fact that God could have stopped this from happening but didn't. It wasn't and still isn't easy for them, but God has held them together and they continue to believe in His goodness and His love for them.

This tragic story is not an easy one to read but it's not only about suffering. Hope is the thread that runs through every chapter and encourages us all to face the painful realities of our lives with faith, knowing that someone bigger than we are is in control. This is a story worth reading.


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