Review: Choosing to SEE

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman

I’m honestly at a loss for words when it comes to describing this book. It is such an amazing, beautiful, heart-wrenching, life-changing story.

Mary Beth is the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman who many know as the awesome, award winning, Christian music singer/song writer. I have always been a huge fan – growing up he was one of a handful of “contemporary Christian” musicians I was allowed to listed to – and have followed his music career for as long as I can remember. Several years ago the Chapman’s youngest daughter was killed in a tragic car accident. This book is largely about that accident and the grief and heartache this family has endured since.

I literally balled my eyes out from cover to cover. Mike came home from work one day to find me curled up on the couch, kindle in hand, crying like a baby. He immediately started laughing at me because he knew I was crying over a book. The tears weren’t all because of tragedy – the first half of the book details the adoption of the Chapman’s three Chinese girls. Each adoption was unique and miraculous. Mary Beth is very honest about her personal struggle with depression and with her hesitation to adopt. It was so touching to read how God worked a miracle in her heart through the first adoption process and then used her to encourage so many others to adopt too.

The second half of the book details the tragedy that took one of their babies from this world. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain…

Even in the midst of what must be the worst loss possible, the Chapman’s choose over and over to believe that God is good and right and that He loves His children. They choose to SEE that there is hope and that someday they will be with their little girl in heaven.

As much as I’ve cried over this book, I’m so glad I read it. Honestly, I pray I never experience grief and pain anything like what this family has endured. Even so, I feel that I learned from reading Mary Beth’s words. I feel that my own faith and hope has been strengthened by hearing how much this family has trusted and hoped in God’s promises. I believe God is good and that regardless of how our plans differ from His, we have hope in Him.

This is a great book for anyone who has experienced great loss. It’s a great book for anyone who’s thought about adoption but may not be quite sure it’s something they can do. And, in my opinion, it’s a great book for any parent – our children are a gift from God for us to steward and care for and love for a season…we don’t know what tomorrow holds, we don’t know when that season will end. Every day, every moment, is a gift.

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