I give the book, Choosing to SEE by Mary Beth Chapman an A+.
In case you don’t know, Mary Beth is the wife of Grammy and Dove Award winning Christian recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman. Her book is an autobiographical account of their life leading up to the tragic accidental death of their five year old adopted daughter, Maria, and then how God brought them through that dark valley to find hope.
I have to say, Choosing to SEE is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The first half of the book opened my eyes to the challenges Mary Beth faced, like chronic depression, issues with body image, as well as, marital conflicts. She also takes the reader along on their God-inspired journey to adopt, not one, not two, but eventually three daughters from China.
By the middle of the book she took a detailed and graphic look at the day they lost their beloved daughter. It brought me to tears, not just for the loss of Maria, but for the devastation it brought to their son, Will, who was the one who accidentally hit her with their SUV. Let me tell you, I didn’t stop crying (off and on) throughout the rest of the book—and I’m not a crier! But they were good tears—cleansing tears. I think that’s because I resonated with so many of the feelings and issues Mary Beth encountered. So if you are going through a valley experience, this will speak profoundly to you as well.
Mary Beth amazed me with her brutal honesty, in not only hard truths, but also in humorous moments. She drew me close when she shared her doubts, and she inspired me when her family refused to let this tragedy define or defeat them—truly believing that God is in control no matter how bitter the circumstances.
Back in May of this year, I wrote a music review of her husband’s recently released CD, Beauty Will Rise. This recording was also inspired by the tragic loss and as I listen now to the CD, I’ve discovered an unexpected bonus. I understand a little more of the background and the meaning of each song, (even the wording of each song) since reading the book, giving me a renewed appreciation for this particular CD.
To wrap it up: if you are looking for a book that you won’t soon forget, this is it.
And if you’re looking for a book that will inspire you to trust God in the worst of circumstances, this is it!