Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Review: Choosing to See

James suggested that we pick up a copy of Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.  Mary Beth is the wife of singer Stephen Curtis Chapman. They suffered the loss of one of their adopted daughters, Maria, in 2008.  This book was somewhat helpful, but it was not what I thought it would be.

I thought that the bulk of the book would be about Maria' death and their grieving process.  That was not the case.  Only the later half of the book talks about that.  The first half is about their family.  How Mary Beth and Stephen Curtis met.  Their marriage and the launch of his musical career. The birth of their three biological children. The adoptions of their three Chinese daughters.

Sometimes this book made me jealous.  It was not easy for me to read about how fast and simple their adoptions from China had been, three times over.  China!  I've heard of it taking as long as four years to adopt a child from China, but things moved much faster when they were in the process.  Things made me jealous that I never would have expected.  They had Maria for a few years.  We didn't ever even get to hold our girls, much less less watch them grow and play.  They were with Maria when she died, and they had the sacred, albeit heartbreaking, experience of ushering her into the arms of Jesus.  We will never know for sure what happened to our girls.  I don't even know who was with either of them when they breathed their last.

Mary Beth includes some of her journaling that she did after Maria's death.  This was probably the most helpful part of the book to me.  Here's one thing that I found encouraging:

"We need to understand down to the depths of our souls that whether He is quietly behind a storm cloud or blazing obviously in the bright blue sky right on our faces, Jesus, the Son, is always-not sometimes-present.  No matter what circumstance."

She quotes C.S. Lewis several times throughout the book, and that made me pick up my copy of "The Problem of Pain."  I should have reached for that book weeks before I did. 

Be careful in recommending "Choosing to See" to someone who has suffered loss.  This book is not for a grieving widow, and I don't think that it would be that helpful for a couple who has experienced a miscarriage.  I think that a mom who's had a miscarriage would have some of the same feelings of jealously that I had while reading this book.

1 comment:

  1. There has not been a day since the beginning of March that I have not prayed over your family. The loss of a child is the most heart breaking thing a parent can endure. Continuing to daily lift you up in prayer for peace.