Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Must Read of This Year- "Choosing To See" by Mary Beth Chapman

I am an avid reader. I read books voraciously with there never being a time that I am not reading at least two books, usually three at time. When I won the book "Choosing to See" by Mary Beth Chapman, by commenting on Ron Edmondson's Blog,, I was very thankful! After all, I was walking through a tough time, and maybe this book would be encouraging.

I assumed this book would be like all the rest, and I expected to read it while reading the other books I was working through at the same time. This book is different. At least it was for me.

I read through the "Forward", and put this book down until I finished the other one I was reading. I knew from just that much, I would need everything in me to be focused on what I reading as I read "Choosing To See".

This was a story that deserved singular attention.

I was not wrong. As I began the journey with Mary Beth Chapman, and that's what she does, she takes you on a journey, I was capitvated by her honesty, transparency and trust in God.

As a mother, there were times this was a very difficult book to read. "Difficult"  That seems to be a much too small, and much too inaccurate a word to describe the mother's walk who had to write this story, and must continue to live it out daily.

I found myself needing to put this book down and walk away just to compose myself enough to continue reading. The reason for this is Mary Beth Chapman takes you as close as you will ever get to living her story without being Mary Beth Chapman. I will never feel what she felt. To say I do would be an insult. Only SHE lived this particular story. This is HER life, HER grief, and HER walk. She just brings her readers as close to HER story as one can get, without being HER.

Mary Beth Chapman explains why. It is this explanation that truly changed the way I think about things.

"And so I have prayed that our journey through the shadows of loss might be of some help to those who have experienced similar pain...that our stewardship of this story would comfort many."  - Mary Beth Chapman, "Choosing to See"

It was the,"stewardship of this story" that changed my life. Stewardship. Of the God written story of her life. Mary Beth poignantly crafts this theme throughout her book.
I was now "SEEING" God has called me, and each one of His followers to steward the story He has given us. The one He is writing specifically for each of His children.

I can now "SEE" very clearly, this encompasses the messy parts of my life, thanks to Mary Beth Chapman.

Lest I leave you with the idea that this is a singular story of the death of a child, let me be clear. It is the story of hope, trust and the ever enduring faithfulness of God, stewarded beautifully by a woman of God who chooses to "SEE".

Chasing Their Hearts,

Glenda Johnson

"Choosing To See" by Mary Beth Chapman w/ Ellen Vaughn
Published by Revell
a division of Baker Publishing Group
Copyright 2010

1 comment:

  1. I have delayed in posting a comment about "Choosing to SEE" because I just can't seem get all my thoughts together clearly. After reading her book I feel overwhelmingly blessed with two gifts from Mary Beth Chapman. Though this wasn't the focus of her book, one is the reminder to cherish every moment that God blesses me with my children. The other is much more complicated and hard to word. I am thankful for her courage to "steward her story". I have never seen another Christian fully own depression and use it to honor God so beautifully. I am encouraged by her example. I am moved to allow God to work as He SEES fit in my life and use the story He has given me to point others to Him.