Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review - Life, In Spite of Me

Life, In Spite Of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson is the testimony of a young woman who overcame pain and depression through her growing dependence on Christ.  We meet her at her lowest point.  She is ready to end her life because she cannot take it anymore.   Her way of ending her life seemed liked it should work.  There is no way anyone could survive her method of suicide, but God had other plans.  She survives, but she cannot see yet how God will work in her life.  After her suicide attempt, she is not sure how she got to the train tracks that were supposed to take her life.   In the beginning, she could not believe that others thought she tried to commit suicide.  It seemed liked Kristen was blocking the idea subconsciously that she made the choice to kill herself so she would not confront the reasons behind her decision.    She had some terrible things happen to her that could shake even the strongest person.  Her thoughts as she considered suicide were insightful.  Her friend committed suicide and she thought she would never do something like that.   As time passes she thinks "Life is so hard.  This world is so painful and messed up".   Her thoughts begin to change from "I could never to do that" to "I'd have to think of some way I wouldn't survive".  Her world was messed up and she did not share it with anyone so suicide became a real solution before.   

Kristen's shares with us the trauma after her suicide attempt and her struggle to get better.   Her primary goal during the beginning part of her recovery was to walk again.   She was trying to make things work, but kept ending up depressed.  The best part of her story is realizing that a dependence on God will heal her.     When she was in the psych ward, she told a man "It helps me so much to know that even when I don't have plans for myself.  I can trust that God has plans for me.  Even when I don't have hope, he has hope for me.  And even when I don't see a future for myself, he does.  I just have to have faith".   As she was being healed through Christ, she was able to help others with their struggles.   There were things she wanted to do, but she left those things to God to work out.  And He did!

Throughout the book, you will see letters from Kristen to her readers to offer hope.  Her letter to those considering suicide was uplifting.  She wants us to know we have so much to live for and that God loves you and has a plan for your life.  The writing style was like a personal conversation between her and us.  Kristen would tell us the story and then give us some pearls of wisdom to help anyone struggling to move forward.   As she keeps talking we get a glimpse of God working on her behalf even when she did not realize it.

If you are considering suicide, I believe you will be stopped in your tracks and reconsider your decision after reading this book.   For all of us, we are educated on the signs of someone who might be thinking about suicide.  Although I have a different view about baptism being optional as presented in this story, I can recommend this book because it is a testimony that brings glory to God.  You will be moved and inspired.  

Click this link to read a preview of the book ->
Chapter 1 of Life, In Spite of Me.

I received a free copy of this eBook from  WaterBrook Multnomah through their Blogging for Books program.  All opinions expressed are my own.