Book Review: Choosing to SEE

Steven Curtis Chapman is one of my favorite recording artists, so when Mary Beth’s book Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope came out, I wanted to read it.  Once I started, I couldn’t put it down.  My husband laughed at me because I kept making “Hmmm” sounds – a few every page – because I was either realizing something or feeling so much for this dear family who has faced death and seen a glimpse into eternity.

With total honesty, Mary Beth chronicles life before and after Maria.  I really enjoyed reading about Mary Beth and Steven’s early years – being so young (19 & 21) when they married, scraping by while Steven tried to make it in the music industry, getting pregnant because the dog ate the birth control pills (you gotta read about it – hilarious!).

Mary Beth says on p. 121 of the book,

“If you want a nice, tidy, organized life, you don’t marry Steven Curtis Chapman.  And you don’t adopt orphans.  And you don’t start an adoption/orphan care ministry.  But I did all that…”

Mary Beth’s story speaks to all of us who have ever wondered, How did I get here?  Am I really prepared to do this? Mary Beth found herself in a life she did not – could not – have ever planned.  And that was before her daughter’s tragic accident.

To learn all the details before, during, and after the accident was quite a gift and privilege.  The book was truly an insider’s pass into the Chapman’s lives.  You can’t help but love their family all the more after reading these pages of grief, reality, and hope.

I cannot recommend this book enough.  It’s a book of believing, of hoping, of yearning, of crying, of dying, and of living.  When I look at my almost 4 year old Noelle being so silly, I think of Maria.  And I’m sure Maria’s having so much fun in God’s big house and I pray a blessing over the Chapman family to help them while they miss her.

Authors Mary Beth Chapman and Ellen Vaughn have written us a gift.  There are no easy or pat answers in life.  But the God who created us is faithful to sustain us.  Choosing to SEE makes this ever clear.

Thank you Revell for allowing me to review this book.  You should have included a pack of kleenex with it.  Choosing to SEE is available wherever fine books are sold.  Get your copy and one for a friend today (and include the tissues!).


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