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Monday, August 2, 2010

LIFE IN SPITE OF ME - Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice - BOOK REVIEW

In Life In Spite of Me, Kristen Jane Anderson tells her story together with Tricia Goyer.
From back cover: She wanted to die, but God had other plans. Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture-perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook: three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression. One January night, the seventeen-year-old decided she no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railway tracks and waited for a freight train to send her to heaven...and peace. Miraculously, Kristen's story doesn't end there. In Life In Spite of Me this remarkably joyful young woman shares the miracle of her survival the agonizing aftermath of her failed suicide attempt, and the hope that has completely transformed her life, giving her a powerful purpose for living. Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured.

My review: This is indeed a gripping story. Kristen spares no details that are important to the understanding of the emotional pain which led up to her suicide attempt, and her subsequent struggles. It is a story of relationships. In an afterword, Kristen's mum describes how her parents sought to get her the help she needed, and how the doctors didn't recognize the depression, since Kristen kept so much buried deep inside. Her mum describes the thoughts that tormented her - why didn't they know? What could they have done differently? and so on.
Kristen includes notes of encouragement throughout the book, things she wished someone had told her when she was struggling most. She also includes a list of suide warning signs. This is a story of triumph over adversity, blessing coming from the brokenness of her life. She speaks now of the transforming power of hope in Christ, and has launched a ministry to help others find that same hope and joy. Visit her website at http://www.reachingyou.org/ for further information.
The message on the jacket flap: For anyone struggling to find the strength to go on, the message of this heart-wrenching yet hope-building book is clear: God loves you more than you can imagine. He has good plans for your future. Life is a gift. This book is an extraordinary reminder that even when we give up on life, God doesn't give up on us.

Life In Spite of Me - Kristen Jane Anderson from waterbrook multnomah on Vimeo.

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