I downloaded this book over the New Year’s weekend… Kindle had it on sale for $2.99 (thanks, Dayna for the head’s up!). I quickly proceeded to get completely involved and read until 2:00 AM. I finished reading the book on our way home. The Chapman family’s story is something I’ve been following for a while. I read Mary Beth’s blog and when I saw she was writing a book about the loss of their little girl, I knew I would want to read it.
Mary Beth has a way of telling her story… like she is talking to a friend, telling you about her pain, her hope, her struggles, and her heart. This is one amazing, real family. One of the best things she said in the book didn’t have anything to do with dealing with Maria’s death. She touched on something I wish a lot of people would understand about Christians in general but especially those in leadership.
“I believe that Steven’s success, and the fact that it put both of us in the spotlight, was part of God’s plan to glorify Himself through my struggles and inadequacies. I am the absolute least likely candidate in the world to be a ‘Christian celebrity wife.’”
“But God made me the way He did and gave me the story we’re living. And even though I am not your usual candidate for celebrity wifedom, I believe it is all about showing off HIS glory. If a lot of people are watching our faith journey, our marriage, and our family because of Steven’s musical success, then that’s great, because it will help shatter the illusion that Christians are supposed to be perfect.”
“People need to know that Christian leaders, singers, preachers, writers, whoever, are as cracked and broken as the next person. Maybe more so. Hopefully they are in positions of leadership, though, because they are serious about following Christ, and so people can see that real success in the kingdom of God is not about being strong and looking good and knowing all the right answers. It’s about continually yielding oneself to Jesus and determining to take purposeful little steps of obedience, and the ragged reality that it’s all about God and His grace at work in us.”
Her candidness about the day of the accident and the days following is heart-wrenching. She tells of many “breadcrumbs” that have been left along the way, to remind them that Maria will always be a part of them and that the Lord remembers them. The way she has dealt with Maria’s loss is amazing, yet very very real. She doesn’t sugar-coat the pain. But she does continually point to the fact that her hope is in Jesus. That there is hope. And joy.
Definitely a good read!