Have you ever read a book and hoped that it would not come to an end? I have; many times. I actually just finished a book that I didn’t want to end by Mary Beth Chapman (with Ellen Vaughn). You probably have heard of her, as she is the wife of Steven Curtis Chapman, Christian musician extraordinaire (that is my way of saying he is great). I have been a big fan and lover of Steven’s music for a long time now, but I really didn’t know much about Mary Beth until 2 years ago. In May of 2008, Mary Beth and her whole family were thrust into the world’s spotlight due to a very tragic accident at their family home. And so began a new chapter in the Chapman family’s life, an unimaginable one.
It is odd, I don’t remember details and dates about events that have happened in my life, but I actually remember where I was when I heard the tragic news about what happened to Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. I was actually in bed (probably finishing up a nice nap), and my husband was on the computer. My husband must have been looking at the breaking news, and then he told me what had happened to Steven Curtis Chapman’s youngest daughter, Maria. Then he went onto to share that Maria’s older brother Will was the driver of the car that hit her. Sadly, I must admit that often I am not burdened when something tragic happens to someone I don’t personally know. I feel bad, but not broken or burdened. It was different when I heard the news about Steven’s daughter Maria being killed. I just felt so sad and could not even imagine what their family must have been going through. I began praying for the Chapmans right then, and tried to remember to pray for them in the future as they would come to my mind.
I remember watching and listening to interviews with the Chapman family soon after Maria had died. I cried when they cried, and I was blown away by the presence of Jesus that rested on each member of the Chapman family. I believe God was receiving glory every time the Chapmans would share their story with the world. I could see Jesus all over them.
Fast forward 2 years later, and Mary Beth Chapman is sharing the events of that tragic day and what has happened in her family’s life since then in her new book, Choosing to See (A Journey of Struggle and Hope). However, Mary Beth doesn’t just share about what happened to her precious little Maria, but also shares the story of her life from the time she was a little girl. With gut level honesty Mary Beth shares about her struggles with depression, marital trouble and so much more. As I mentioned before, I didn’t really know anything about Mary Beth, and now after reading her book I love her as a dear sister in Christ.
I have been known to bawl at movies, but I don’t often cry when I read a book. Well, I didn’t bawl when I read “Choosing to See“, but I did have tears in my eyes as I read the details about what happened when the Chapmans lost Maria. I can’t even imagine what they were feeling, but through Mary Beth’s writings you feel like you were there. Mary Beth constantly shows her readers how God was there in the midst of their pain. It is beautiful…
“Choosing to See” is definitely marked by sad and tragic events, but surprisingly the book is full of events that will make you laugh; belly laugh. One of my favorite parts of the book, is that it is full of miracles. God performed miracle after miracle in Mary Beth’s life, big and small miracles. Honestly, there is not one part of the book that I didn’t love.
I end my post today by recommending Mary Beth Chapman’s book, “Choosing to See”. You will be challenged and encouraged in your walk with Christ. Mary Beth and her family make me want to love and trust God more in my own life. The Chapman family have lived through the unimaginable and they are living proof that our God is real and loving and so much more. We just need to choose to see that…
If you are interested in finding out more about Mary Beth’s new book, click here.