Life, In Spite of Me, by Kristen Jane Anderson
Just three hours...that's how much time it took me to read this book. The story of Kristen Anderson is an amazing story of God's sovereignty over every part of our lives - even attempted suicide! At the end of her rope and in the pit of despair, Kristen suddenly decides to end her life when she hears the whistle of an oncoming train. Sure that death would be a much better alternative than continuing to live her painful and disappointing life, she lies down on the tracks, expecting that her life would be over in a matter of minutes. Apparently God had a different plan for her life.
Conscious throughout the events of that night, Kristen recounts the years leading up to her decision to end her life, as well as the terrifying moments after the train rain over her body when she realized that she was alive and that her legs were no longer part of her body. And if she thought her life was bad before, it was much worse now that she was confined to a wheelchair and dependant on those closest to her. And then...the question of faith. A woman from her family's church met her in the foyer her first Sunday back, and told her that it was a good thing she lived through her suicide, because she would have gone to hell if she had died. Of course her parents assured her she would have gone to Heaven; she was a good person, after all. But this woman's simple, careless statement left Kristen wondering - Heaven or hell? And how could she be sure? Little by little, using different people along the way, God revealed Himself to Kristen. And Kristen surrendered her life to Him - the one who held her down on those tracks the night rather than allowing her body to be sucked up into the train, the One who loved her enough to send His Son to die on the cross for her sin. He saved her life, her soul, and now has given her an amazing story. A story that thousands have heard in many venues, including the Oprah Winfrey show. Because of what God allowed in her life, she has been able to bring the gospel of hope to many teens who understood her despair and needed to hear her story of hope.
In Chapter 21, Kristen writes: "What if it (the botched suicide attempt) had never happened? I shuddered, thinking of where I could be. Losing my legs showed me how big and real God is. For the first time I realized losing my legs was worth it. I wouldn't go back, even if I could."
I highly recommend this book! Especially if you are at the end of your rope or know someone who is; if you're living with pain and disappointment, or know someone who is; if you're wondering what the point of your life is, or know someone who is. In other words, we can all benefit from the message of this book. God is in control. It's all about Him.
I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for free, for the purpose of writing this review. I am not required to write a positive review.