When you’re on the playground with your kids, you expect to have fun and be silly. You don’t expect your entire life to change in an instant, when a small boy jumps off the jungle gym and lands on your head, breaking your neck, but that is what happened to Katherine Clark in May 2009.
Katherine was paralyzed from the neck down, and doctors diagnosed her with quadriplegia and said she’d never walk again. She had emergency spinal surgery that night, but the doctors told her husband she was no longer the same person. They expected her to be a burden for the rest of her life. They expected her to feel sorry for herself and accept her new, horrifying reality. They were wrong.
Instead, God worked a tremendous miracle in Katherine’s life. Her time in a rehab hospital was marked with frustration and tears, but her trust in God was accompanied by progress every day. By the middle of July, Katherine had learned to walk again and returned home. She experienced the deep, abiding love of God, even in the midst of overwhelming pain and trouble, and she clung to Him and His truths to see her through.
I wanted to read Where I Endbecause of the similarities to my own medical history (a stroke 4 ½ years ago because of an unsuspected birth defect, given a 98% fatality rate, told by a doctor “You’ll never be normal again.”) It is terrifying when your life changes in a single instant, but the experience can be a profound blessing. Katherine Clark tells her story with openness and honesty, and the reader feels her pain and her fear, as well as her hope and her joy. If you need something uplifting in your life, this is the book for you!
I can’t give a “normal” review of a spiritual book, so I’m not going to try. Instead, I’ll say this: this book was a very good, personable read. It wasn’t a how-to manual, but did offer some wonderful suggestions for seeing the wonder in the everyday of life, like children do. (I miss that sense of wonder.) some of the suggestions were fantastic, including the prayers, but the author’s voice made you feel like you were sitting and chatting with him, not being lectured to. Definitely worth reading if you’d like to re-capture that childish sense of wonder, of seeing God amid the everyday.
(Galley provided by InterVarsity Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
In it, Hannah talks about pursuing a life of peace and humility. But this is not a book entirely composed of theological lectures or Bible verses. Though the book is rooted in Jesus’s teaching, Hannah also talks about lessons learned in her life in a small Virginia town as a rural pastor’s wife. From an elderly neighbor bringing gifts of honey to rogue green bean plants, Hannah uses simple lessons from her own life to speak about the value of finding both peace and humility.
This is a peaceful book, fitting since it is about peace. It evokes a sense of calm, as well as encourages the reader’s introspection and exploration into lessons learned from the Son of God.
Amber C. Haines is a Southern girl, mother to four sons, and a Christian writer who isn’t afraid to speak the truth about her life, the good and the bad. Her book, Wild in the Hollow, is now on sale.
Growing up in a Southern country family, Amber spent time in church, with people who believed in God, yet she always felt a yearning for something more in her life. Desperate to find what she was seeking, Amber looked for it in all the wrong places, and ended up broken and hurting. In the blackest of moments, she sought God, and found Him. But even knowing God doesn’t mean life will be perfect. After Amber meets Seth, her husband, her life takes a turn she never expected and she becomes a mother to four boys, still searching for more.
Wild in the Hollow is a painfully honest, raw accounting of one woman’s search for fulfillment. Ms. Haines is brutally honest about her life and her choices, but this honesty shines brightly when she meets God and shifts the focus of her life. The compelling truths in this book will have the reader drawn into the pages and unable to put it down.