Friday, December 31, 2010

Mary Beth Chapman: Choosing to SEE Book Review

In Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth Chapman takes a look at the events of her life and dares to see how God has seen her through it all. As many know, on May 21st, 2008, Mary Beth and the Chapman family lost their five-year-old adopted daughter Maria when Will Chapman pulled into the driveway not seeing Maria running toward him. Through an interesting turn of events, God allowed the Chapman family to see that He was still holding them and taking care of both them and Maria. In Choosing to SEE, Maria Beth explores her life from beginning to the present, and how the hand of God has guided her through it all.

Mary Beth takes a look from the insecurities of her teenage years, to her problems in marriage, and much more. Through these major changes in life, Mary Beth shares how her fear slowly but surely was torn down through learning that God was always holding her hand. Also in Choosing to SEE, you will read the exciting accounts of Mary Beth's adoption processes, one of which was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Out of all the chapters and stories in the book, I think the adoption chapters were the main highlight of the book, seeing how something Mary Beth said she would never do came to pass. Also interesting accounts were the Chapman's house fire, and their children's weddings and graduations, as Mary Beth writes out a chronology of the Chapman family beginning from day one.

Mary Beth devotes the second half of Choosing to SEE to the terrible tragedy that plagued the Chapman family -- Maria Sue's death. Although hurt devoured all the members of the family, Mary Beth focuses on the healing of Will's hurt, as church, school, and family members reached out to him. I also enjoyed how Mary Beth shared the account of when both Will and Shaohannah learned how to let go of their hurt and embrace the future. These accounts make the book well worth the read!

However, one thing I disliked about Choosing to SEE was a few accounts that seemed rather unnecessary. I felt that a few sentences here and there actually took away from the extreme interest presented in the chapter. A few times, Mary Beth made reference to family matters that I personally found to be private. These features only appeared a few times through the book, so I probably would recommend parental guidance for children reading this book.

Mary Beth's Choosing to See is full of extremely interesting accounts of the Chapman's growth as a family, and their Christ-like examples of being unified. I very much enjoyed reading how the Chapman family bonded together after the accident and were one like never before. Mary Beth shares story after story of how God's hand guided their lives and led them to where they are now. Out of all their tragedy comes blessing -- a unified family, Maria's Big House of Hope, and healing for their hurting souls.

I believe that Choosing to See is a book that Steven Curtis Chapman fans will enjoy, seeing what life was like as Steven began his music career, and how his faith strengthened the Chapman family enabling them to be where they are today. Choosing to SEE is an excellent book showing how God speaks in ways that we often least expect it.

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