Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life, Inspite of Me

Kristen Jane Anderson has a grace-filled story and the courage to share it through her speaking engagements and now her book, Life, Inspite of Me. The physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering she endured is hard to imagine, even in light of the hope and joy she now possesses since her deeper conversion to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Her message of hope is important. Her story is truly miraculous. Many said that she should not have lived through what she did, that it was not medically possible to survive. I truly believe she has inspired many who have struggled with depression by speaking to youth and developing Reaching You Ministries.
I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I felt that Life, Inspite of Me, even with all of the major events included, felt somewhat watered down and diluted.  I have no trouble believing the details of her accounts, but I did have a hard time connecting with her emotional and even physical suffering because the writing and descriptions were handled in such a way that they often skimmed over the surface rather than getting into the depths of her despair or pain. That being the case, it’s harder to get a feel for the intensity of her conversion experience and what a drastic change took place in her life.
Anderson talks about feeling numb and disconnected when she was dealing with one trauma after another as her depression was developing and becoming more severe. It feels as if most aspects of the book are told from the perspective of an outsider. The level of detachment in the book left me dissatisfied.
One aspect of the book I genuinely appreciated and think might actually be the most meaningful for some readers were the personal letters Anderson included throughout, sharing with the reader the things she’d wished she had heard, known, and been encouraged about when she was going through such low times.
I believe Kristen Jane Anderson would be a great speaker to hear and see. Her ministry has touched and even saved many lives. I don’t think this book does her story, and God working in and through her, the justice and writing genius that both are due. However, if you’ve met her or heard her speak, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t buy the book.
I received this book for free from the Blogging for Books program offered by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. Click here to order your own copy of Life, Inspite of Me through Lifeway.
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