Friday, February 24, 2012

Faithful Friday - "Choosing to See"

I recently read Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman. Mary Beth is the wife of Christian recording artist, Steven Curtis Chapman. What a wonderful thought provoking, soul-stirring, emotional and inspirational book it was!

For those of you that aren’t familiar with this family, they were suddenly thrust into the nightmare of living life after the tragedy of losing their five year old daughter, Maria, through an accident in their driveway that also involved their precious 17 year old son, Will.

Mary Beth is very candid and honest about her feelings.  She unveils the emotions and thoughts as only a mother experiences.  She relays how God gets them through the hard times. This family has allowed God to use what was meant for evil and what could have destroyed their family to be used for good and for God’s glory. They chose to see what God can and will do.

My heart just felt ripped in two as I read the events that occurred that day and the days that followed. I can’t imagine living through what they experienced. In addition to losing a child, helping their son through the guilt he experienced, they were also faced with the fact that Maria’s two sisters were in the backyard with Maria and witnessed the accident.

There were so many similiaries between Mary Beth and myself.....age, time we were married, personality, family, etc..  Especially dear to my heart was their adoption experiences. You see not only did they have three children by birth, Emily, Caleb and Will, but their three youngest daughters were adopted from China: Shaohannah, Stevey Joy, and Maria. Stevey Joy and Maria were virtually twins (both five years old). Mary Beth tells the story of how each one came to join their family.  And what a beautiful family they are!

In this book, Mary Beth tells of her struggles to allow God to write her life’s story. She addresses the questions like “Where is God when things fall apart? Why does God allow terrible things to happen? How can I survive these hard times?

Mary Beth learns that her family can do hard through God’s help. She shows that even in hard times, there is hope if you choose to see.

I wanted to share this song, Cinderella, by Steven Curtis Chapman, which most of you have probably already heard many times. This song always makes me tear up anyway every time I hear it on the radio, but especially knowing the Chapman family’s loss of sweet and spunky Maria. Steven wrote this song after being on “bath and bedtime duty” for the three youngest Chapman girls. He was experiencing a very busy night and was in a rush to get the girls to bed, wanting them to hurry through their baths, say their prayers, and get tucked in. Through the rush of it all, the girls aren’t cooperating and get out of bath and put on their dress up clothes and say they’re going to a ball. He says “No, you’re not; you’re going to bed.” He manages to get them rallied again, baths completed, and tucked in bed. Then God spoke to his heart. He spoke one word, “Emily”. That’s his oldest daughter…his grown daughter. God reminded him how quickly time passes and to cherish each moment. That’s the story behind this song. What a beautiful one it is. It was also little Maria’s favorite song by her daddy.

This book and this song serves as a reminder for me to stop and enjoy the simple moments. One day my house will be quiet. The kid will be grown. I won’t be so busy one day, but I will wish for those busy days again. I want to cherish these times.

I hope it does the same for you.

And it would also be wonderful if we could all remember the Chapman family in our prayers! They are healing, but every day is a struggle! I pray God will use their entire family in a mighty way and I know God has BIG plans for their Will Franklin and I can’t wait to see what that is. And I know Maria will be smiling down on her big brother, whom she adored, when that plan unfolds.


Thanks for stopping by today for Faithful Friday. We would love for you to join in as well. Just stop by Joy's blog and leave a comment letting her know you are participating, so we can stop by!

Be blessed!
~ Tammy ~


Sharon said...

Tammy this is such a sad story, but I am sure that God does have his plan for them.
Tearing up here as I write this.
I will have to look for that book.
I know that often I ask those questions also but I keep praying that God will show me his will.
Prayers and Hugs

retha said...

All I can do is remembering grace, mercy and be grateful GOD is always in control.

I won't be able to read a book like this. Always say I would have made a fortune if there was still something like wailers at funerals.

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Such a sad story, but it's amazing how God has used their tragedy to bless and build up so many other people. It's a beautiful song. Enjoy your weekend!

LynnMarie said...

One day your house is quiet and you miss the noise. Then God sends you grand children and you have more fun with them this time because you know how fast it goes. take time to stop and play in the rain.

Marti said...

This is an amazing story of how such a loss can be turned to a way to minister to others. Have a good week end.

Patty Sumner said...

My daughter has read this book. I really want to read this. I am going to have to get this on my Kindle Fire. The Chapman's are a wonderful family. They are a great example of Rom 8:28. Thanks for sharing this. Blessings!

Michelle said...

I just read this book too! Looks we're reading the same books! (Kisses from Katie, also)!!!

I was shattered when reading this. I sobbed. It was a difficult to read, I felt her pain and it was almost unbearable.

Joy ~ Doodlebug ~ said...


I love that song! And that know I love that story! :) Pretty cool that today was Emily's birthday! :D

I love you! 8! Thank you for participating Faithful Fridays!

God bless you!
Joy :D

P.S. Ms. Retha's comment cracked me up. :P