Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson
Undiagnosed depression and a series of painful events led to 17-year-old Kristen Anderson laying on the train tracks near her home, waiting to die. As she watched and felt 30 train cars roll over her body, a miracle took place, though she wouldn't fully realize it for some time. Kristen takes the reader into her life- the events that led to that dark night, her adjusting to life without legs, and her struggle with depression to discover what she was put on this earth to do. She steps back at key moments to speak hope and love to the reader, as she wishes someone had spoken to her.
This book is hope and encouragement to those struggling, and inspiration to the rest of us. Her faith journey will encourage those just starting their own journey and refresh those who are a little further down the road. This is a great and easy read; I finished it in less than a day.
As someone who works with teens, the part that most jumped out at me and inspired me was something Kristen wrote on page 76:
Their intentions were good, but I wondered why people had waited so long to tell me. If they really believe I'm special- and that God has a special plan for my life- why didn't they tell me before? Why duid they wait until I'm lying in a hospital bed to tell me how myuch they love me, how much God loves me? I needed to hear that just as much in the past as I did now.
It was an excellent reminder that people need our love and support just as much-if not more- when they're hard to love and pushing everyone away. By being loving and supporting and caring to the people around us everyday, we may unknowingly save a life. While this story has a happy ending, I never want it to be in that position of wondering, "What could I have done to stop this tragedy?" I want to know that I've poured my life into others, that I have been there when they needed me and helped them fight their battles.
I recommend this book, especially if you are struggling with depression or have a loved one who is. You can read the first chapter, buuy the book, and more by clicking here.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.