When I look at the smiling picture of Kristen Anderson on the cover of the inspiring book about her life, it is hard for me to even imagine Anderson as the depressed and desperate teenager who tried to kill herself. Anderson recounts this in her book Life In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice and the aftermath of the accident. When she was just seventeen years old, Anderson lay down on railroad tracks near her house and waited for a train to run over her, ending her misery. Instead, when Anderson looked around after the train had passed over her body, she saw her legs lying ten feet away from her. Anderson shares what led her to some of the darkest days in her life and how, by developing a relationship with God, she now is able to see a life without legs as a blessing.
This book is a fast read, full of inspiration. As an adult, there are certainly things I took away from reading this book, but I especially feel that teens will find Anderson's message resonating with them. While she appeared to have it all on the outside, Anderson didn't feel happy at all inside. It is only after truly developing a relationship with God - not merely attending church and saying memorized prayers- that she is able to accept what has happened in her life. Things did not automatically turn around for Anderson after her accident. She is able to recount the various ups and downs she experienced, but watching her transformation after her acceptance of Christ is an example of the way in which faith in God works.
As a child I read and re-read Joni Eareckson Tada's story about the diving accident which left her paralyzed and how her faith in God allowed her to accept her accident. Kristen Anderson's story reminds me so much of this, and is perhaps a present-day role model for young Christians, and those who have not yet accepted Christ in their lives, but are searching to make meaning of things.
I am lucky enough to have a copy of Life In Spite of Me to give away! Leave a comment on this post including your email address by 11:59 PM on Friday, May 21 to be eligible to win.
This book was provided by Waterbrook/Multnomah Press
To purchase this book, click here.