Saturday, May 17, 2008

powerful words, a contest and a challenge

Several weeks ago I picked up this book at Target and flipped through it. I was drawn in by the foreward that the families had written about why they decided to share their story. It was so beautifully worded, so carefully phrased, so miraculous in it's content. I didn't have the money to buy it that day, but when someone gave me a giftcard, I went back and bought it.

I was immersed for two days in their story.

It is amazing. It is shocking. It is Jesus.

I remember seeing an article in People Magazine about the curious story: two blond girls from the same college are in a van that is hit by a truck that crosses the median. One girl dies. One girl is badly injured and in a coma. The family of the deceased trusts that the ID near her was the correct ID, and they mourn their lost daughter. Six weeks later, after the girl in the coma wakes up, and is asked her name, she tells them. She is the wrong girl. There was a mix-up. An unfortunate mix-up. A heartbreaking mix-up.

There aren't many words to describe what these families went through. I can't even imagine what it is like to bury your daughter, only to have her miles away in a hospital. The book tells the story so gently. You feel it. I cried. Several times. But not for the reason you think. This excerpt tells it better than I can (I have no permission to print this, but I don't think they'll mind.)

"It is a horrible thing to lose a child. Yet in the midst of the worst of tragedies, God reveals Himself. These are not just words we use to keep our spirits up during difficult days. We have experienced this revealation for ourselves. Above all things, this is the message we hope to convey. This is a story about God's grace and His love for us that transcends the worst this world can dish out.

None of us are in any way unique or special. We are simply average people who have accepted God's love for us, demonstrated through Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. God has proven Himself faithful to each of us, giving comfort and strength when in our humanness we were in great need. And His faithfulness has deepened our trust in Him.

The story of how two girls, Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, could be mistaken for each other may seem fantastic and unbelievable, yet that's not the real story here. This book is really about how God has sustained two families through His grace.

We hope after all that is said on these pages, you see it is really all about Him."

Are you choked up? I get a little misty just typing it. It is an amazing book about life, loss and putting your trust in the maker of all things. What an unique opportunity to use your life to witness.

That all being said, I will do a drawing for the book to pass it on. I request that after you read it, you do a drawing and pass it on. Keep it going, I challenge you. I think many of you will be touched by the words on these pages and want to share it as well. You will. Post a comment if you are interested. I will draw a name next Wednesday and announce the winner.

If you win, buy a box of tissues and clear your calendar.


Lula! said... want to read this, regardless of whether I win. I read the People article about this, too...fascinating.

Last night I sat down to read "Sundays and Tiffany's," by James Patterson. Read the entire thing, sobbing, before I fell asleep. Good stuff!

chickadee said...

well i love to win books.
hey, thanks for your comment today. but you still haven't linked your blogger account to your email so i can't reply to your comments. won't you please?

Evi said...

Does your draw extend to Canada, it could start far and head back to the US eventually?
I would so love to read this. I also heard about it, not many details though...enough to choke me up regardless.
I actually have time to read being away from the boys for a few more weeks.

Sissy said...

Yes, I can send to Canada! We love people who live outside the borders...I lived in Alaska for 8 years!

insane mama said...

I read that article...
Can you imagine????

Evi said...

Sounds great.
What took you to Alaska? Wow.

Kat said...

Sign me up! And I'd have to pass it along to my mom who would love this book.

I am a big reader...and if I don't get it from the library...I usually pass it along.

Caroline said...

I saw the story on one of those 20/20 shows recently. I remembered when it happened, but didn't know all the details. Would love to read the book!

faux country said...

I would love to be included in your contest. This sounds like an amazing read. I could use a good stirring up (a faith builder) book right now. Thanks!

Debbie said...

I remember reading about this story in the paper and just feeling so heavy hearted for both families. I had no idea they were believers. How truly awesome. God does in deed use everything for HIS purposes in HIS time...even a tragedy like this...Those who read it certainly will be blessed. And I love the pass it on idea.

Kimba said...

I remember when this story was on the news. I was just dumbfounded by the whole thing.

I would love to read this book and pass it on.


veronica said...

Fascinating story that i saw on Dateline. Would love to read the book!

Rebekah said...

I saw the interview Matt Lauer did with both families. Increible story

Leigh said...

I hope I am not to late in the giveaway! I have so been wanting to read this book. Sadly enough, I know EXACTLY what this fmaily is going through. It happened to my friend. I had three friends die in a car accident when I was 16. One lived. She too was confused at the hospital. For 4 days the mistake went on. Only at the funeral was it discovered. It was a terrible night. To read more, go to my blog...

But in that, there are second chances. Grace and love. You must have faith. If I win, I too will pass it on and would be honored to get it. Great giveaway!

Shannon said...

I saw this on Oprah and have been wanting to read the book. I'm glad you are doing this contest. I would like to be entered! :)