Book Review: Life, In Spite of Me by Kristen Jane Anderson

At the age of 17 Kristen Anderson was bearing the scars of teenage angst, the death of a family member and being raped.  Without any hope, she laid down in front of an on-coming train.  Instead of ending her life, her legs were severed from her body.  The months and days ahead were spent in hospitals and psych wards.

This is the beginning of the story for Kristen Anderson as told in her new book, Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice

One question lingered in her mind.  Would she have gone to heaven had she died when the train ran over her?  This question led to another question.  What was life supposed to be all about?

These issues and these questions caused her to try and escape into a fantasy world.

I began to live in a fantasy world, hoping and expecting everything would turn out all right in the end (p. 52).

But this fantasy world could not deliver.  Not only did it not deliver, it was wearisome.

My arms had grown tired from trying to hold my fantasy world together (p. 3).

Kristen’s story turned when she heard and understood the gospel.  She discovered a life that was filled with purpose and meaning.  That purpose has included sharing her story of hope.  Many have heard her story and found the same kind of meaning and purpose.

One of the things I so appreciated about Kristen’s story, is that she communicates her setbacks as well as her victories.  She did not simply meet Jesus, and life was suddenly void of any problems.  Often Christian testimony accounts do not honestly mention the failures and struggles in the life of a Christian.  This book does deal with these struggles.

Anderson’s account presents some other issues important for Christians to consider.  For example, how should Christians deal with psychological drugs and medications.  Anderson struggles with this issue and causes her readers to think about it.

The role of intercessory prayer is pictured in powerful fashion.  Anderson discovered some important connections from that night by the railroad tracks and later in her church life.  These connections were important because of how people prayed for her that had never met her before.  The reader will be encouraged to pray for those whom they encounter along life’s way.

If you want to read a story of hope and encouragement, then get a copy of this book.  First, take a glance at Kristen as she talks about her life and book.

Disclaimer: This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

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