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Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope Paperback – September 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Chapman, wife to singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, tells the story of her life and loss in this tender memoir. Chapman discloses how unsuited she is to be the public figure spouse to a charismatic and outgoing husband. Marrying him totally upset her orderly mental image of a quiet life in the suburbs with a 9 to 5 working husband. Instead, she discovered that God gave her a life she didn't expect that has taken her places she didn't want to go. As Chapman tells it, fame, travel, and adoption of children took this quiet woman out of her comfort zone more times than she cares to remember. In 2008, the tragic death of their five-year-old daughter, Maria, led to still more inner heartache. The Chapmans' story is harrowing and deeply sorrowful, yet the author finds a way to communicate their hope, faith, and love for a faithful God in every moment by grace-infused moment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
"Mary Beth has opened the doors of her stories to us so that our deepest fears may be overcome with hope. And so that we can all walk in a deeper trust that God is good . . . all the time."--Toby (TobyMac) and Amanda McKeehan
"When the world is telling us to suffer alone in despair and hopelessness, the Chapmans are fixing their eyes on Christ and faithfully walking each step clinging to the Lord and the hope we have in the promises in His Word."--Bart (of Mercy Me) and Shannon Millard
"This tender story will capture your heart and point you back to the One who restores, replenishes, and renews . . . even when He asks us to do hard, seemingly impossible things."--Wess Stafford, president and CEO of Compassion International
"With a balanced combination of heart-wrenching honesty and absolute grace, Mary Beth shares her 'severe mercy.' I couldn't help but sense God's presence in every sentence."--Mary Graham, president of Women of Faith
"Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman are living their story in a way that brings glory to God and real, practical help to the body of Christ. You won't be able to put this book down until you've wept, laughed, and relished every page."--Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's taken me a while to have the courage to finish this book. I thought I knew the end of the story. It was tragic. Death of a sweet innocent girl and immeasurable anguish of a big brother. I didn't want to read just to cry. I started the book but that was as far as I got. My son was born December 2008 with heart defects. Since Maria's passing, my world was cracked wide open to families walking the dark path of grief, whether it was for a baby who died or one just diagnosed with a broken heart. I didn't need to read about anymore grief- so after this book came out (I got the hard copy as a gift), I read a little bit and shelved it.
Fast forward to Summer 2012. One of our heart buddies and miracles was set to undergo the final surgery of a 3 stage protocol for his heart defect. After his 1st as an infant, he coded for 70 minutes, eventually was placed on ECMO, and his family E's brought in to say goodbye. God had other plans. 10 days later, David came off ECMO. Later, his parents learned he'd had a 14% chance of survival. He had suffered irreparable brain damage but he was alive and brought joy to everyone who saw his beaming smile. He triumphed, even though he was left a little broken. He became a blessing to so many. Now, it was time for his last surgery. His pre-op testing proved his heart was in good shape & ready for another surgery.
Unfortunately, crazy complications arose to the point where they thought he wouldn't survive recovery. His body didn't take well to the changes his heart required. Out of options, he was taken home on hospice. We were broken and so confused. Why? This was Oct and a few of us vowed to give his family Christmas because no one knew if he'd live that long. I'm happy to say he saw 2 Christmases that year and lived until May. He spent one last Mother's Day here on earth.
My heart grieved for his family. I reached out to some close to the Chapmans hoping they could lend support in some way. I'd hoped Jen would read this book. I prayed so hard that they would feel God's closeness in the pit of their despair. They had a daughter to also care for and shepherd through this madness. THEY needed to read this book. (Not me- again, afraid of the hurt.)
David died in May of 2013. My husband and I took our 4 yr old to the funeral and graveside. 4 yr olds should be attending friends' bday parties. Not funerals. This was the tough reality of being "heart parents." Through the successful surgeries and miracles would also come loss and questions. We couldn't stick our heads in the sand. We were touched by the faithfulness of David's parents throughout their journey of David's life. & now death. It would imprint our hearts.
I wouldn't pick this book up again until just 3 days ago. I'm in the valley of the shadows of death as I tragically and unexpectedly lost my husband & best friend this past October. Through my tears and loneliness, I recalled a friend (whom I'd introduced to Steven's music many many yrs ago) asking if I'd read Mary Beth's book. Um no. I have my own grief to deal with, thank you very much. Well, I was lonely and desperate to reach out to someone who understands. I opened the Kindle App on my phone, took a deep breath and dove in.
I'm blown away.
I know grief is different for everyone. But my heart's cry was answered within the lines of this book. Did it rescue me from the throes of my despair? No. Did it reaffirm my own feelings that this valley sucks? Yes. Did it make me feel less crazy? YES! Did it remind me of God's promise and providence? Yes & yes.
I'm so happy I finally finished it. I long for the day I'll feel my precious husband's arms around me. My heart aches for our boy who is just 5 yrs old. Will he remember that his daddy loved him more than life? How can I be a single parent? I'm not built for this!! But I have hope. Spring is coming.