I watched Kristen’s interview on Oprah before I read this book and this brave young lady more than lives up to the impressive psyche she presented America with on the most popular talk show of our century.
Kristen was seventeen and her life was spiraling out of control. Her grandmother had just passed away, a close friend had taken his own life, Kristen had just been raped by a friend she thought she could trust, her grades were failing due to a wild party life, and her parents had grounded her ‘until further notice’. She resorted to what seemed like the only option for someone who has lost every handful of God, hope, or meaning: suicide. “If I did it, the pain, the heartache, the numbness would be over.”
Kristen laid across the train tracks and was nearly sucked up into the belly of thirty freight cars slicing through her body. A force that she did not recognize and later was convicted to have been God pushed her back down, defying physics and keeping her held safely against the tracks, saving her from death. When she felt the last train pass over her, everything was a blur…until she looked over and saw her legs lying on the tracks several feet from her body. Paramedics rushed her to a hospital, and there began a struggle for life as Kristen faced pain, prosthetics, deep depression, and the tender pain of God flooding her heart, letting her come to terms with the fact that she had not only tried to kill herself, but had failed in that final desperate act and had been spared for His work.
“Life, in Spite of Me” is a fresh, quickly-paced, and heart-tugging book about an issue that is growing increasingly prevalent in the underground of young hearts. Suicide is such a touchy subject, danced around or hushed or even laboriously silenced for fear of public scorn, one that Kristen talks about openly and honestly in her companionable and heartfelt ‘love letters’ to the reader; but suicide is also a subject that needs to be talked about. Something has to be done.
God has used what would have been a victim of suicide to become an activist for suicide prevention. Today, Kristen is reaching thousands with her ministry and her speaking engagements. I would recommend this book as a reminder for anyone who is seeking evidence that there is a God, and that life is worth living fully and bravely for His glory.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
If you would like to buy this book, order online at Amazon or WBM.
(Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.)