I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher for use in my review. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
As a mother of three precious children, I could not imagine any of my kids facing terminal illnesses or being permanently confined by physical handicaps. Any mother would be distraught having to watch her babes undergo such hardship. But the sad truth is, many moms and dads daily live this reality. And just recently I met such a family—one who as a unit has felt more pangs from physical ailments than I could know in a lifetime. But I didn’t meet them in the traditional let-me-shake-your-hand kind of way. I met them through the pages of a book. I was invited into their home, into their hardship, into their very hearts, and I came out a different person.
Let me backtrack for a minute. I love to read but unfortunately, I have not had as much time lately to sit down and read like I once did. I’ve been planning to make reading a habit again, so when I received an email from the COO of Ambassador International publishing, inviting me to be a part of a blog tour for a new book they were publishing, I was quick to say yes. Read a new book and write a review for it? That was exactly what I needed! And boy did I need it more than I even realized.
Abby Banks, the author of “Love Him Anyway,” tells the story of her sweet boy, Wyatt, who unexpectedly overnight became paralyzed at 7-months-old—a parent’s worst nightmare come true. As I read Abby’s words, I felt as if I were reconnecting with an old friend, one who was pouring out her heart to me as I tearfully and quietly listened ever so intently. Her story is raw. It’s heart-wrenching. But it is also so full of hope!
With each page came more trials, physical ailments, and heartaches even beyond that of her paralyzed son, Wyatt. I was touched by how Abby and her husband clung so strongly to the Lord despite so many difficult circumstances. Each chapter begins with a verse, and each page is a demonstration of how God sustains and provides for his children in ways we don’t always understand or even see right away.
Abby tells her story of infertility, family illnesses, and her son Wyatt’s paralysis in a conversational tone. Once I began reading, I couldn’t put it down and had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. It was personal and moving and by the time I was done, I felt like I truly knew this precious family.
A few statements that struck me to the core were these:
“God may not have moved my mountain, but He moved me. His hand carried me. It is by His strength alone that I’ve been able to face each day, and He can do the same for you. I will not mourn the lost expectations. I will celebrate the life that remains. I will celebrate the life I didn’t plan, the lessons learned, the milestones achieved, the friendships made, and the community I now belong to. I will look to the top of my mountain with eager anticipation. The climb will be hard, but the summit will be glorious.”
“God’s Word repeatedly tells us to wait on Him, but I wasn’t waiting on Him. I was waiting on what He could do for me. I was waiting for God to change my circumstances and make my life more comfortable. I spent so much time waiting on what I wanted that I was missing the goodness before me. At some point, the crying has to end so living can begin.”
“I may not know how the chapters of my life will play out, but I know how the story will end. I’ve read the last page. God wins.”
“God is faithful, even when we can’t feel Him near us. He is still sovereign even when He is silent. His sovereignty is where I have found my rest.”
“When everyone else’s worst case scenario becomes your life, you have to ﬁnd a way to move forward, to become brave enough to really live. God didn’t create us for an existence of nothingness. We were created for more. To do more. To be more. To love more. More happens when we choose to live beyond our circumstances. More happens when we choose hope instead of despair.”
Overall, I would say that this book is for you if you are in a time of trial or waiting. Your circumstances might not be exactly the same as Abby’s, but I know God is going to use her story to touch people and provide hope for the hurting. I have one warning though. Be sure to grab a couple handfuls of tissues before turning these pages. You are going to need every last one of them!
To learn more about Abby, sweet Wyatt, and the rest of her family, you can follow along on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And you can purchase your own copy of Love Him Anyway at Ambassador International for 10% off with the code LOVEHIM.
You also have the opportunity to win your own signed copy of the book Love Him Anyway below. Abby will announce the winner on her website at the beginning of March.