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Three months into her pregnancy with her first child, Hilary Yancey received a phone call that changed everything. As she learned the diagnosis - cleft lip and palate, a missing right eye, possible breathing complications - Hilary began to pray in earnest. Even in the midst of these findings, she prayed that God would heal her son. God could do a miracle unlike anything she had seen. Only when Hilary held her baby, Jack, in her arms for the first time did she realize God had given her something drastically different than what she had demanded.
Hilary struggled to talk to God as she sat for six weeks beside Jack's crib in the NICU. She consented to surgeries and learned to care for a breathing tube and gastronomy button. In her experience with motherhood Hilary had become more familiar with the sound of her son's heart monitor than the sound of his heartbeat. Later, during surgeries and emergency trips back to the hospital with her crying, breathless boy, Hilary reproached the stranger God had become.
Jack was different. Hilary was not the mother she once imagined. God was not who Hilary knew before. But she could not let go of one certainty - she could see the image of Christ in Jack's face. Slowly, through long nights of wrestling and longer nights of silence, Hilary cut a path through her old, familiar faith to the God behind it. She discovered that it is by walking out onto the water, where the firm ground gives way, that we can find him. And meeting Jesus, who rises with his scars to proclaim new life, is never what you once imagined.
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By Brittani on 04-19-18
Poignant Memoir + Powerful Reflection
What made the experience of listening to Forgiving God the most enjoyable?
The story this book tells is quite moving in itself: a young mother grapples with her faith after her newborn son has health issues that will lead to a very different sort of life for him than she expected. But the author is also a professional philosopher, and so she makes sense of her experiences through some really rich philosophical reflection. It's the best kind of thinking, sparked by and responsive to deeply significant real-life issues -- and it makes for a really powerful listening experience, one that will captivate not only memoir fans but also thoughtful religious people and everyone interested in how worldviews can be relevant for everyday living in the face of hardship or uncertainty.
Have you listened to any of Hilary Yancey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yancey reads her audiobook quite well, bringing out the moving and thoughtful parts, as well as some subtly wry or even funny ones, in such a way as to evoke in the listener a powerful personal connection with her story. I'm sure the book is moving in print as well, but I'd definitely recommend the audio version.