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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"The Gift of Love" (Amy Clipston)

TITLE: The Gift of Love: One Woman's Journey to Save a Life
AUTHOR: Amy Clipston
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013, (224 pages).

It begins with an accident that unleashes story after story of a family whose lives have been turned upside down by the struggles of life. Written from the narrative view of the author, a wife, a mother, as well as an organ donor, Clipston's story will touch readers of how she managed to endure hardship and trials, seeking help where help is needed, offering solace where comfort is needed, and giving ardent support to people even when their lives appear to be falling apart. As a fiction author, Clipston reveals the highs of being given her first book contract, which was quickly followed by the lows of medical bills that practically wiped out her earnings. As a wife, she endures long moments of watching her husband giving up his full-time job due to a chronic kidney condition, of seeing him suffering immense pain through dialysis treatments, and of fearing that her husband would suffer even more if no suitable kidney transplant can be done. As a mother, Clipston suffers miscarriages which not only tests her resolve but threatens to unravel her emotionally as well.

This book gives us the details of the tough journey of Clipston, and through it all, she learned the preciousness of family, the importance of family bonds, the support of her extended family, and the many kind strangers along the way. The life that Clipston was seeking to save is primarily her husband, Joe. Along the way, she receives terrible news about her dad's sudden stroke which completely changed him from a brilliant man to a man seeking to die. Along the journey, she experiences what it means to lose a dad, and what it means to lose a child to miscarriage, and very nearly what it means to lose her own life to an accident. Page after page, readers will be wondering how a woman can possibly deal with so many burdens and demands. The struggles are not just physical health and financial matters. The struggles include times of depression, many moments of frustrations and fears, disappointments at how one transplant failed and the fear of a second one failing. Yet, that is not all that the book is about. The book is also about faith, hope, and love. It is the faith that gives Clipston an anchor to bank her life upon. Right from the very start as she describes her own accident, she already knew that someone was looking out for her. Even after her miscarriages, she was able to deliver two healthy boys. That is not all, she finds her own life enriched through mutual giving, as her donation of her own kidney under the paired donor program, blesses not just her own family but helped saved another as well.

This book is indeed a gift for the down and crestfallen. If you feel that you are struggling with issues that you cannot handle, or discouragement that seems to make you feel as if you are the greatest victim in the world, why not dive into this book and to discover a friend in Clipston's story. A story that weaves together the faith in God, the hope in God's faithful providence, and the magnificent flowering of love unlimited, as one gives so that another can have life. That more if not all, can have life to the fullest.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Zondervan Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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