Monday, January 26, 2009

A Must-Read: Parting the Waters

When my friend Tina asked me if I wanted to participate in a blog tour for Jeanne Damoff's new book Parting the Waters: Finding Beauty in Brokenness, I didn't hesitate to answer "yes." I have enjoyed reading Jeanne's postings over at The Master's Artist and had heard bits of her story through Tina, who has known Jeanne for years. So I looked forward to reading the rest of the story in her new book.

I believe that God can, and often does, use other people’s stories to change the way a person sees his/her own life. One example is Jacob Damoff’s story, which is lovingly told in Parting the Waters: Finding Beauty in Brokenness.

Jacob’s mother, Jeanne, penned his story for him. And though it's not the story she would have written for him of her own choosing, it's a story of faith and hope that glorifies God.

Towards the end of Jacob's freshman year, Jeanne packed and delivered a bag to Jacob so that he could spend the night at a friend's house. Jeanne told him that she loved him and to be careful and received an "I love you, too. I will" in return. She knew he was going canoeing as part of a school field trip the following day, but she didn't know it would be a life-changing event. That an accident would occur. That the water, which was supposed to provide pleasure for a fun outing, would rob Jacob of oxygen and part of his life. And that the Damoff family would lose the Jacob they knew.

The Jacob that was pulled from the water arrived at the hospital in a coma. The medical community opined that he would spend the rest of his life in a "permanent vegetative state." And though the family accepted those words as the medical community’s best guess as to Jacob’s future, their faith told them that Jacob’s future was ultimately in God’s hands and that He would have the final say.

I have no idea how Jeanne typed her family's story without short-circuiting the keyboard; I’m sure that tears flowed in abundance as she bravely relived the events surrounding Jacob's drowning. For although theirs is a story of hope, they faced many hurdles along the way.

Readers will appreciate that Jeanne doesn’t sugar-coat the process. She discusses the jealousy, frustration, exhaustion, and communication breakdowns that occurred while her family tried to continue their normal routine in addition to making treatment and placement decisions for Jacob and taking care of his needs. And thankfully, they had the help of their friends and the community of Marshall, Texas, surrounding them in ways that they couldn't have asked for or imagined.

Throughout Parting the Waters, the Damoff family’s example of living faith shines brightly, reflecting a God who shines even brighter.

Please check out what others are saying about Parting the Waters here. And if you want to see pictures of memorable events from the book (you know you do!) and learn more about Jeanne, check out her website here. And last, but not least, take less than two minutes out of your day to watch this amazing book trailer:


kasogayle said...

I'm learning that God moves in "themes" sometimes in my life - my husband just preached a 3-week sermon series on this exact same topic - how God uses our stories of brokeness or mistakes or pain to make something beautiful - how our testimony is part of the process in overcoming. I will definitely be checking out this book.

Krista said...

Great review-- will put it on my list!

TJ Wilson said...

great post, A. what a great book. Couldn't read it in public!

Alyssa said...

K & K - You will both LOVE it!

TJ - Definitely not one to read at B&N, unless you carry massive amounts of Kleenex with you.