Friday, March 09, 2012
Book review and giveaway of Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick
I'm so excited to be giving away a copy of Miracle for Jen to one lucky reader!
But before I go into any more detail, here's a trailer for the book:
And the synopsis:
On the night of November 5, 2006, the Barrick family was driving home from church when their van was struck by a drunk driver. Fifteen-year-old Jen suffered multiple skull fractures and severe brain trauma and was not expected to survive the night. But against all odds, she did. As she lingered in a coma, doctors warned that if Jen ever woke up, she would be cursing and screaming in confusion due to her brain injuries. Instead, after five weeks she opened her eyes and began praying and praising God. Jen didn’t remember her middle name, recognize her parents, or recall that she had a little brother—but she remembered Jesus and every word to every praise song and scripture she had hidden in her heart before the accident. As any loving mother would, Jen’s mother Linda wanted God to heal Jen—make her like she was before. Normal. But a loving God had something else in mind—instead of making her normal, God is making Jennifer—and the whole Barrick family—extraordinary, miraculous. Miracle for Jen is the remarkable true story of a family who overcame tragedy and learned to trust God's plan for their lives in a whole new way.
I finished reading Miracle for Jen about two weeks ago, but the story has stuck with me since then.
One of the things that truly impressed me most, is Jen's fervent heart for God.
There's a bible verse in Luke that says, "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."
After the accident, Jen didn't recall most of the outward details that define a person. Yet, her spirit remembered the most important thing of all. Because she had already been storing up scripture, praise songs, and prayers, they flowed from the abundance of her heart, despite lack of previous memories.
It made me think seriously about what would come out of my heart and mouth should I be in a similar circumstance. It challenged me to take a good look at myself and ask "how can I live more for Christ?"
And it also encouraged me to realize how God can take the most seemingly hopeless of situations and turn them around for His ultimate glory. Yes, Jen's life will never be the same as before, but she has accepted that and embraced the role God has called her to, despite daily limitations, pain, and frustration.
There are many other insights to be gleaned from Jen's story, as told through her mother, Linda's, eyes. Through her perspective, we understand her heart break of exchanging the daughter she once had, for the new Jen with a completely different personality.
I could definitely relate with her struggles, and thought she expressed herself well. The writing style was engaging, keeping me turning the pages to find out where Jen's story was headed. I also enjoyed that Linda included quite a few of her daughter's journal entries, which really gave us glimpses inside Jen's thoughts, before and after the accident.
In short, I found Miracle for Jen to be moving and powerful; a story I won't soon forget.
To enter for your chance to win a copy of Miracle for Jen, simply leave a comment below in the comment section, with your email included, so I can contact the winner for their mailing address. This drawing will be open for a week, so you have plenty of time to join, and I'll be announcing the results next Friday, March 16th.
As a way of saying thank you, I'll award a bonus entry to anyone that already is a follower, or decides to start, following my blog.
(I'll only be accepting entries within the U.S.)
Thanks so much for stopping by!
As a disclosure, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I also received a certificate for one complimentary copy of this book to be given to the winner of this giveaway.