Reviewed by: AB
Genre: Memoir, faith testimonial
I’m going to be honest: Love Him Anyway isn’t the kind of book that I normally read. I’m unapologetically a fiction reader primarily, but I’m so glad that I read this book. When my friend Anna (from Ambassador International) asked if I wanted to read a book about a baby who becomes paralyzed at the age of 7 months, I was skeptical that this was the book for me. But God knew how much I would need to read this book. In the past year I’ve seen unfathomable loss. I’ve seen friends and family members bear incredible burdens when it comes to their little ones. Some have lost their babies in the womb and others have lost them as newborns. I’ve seen other friends watch their children struggle with sudden debilitating physical handicaps. Love Him Anyway is the kind of book that is for all of those parents and for anyone who simply wants to understand how to have hope when surrounded by pain.
Love Him Anyway is Abby’s story of her return home from thyroid surgery only to discover that her infant son Wyatt is paralyzed. Abby and her husband Jason spend days in the hospital trying to get help for their baby and then weeks at Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia as their 7-month-old undergoes intense rehabilitation all in an effort to help him learn to overcome the paralysis that has resulted from transverse myelitis, a disease that attacks the spinal cord. Amy leads the reader through their family’s story with candor, holding nothing back as she recounts her struggle with God, her physical and emotional exhaustion, and the unexpected kindness from family, friends, and strangers along the way.
Banks admits to waiting on God to heal her son so that that suffering would be worth it. When, after months of hoping and hours of therapy, the doctor tells them that the latest MRI reveals that Wyatt will never heal because of irreversible narrowing of his spinal cord, Abby says, “I was waiting for life to be perfect, to look like the picture I had planned. I wasn’t just waiting for healing. I was waiting to live. I had put everything on hold, which had been a constant pattern in my life. I had always been waiting for something. Waiting to get married. Waiting to have children. Waiting for our company to grow. Waiting for a bigger house. I was always waiting for the next thing I thought would make my life better or easier.”
Abby talks candidly about the toll that Wyatt’s condition has taken on their marriage and on her two older children, but she also talks about how they’ve all been made stronger through this struggle that they could never have anticipated when she and her husband said their vows. Abby says, “Sometimes all the options before us hurt. And even though I don’t always have the power to change my circumstances, I serve a God who has the power to part seas and bring the dead to life. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, and I am His. Whether I always believe it or not, His power lives in me. When I let that sink into my cluttered mind, it makes me want to shout ‘Amen’ from the back pew. 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.”
Pre-order Love Him Anyway here.
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