Mary Beth Chapman, wife of award-winning Christian songwriter and musician Steven Curtis Chapman shares in her book, Choosing to SEE about a journey she never dreamed she would take. Raised in a clean, orderly and spotless home, Mary Beth imagined marrying her Prince Charming who would work a normal 9-5 job and that she would be a glorified homemaker, keeping her house spotless and raising lots of children.
God had other plans.
In Choosing to SEE, Mary Beth shares her most deepest feelings of crushed dreams as she says 'no' to what she wants and agrees to what God has called her to do.
As her husband's career sky-rocketed and his songs of praise climbed the charts, Mary Beth faithfully supported him and became his biggest cheerleader. She admits her disappointment of her ideal picture of her husband's 'normal' schedule. In the music industry, often Steven would work odd hours after dark and into the morning.
As time progressed, they were blessed with not only three of their own natural children, but their precious three adopted girls from China. Mary Beth shares how she and their entire family would soon be devasted in days to come.
On May 21, 2008, their youngest adopted daughter, Maria was playing outside. Seeing her brother Will's car approach, she ran toward him. Although he was driving slowly up the driveway, he didn't see her and struck her with the car.
The shock, anger and helplessness which followed Maria's death embraced each member of the family.
Why would God allow this to happen?
Mary Beth doesn't try to hide her feelings of despair, instead, she openly admits it, along with claiming that her only source of hope is in Jesus Christ and the work He did at Calvary.
'Through many tears, through much weeping, searching, praying, hoping and waiting, the Chapmans have begun the process of remembering their blessed Maria. Through story, song, and day-to-day life, the Chapmans remember Maria. They will go on remembering Maria, for God's glory is wrapped up in her story, and through the simple act of remembering Maria, we can bring glory to God and hope to a world in desperate need of Him.'
For Christians, Jesus' death and resurrection gives us a hope that others cannot understand. We will see our loved ones again who are now with the Lord in Heaven.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18 NIV)
For those of us who have lost a child, spouse, parent or close friend, this story offers comfort and peace. Christians are not stamped out paper dolls and picture perfect. Oh, we may strive for perfection, although we know the only perfect one is the Son of God. It is because of His shed blood on Calvary and His resurrection that our tears of sorrow will one day be turned to tears of joy.