I have been wanting to read Jaycee Dugard's story, A Stolen Life, for some time. Honestly, I felt scared to read it. As a mom, the greatest fear I have is losing my children. The thought of reading about the horror that both Jaycee and her mom had to face terrified me. But I got to thinking about the Jaycee I'd seen on the Diane Sawyer interview. No matter what nightmare she endured, she didn't let it define her and even had a grace and gratefulness for what her experience taught her. She pretty much amazed me.
This book isn't for the faint of heart. She goes into detail about her nightmare. My heart ached for her and her mom. I cannot fathom how they both got through but by the grace of God they did. I found tears would stream down my face as I read her story. One page I bookmarked is called "Reflection." It is obvious that she knows telling the story is important for her to be able to put it behind her but the actual telling of it and reliving it is truly tearing her apart.
So dear blog reader, why would I recommend this book? Though the book is heart-wrenching, ultimately it reminds me that God is always with us. Little pieces of Jaycee's story--her sweet animal friends, the moon giving her comfort, having her babies--all show me how God was faithful in His love for her. He never gives us more than we can handle and all things do truly work for the good for those who love the Lord. Does that mean that all the sweet babies that were never held captive and instead lost their lives didn't love the Lord or find His favor? Certainly not. I can't reconcile why this happened to Jaycee and why the trajectory of her life completely shifted one morning. I don't know why Jaycee lived. Why did God allow this to happen? Oh gosh, those are the big questions that I just don't understand and never will here on earth. I choose to trust that despite those unanswered questions, God has a firm grip on lives and hurts with us.
As I was reading this book, the news about the three women who were held captive in Ohio broke. How many more similar stories are out there being lived out now? It's unbelievable to me that these things happen.
Read this book if you are in a hard spot in your life. It will make you appreciate God's blessings and the fact that there are people in the world going through some really awful crap. It makes me feel humbled. If I ever met Jaycee, I'd give her a huge hug. What a courageous and incredible person she is!
After reading A Stolen Life, I picked up The Smart One by Jennifer Close. Stay tuned and I'll share about that one soon!
Are you on Goodreads.com? I love that site because based on books you have read and rated, it provides you recommendations--the Pandora for books I guess you could say. I'm http://www.goodreads.com/sillyhappysweet if you want to connect on Goodreads!