Excerpt: 'Choosing to SEE' By Mary Beth Chapman

Photo: "Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope," by Mary Beth Chapman

Mary Beth Chapman details the highs and lows of her life in her memoir, "Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope."

Chapman and her husband, Grammy Award-winning musician Steven Curtis Chapman, suffered a terrible tragedy in 2008 when their 5-year-old daughter died after accidentally being hit by an SUV that was being driven by their son.

In this book, Mary Beth Chapman shares what it's like to be the wife of a star musician and opens up about the pain of her daughter's death.

Read an excerpt of the book below and then check out the "GMA" Library for more great reads.


Not My Plan

Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude. -- Simone Weil

Obviously, I never planned to write this book.

No mom can come up with words to express the ripping pain of losing a child . . . and no words can do justice to the mysteries of God in the midst of tragedy.

When people ask how we are doing, the first thing I always say is, "I want Maria back. I want my son Will Franklin not to have this as a chapter in his story. I want my children to be healthy, my family secure. I don't really care whose life has been touched or changed because of our loss!"

That is the heart of a mother who lost a daughter and is determined not to lose another child. I believe God can handle my heart, my questions, and my anger. It's okay to want Maria back. It's okay to be angry. The question is, what do I do with it all? What do I do with God? In the midst of such heartbreak, do I really believe that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose?

The answer to that question has come at a great cost. It has been agonizing to choose to see God at work through the tears of losing my daughter. I have, however, experienced the kindness, sweetness, faithfulness, and redemptive heart of God. I believe none of my tears have been wasted.

So here I am, putting down these words one by one, because God has surprised me over the long days since Maria went to heaven. I have come face to face with evil and what part it plays in our lives, past, present, and future. I am realizing, though, that God is God, and He is purposeful in destroying what evil intends for harm. He is surprising me in good ways beyond what can be measured on this earth! I am living what I once only read in Genesis 50:20–21, where Joseph tells his brothers, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children . . . "

Even in this free fall of pain, I've landed on a solid foundation and my faith has held . . . on most days. I have learned that God is good . . . always. Hope is real. I have found -- even in the awful pain of tears and grief so intense you think it will kill you -- that my family and I can do hard. We'll never get over our loss, but we're getting through it. And so I have prayed that our journey through the shadows of loss might be of some help to those who have experienced similar pain . . . that our stewardship of this story would comfort many.

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