Forgiving God: A Story of Faith

Reviewed by: Linda Taylor, assistant professor of Professional Writing at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

 


Introduction

Title: Forgiving God: A Story of Faith

Author: Hilary Yancey

Publisher: FaithWords

Publication or Release Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 215 pages

OVERVIEW

The title and subtitle, and even the endorsements, do very little to explain what the book is about. Endorsements focus on Yancey’s writing style, which is indeed lyrical and beautiful. Forgiving God is not about a God who forgives but about trying to forgive a God who seems absent in a time of great need. The book is a memoir of Yancey’s pregnancy and the birth of her son, Jackson, who is “disabled” (a word she takes issue with in a wonderful section where she philosophizes about what it really means).

Jackson was born with a cleft palate and a missing eye and ear. Yancey describes learning this diagnosis from a routine prenatal test, the decision she and her husband made to carry Jackson to term, the challenges of his first several weeks in NICU, and then the continued challenges of monitoring his tracheotomy tube by which he breathes.

Yancey’s transparency is refreshing—diving deep into the pain and hurt and fear she faces daily. As a student working toward a PhD in Philosophy, she can’t help but tackle some of the philosophical questions that arise—along with the theological questions of trusting a God who gives miracles to others but seemed to pass her family by. Prayers for healing before Jackson’s birth went unanswered, no matter how much faith she had and how much she felt that God would answer. This question of suffering, as old as humanity itself, receives some new perspective with Yancey’s willingness to talk through the tough questions with herself, her readers, and God.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

5 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Those who have a child with disabilities, those who are pro-life, and those who have dealt with suffering (meaning everyone) will gain much from this book by working through the questions along with Yancey.

Christian Impact

Yancey’s faith is all over every page—even through questions and doubts. She doesn’t shy away from the very difficult questions that arose at the diagnosis, throughout the pregnancy (while she watched friends on Facebook post photos of perfectly healthy babies), and even as she and her husband continue what amounts to 24-hour care of their son sometimes just for the basics of breathing.

 


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