We’re Stronger Than We Look: Insights and Encouragement for the Caregiver’s Journey

Reviewed by:

Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


We’re Stronger Than We Look: Insights and Encouragement for the Caregiver’s Journey


Jill Case Brown



Publication Date:

May 2022




163 pages


Jill Case Brown wasn’t immediately worried that day her husband David didn’t come home at his usual time. He rode a bike home and it wasn’t uncommon for him to stay late talking with coworkers. Then she got the firefighter’s call: David had been found on his bike route with his helmet split in half. Despite a broken neck and doctors being certain he wouldn’t survive, David lived. For a period, he could even still walk. However, becoming David’s caregiver still brought many brutal changes… some of which got harder as his condition worsened.

Brown describes the changes a caregiver has to make, from everyday tasks like cleaning up after their person, to “what happens next?” conundrums as they consider the implications of their new life. Each chapter relates these changes in anecdotes—stories about caregiver couples the Browns have met, their best and their worst moments, and stories from some of their certified nursing assistants.

In recent years, Christian writers have taken various approaches to the topic of caregiving. Some write memoirs about their experiences (Bringing Mom Home by Susan Soesbe). Others focus on the philosophical “problem of pain” questions about why a loved one has a debilitating condition (God on Mute by Pete Grieg).

Brown takes an on-the-ground approach. Yes, she considers how suffering changes people and how it can make us bitter if we don’t process it correctly. However, she doesn’t try to give a philosophy seminar. She uses clear language to describe the questions she has faced, and the surprising answers she has found along the way. And yes, Brown structures each chapter around life stories that show her post-accident journey with David. However, she doesn’t aim for Tuesdays with Morrie territory. She tells a story and tells it well, but she emphasizes the lessons learned over literary devices.

Consequently, Brown gives what caregivers need more than anything else. Her short chapters make this an easy book to pick up, read a section, and then stop for the next caregiving task. Her clear language keeps the takeaways simple. Her anecdotes keep the material from becoming dry instructions or easy aphorisms.

Clearly told without being simplistic. Honest without being angsty. A tremendously honest, tremendously wise book.


Rating (1 to 5 stars):

5 stars

Suggested Audience:

Caregivers, preferably those providing care for spouse or family members, seeking honest insights into its challenges.

Christian Impact:

Brown considers multiple Christian ideas that arise within caregiving, notably how suffering can enlarge people or break them down, and the need to admit caregivers are fallible human beings. Caregiving must be rooted in humility, not false confidence.


Note: ECLA readers who enjoy this book may also enjoy the following:






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