Monday, October 6, 2008

A New Kind of Normal

Hope-filled Choices When Life Turns Upside Down
by Carol Kent
Thomas Nelson, 2007

Carol Kent continues the story she began with When I Lay My Isaac Down. Her new normal involves weekly visits behind a prison wire as she visits her son, incarcerated for life without any chance of parole for the killing of his wife's ex-husband.

With this book she outlines the huge adjustments she and her husband have had to make, both in terms of their way of life and where they live it, and in terms of their dreams and hopes for their son's future. In spite of an unthinkable situation and the shedding of copious tears, she and Gene have determined to live lives of hope that will honour and glorify God. They trade ashes for beauty, and use their circumstance to reach out to others who are suffering and in need of hope.

Carol uses the story of Jesus's mother, Mary, as a template for the person whose life has turned upside down and as an example for how those who hurt can choose to live within the constraints of their new normal. At the end of each chapter are questions to help the reader think through his own experience for answers that will help him.

This book is a must-read for those whose life situations have left them discouraged and despondent. Buy it for yourself or for someone you love.

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