Sunday, April 18, 2010

‘Desperate Hope: When Faith in God Overcame My Despair’ by Candi Pearson-Shelton – Book Review

Buzz this

When a person passes away at a young age, it is certainly a tragedy.  Rick Pearson was the brother of Candi Pearson-Shelton, the author of ‘Desperate Hope: When Faith in God Overcame My Despair.’  Rick, a worship leader at a church in Georgia and a committed Christ follower, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2005.  The disease was quite advanced.  Candi continues:

My brother, Rick Pearson, went to The Party on September 9, 2005.  “The Party” is what one of my friends calls heaven.  I thought this was one of the best descriptions I had ever heard.  I like it that much more now that my brother is there.  The thing is, my brother was just three weeks into his twenty-third year, and in my mind that is never the right age to go to The Party. (p. 32)

This book chronicles Candi and her family’s journey through this time of grief.

Here is the biography of Candi from the back of the book:

Candi Pearson-Shelton is a worship leader, songwriter, and independent artist.  Known for her involvement with the Passion worship movement, she also wrote and performed the title track on the Dove-award-winning album Glory Revealed.  She and her husband, Jonathan, live in Southern California with their son, Elias.

Candi learned many valuable truths during this ordeal.  One of them is the power we receive from Christ:

When Rick died, I came to understand the power of Christ more than I ever had before.  The strength that is made perfect in weakness [2 Corinthians 12:9] is His, not mine.  When I am weak, then I am strong because His strength is made perfect in me.  The beautiful nature of Christ has allowed us the blessing of seeing miraculous power in the midst of our weakest moments, but only if we are submitted to it.  If our weakness and the pain that comes from it are our focus, then we cannot see the perfection of Christ’s power achieved.  (p. 51)

Another valuable truth that was made clear to Candi during the time of Rick’s illness is to leave a lasting legacy:

Our challenge – our invitation – is to be the way we were made to be.  Be a person of whom it can be said. “They loved well.”  Be people of great character who display goodness, goodness that is desirable because it is good about Jesus, not self-made.
May our legacies bear His mark.  (p. 128)

Even at his young age, Rick knew the important things in life:

Rick was a lover of excellence, an appreciator of beautiful things.  He loved music.  He loved culinary arts.  He loved architecture.  He loved color.  He loved Suzanne, his fiancée.  He loved stars.  He loved beauty in whatever form beauty took.  It was another piece of his legacy, one the intricacies of Rick that made him all the more interesting.  (p. 129)

Candi concludes this lovely book with this prayer:

I pray that you are spurred on, wherever you are on your journey, to come face-to-face with your own legacy.  I pray that you will find purpose for the rest of your breath, and that, when your days are ended here, you will have joined my brother in your great inheritance and in leaving a legacy of hope…. [It] is in our desperation that we find God’s faithfulness to be fuel for the life we desire to live, the story we want to leave, and the hope we need for the journey.  The always-necessary desperate hope. (pp. 177-178)

I found 'Desperate Hope' to be a very encouraging book, and beautifully written.  One of the wonderful gifts about being a Christian is the fact that we know we will have a reunion with our loved ones in heaven.  It is sad when someone dies ‘before his time,’ but we have the promise of eternal life which makes the deaths of our loved ones easier to bear (not that it is ever easy).  I appreciate how Candi shared her and her family’s journey.  ‘Desperate Hope’ will be of great value to anyone who reads it; I am encouraged to live more deliberately and to be more cognizant of the fleeting days of our lives.  I am sure it will also be a comfort to others who are experiencing the same sadness and loss as Candi and her family have lived through.

 All of the author’s profits from the sale of this very tender book will go to Legacy: The Rick Pearson Memorial Fund.  The fund is a nonprofit organization that exists to extend the hope of Christ by championing the interests and organizations that Rick passionately supported like Compassion International and a scholarship fund for students who want to pursue a ministry of music with an emphasis on missions.

You can order this book here.

This book was published by David C. Cook and provided by the B&B Media Group for review purposes.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics