Bill Hallsted and his wife, Arlene, were in a car accident while Arlene was pregnant with their third child. After the accident, Arlene was given a medication that doctors believed was safe for pregnant women, but was later found to be linked with birth defects and other problems. Their son, Andrew, was born and seemed normal until he started having debilitating seizures. This book is the story of their search for answers to help their son, but also Bill’s struggle with bitterness, resentment, and forgiveness.
I could not put this book down! It has been a long time since a book has made me cry and this one did. Reading about the Hallsted’s search for treatments that would decrease the number of seizures Andrew experienced and the physical damage he experienced as a result of his seizures was very difficult. I think Hallsted did an excellent job educating readers on the treatment options the family tried without getting too technical or turning the book into a story of a medical journey.
Aside from the extraordinary difficulties that Andrew faced, Hallsted discussed his personal struggle with resentment and bitterness. I appreciated Hallsted’s honesty about how he felt and what he thought. It’s easy to put ministers up on a higher spiritual pedestal and think they don’t struggle as much with negative emotions as they rest of us might, but Hallsted shares his anger and frustration in a straightforward manner. I especially appreciated how he explained how he cultivated his resentments. I can’t remember the last time I read a book with such personal honesty.
Hallsted also spends some time discussing how he and his wife counted the cost of keeping Andrew at home versus putting him in “a home” and shared their thought processes behind that. Again, his honesty is remarkable. They ultimately decided to keep him at home with them. In addition to sharing his feelings of resentment and bitterness, Hallsted shares his story of forgiveness and how he moved past those feelings.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a child with special needs or knows someone with a child with special needs. It would also be a great book for anyone who works with people who have special needs or is interested in reading a story of how a suffering parents moved past his bitterness to a place of forgiveness. I also think any parent would appreciate this book. This is an excellent book!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookCrash in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.