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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

50 Days of Hope: Book Review

364491: 50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey Through Cancer 50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey Through Cancer

A little too late.

That’s how I felt when I started reading, 50 Day of Hope, by Lynn Eib, for review.

My mother had already died of recurring breast cancer when I started reviewing this book. I had hoped it would give me some kind of comfort, but instead, all it did was make me wish I had the book years earlier to give her some kind of reassurance and hope during her own struggle.

This beautiful pocket size, leather-like soft cover book by Lynn Eib, shares amazing stories of struggles, sorrows, inspiration and hope of cancer patients and survivors, including Eib, who survived colon cancer. These stories also include scriptures, prayers and profound insight into God’s character during extreme difficult times such as cancer.

I’m finding that more and more people are having to face the brutal reality of cancer in their lives, either their own, or a loved one. As a matter of fact, two days before my mother died, one of my friends mother passed away from brain cancer. It’s becoming all too common these days. Who can we turn to in situations like this? Who can we trust? One of my favorite quotes from Eib is simply put:

“Don’t confuse life with God.” (pg. 45) 

Eib was explaining how she felt when she received the news about her own cancer, and how she just didn’t feel it was “fair.”

“If God really loved me so much, why did He allow an unfair thing like cancer to strike my life?” 

I know my mother felt that way, too. She felt her cancer was punishment for a whole life of wrongdoings. Eib encourages us:

“Go ahead and say it: It’s not fair that I have cancer. It’s not fair that my loved one has cancer…Life is not fair, but God is not life.” (pg. 26, Day 11) 

I remember how this struck me when I first read it (and even now rereading it again and writing it for you). I’ve always reassured my readers to be real and raw with God, to never hold back in our pain and suffering and let God know how we feel. But I love this statement. God is not life. He may be our life, but He is not this life. And she ended that particular day beautifully with this prayer:

“Please help me to accept that life has been unfair to us but still to believe that You will be faithful to us. Please help me to develop a relationship with You apart from my circumstances and to learn to trust You despite the unfairness of life.” 

This book isn’t just for cancer patients, it is also intended to help loved ones who are enduring the heartache of watching someone suffer through chemo and radiation treatments. It is uplifting, heartfelt, and inspirational. It offers honest insight into how to continue having a close relationship with God while going through something as painful as cancer.

Eib’s daily doses of hope aren’t cheesy, positive-thinking, new agey, hippie chants. She also won’t ask you not to acknowledge your pain and how you feel about being the one suffering with cancer and all it entails. She allows you to feel what you feel and lets you know it’s okay to feel that way, while providing real ways to approach God through it all.

“Don’t worry, my friend, if today your faith is not very big. Just be sure to put it all in a very big God.” (pg. 168) 

I only wish I would have had an opportunity to have shared this with my mother. It wouldn’t have cured her by any means, but maybe it would have relieved some of her worries and concerns. Maybe it would have comforted her during those moments when cancer felt like it defined and owned her.

“…We also beat [cancer] moment by moment as we allow God, not cancer, to control our thoughts. We beat it hour by hour as we remember that God’s power within us is greater than the cancer. And we beat it day by day as we trust in God’s strength and not in cancer’s weakness.” (pg. 159, Anyone Can Beat Cancer chapter) 

I highly recommend sharing this book with anyone you may know who is riding the emotional roller coaster of cancer. I am not reluctant to say that it truly will offer days of hope ahead.

I received this book for free from the Tyndale House Publisher book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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