My Breaking Point, God’s Turning Point: Experience God’s Amazing Power To Restore, by Ricky Texada
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany Books in exchange for an honest review.]
In many ways, this was a difficult book to read. The author presents his experience with suffering by talking about how he met a wonderful woman when he must have been about seventeen or eighteen, enjoyed fifteen years of marriage with her, and then lost her to an accident when her life was taken by a drunk driver. After what must have been a difficult few months, he met another woman, his current wife, and married her with support from his family, her family, and even his former in-laws, as well as his congregation. The author seeks to use his experiences as a way of showing compassion with others in suffering and to show how God worked it out for him, but given the fact that the author spends a lot more detail talking about how wonderful his marriage is with his second wife, including the fact that God blessed him with two kids, even after a miscarriage, the book feels more like bragging than compassion. Of course, any memoir written after the fact of loss runs the risk that it will seem like bragging to someone who is still in the midst of a difficult situation. In all sincerity, I would have much rather read the memoir of the author’s second wife, who seems to be a woman I could much easier relate to: she worked ten years as an engineer, married at 33 after considering herself a bit past her prime as far as relationships were concerned, wrote and performed her own music, and had a complicated and unhappy family background that gave her a host of daddy issues, but that was not an option.
Despite these problems, this book has much to commend itself. The author is honest, painfully and openly so, and strives to understand his life and act based on the statements of the Bible, seeking to provide encouragement to others from scripture as well. The author recognizes that his good life, even with its seasons of sorrow, makes it hard for others to think of his own suffering, and reminds us that all of us have suffering despite the fact that we may feel that others are far more put together than we are. To some extent, many of us are simply trying to cope the best and put the best face forward, and the result is that we often fail to connect with others in times of suffering because we do not recognize how others would understand. To the extent that the author discusses his own life, honestly and passionately, he gives us a useful reminder of the need to be sensitive to others and to recognize that behind a smile can lie a great deal of experience with pain, a theme that is the subject of much recent reading .
It seems a bit melodramatic for the author to describe his season of suffering as a breaking point–for although he had a great deal of resentment against the man who killed his wife by driving drunk, he did not spiral into a dark depression lasting for years, and ultimately God did grant him a second wife, very quickly, to help him with his loneliness (and hers), and granted him children and hope for the next generation. Quite a few of the readers who read this book will probably find that scenario, even as harsh as it is, as far preferable to the state of their own lives, especially when their struggles do not end so quickly and in such a satisfactory manner. The author’s writing is candid, and he certainly strives to encourage others in suffering, but it does appear that has not suffered quite enough to write the sort of memoir that would make it the best of its kind . Still, one can give him an A for effort in at least trying to relate to a very large potential audience, even if he manages to strike a few too many of my own personal sensitivities in the subject. As an aside, this wasn’t even the book I had originally requested from the publisher, but rather it was sent to me in error, and not a very flattering error, I might add. Nobody’s perfect, though, I suppose.
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