HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost
Author: Laura Smith
Publisher: Halo Publishing International, 2012
Related website: www.halopublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Older teens and adults
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Smith, Laura. In All Things: Giving Thanks When Hope Seems Lost (published in 2012 by Halo Publishing International, AP 76, P. O. Box 60326, Houston, TX 77205). When everything seems to be going wrong in your life, whom can you trust and turn to for help? Author Laura Smith answers that question in this very personal account of the struggles that she and her family have faced. It begins with her ill-fated marriage right out of high school to the town’s “bad boy,” the births of their two daughters, and the problems of an abusive relationship ending in divorce and single parenthood. It continues with the diagnosis of her older daughter, Paige, with Von Recklinghausen’s Disease (or Neurofibromatosis) which required several spinal surgeries, and of her younger daughter, Vicky, first with ADHD and later, after learning that she had been sexually abused by Laura’s first husband, with bi-polar disease as well as all which that entails. It concludes with Laura’s remarriage to Tony, their sadness at being told they could have no children, the amazing pregnancy that occurred, and her subsequent miscarriage, along with Paige’s difficult, even dangerous, pregnancy. How did Laura find the strength to cope with all this?
Her answer is in the understanding which Laura came to have that everything which God allows happens for a reason. The turning point of her healing process involved returning to church and recovering her faith. Then she began to feel that her experiences were given to her so that she could share with others who were still suffering, especially as a result of a miscarriage or an abortion. In fact, she writes, “This book is dedicated to every woman and man who has suffered the loss of a baby through miscarriage or abortion.” Yet, the book doesn’t end with everything neatly wrapped up as “they all lived happily ever after.” There are still difficulties for Laura’s family as there are for every family, but her message is that learning to trust God when all seems final is a lifelong ongoing process. Certainly not everything recorded in the story is nice and pleasant to read. However, there is an important take-away lesson. Sometimes we make wrong choices and suffer the consequences. Sometimes bad things happen even when we try to do right. Yet, “In All Things,” we can find forgiveness, guidance, and comfort by placing our confidence in God’s love and mercy.