Publisher: Tyndale House
Release Date: March 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 250
How I got this book: ARC from Tyndale House for blog tour
My rating: 5/5
"On the night of November 5, 2006, the Barrick family was driving home from church when their van was struck by a drunk driver. Fifteen-year-old Jen suffered multiple skull fractures and severe brain trauma and was not expected to survive the night. But against all odds, she did. As she lingered in a coma, doctors warned that if Jen ever woke up, she would be cursing and screaming in confusion due to her brain injuries. Instead, after five weeks she opened her eyes and began praying and praising God. Jen didn't remember her middle name, recognize her parents, or recall that she had a little brother, but she remembered Jesus and every word to every praise song and scripture she had hidden in her heart before the accident. As any loving mother would, Jen's mother Linda wanted God to heal Jen, make her like she was before. Normal. But a loving God had something else in mind--instead of making her normal, God is making Jennifer and the whole Barrick family--extraordinary, miraculous. Hope Out Loud is the remarkable true story of a family who overcame tragedy and learned to trust God's plan for their lives in a whole new way."
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First, I want to say a big THANK you to Tyndale for sending me a copy of this book to read and review as part of the blog tour! They also sent me a certificate to give away to one lucky winner for a free copy, so we will get to that after the review!
Wow, what an amazing, inspirational, moving story. The Barrick's story is proof that life can truly change in an instant. Yes, there were times that they wondered what God's plan for them was. But, the important thing is that never once did they turn their back on Him. It was obvious to the Barricks that God's presence was with them through their entire struggle.
When Jennifer came out of her coma after 5 weeks, she did not even know her own parents. She could not speak to anybody that came to see her. She could not hold her head up. She could barely open her eyes for more than a minute at a time. Yet, to everyone's amazement she begins to pray out loud - in perfectly clear speech - for hours at a time! And she is not praying for herself, for her own healing - she is praying that God will use her to minister to others. She is praising God and thanking Him for being by her side and for healing her. She seems oblivious to the fact that she is severely brain damaged, nearly blind, and unable to walk, and care for herself. Yet she is is singing His praises!
But, when she is not praying, her severe injuries are painfully obvious. It was 3 months before Jen was released from the hospital. When she came home, she still had a feeding tube inserted because eating "real" food made her terribly sick. She had constant debilitating headaches. She was nearly blind. She had almost no short term memory. Yet, when she was worshiping God, she was like the old, uninjured Jen. A light shone from her, and everybody around her knew that they were witnessing a miracle.
Jen's mother, Linda, found prayer journals that Jen had been keeping before the crash. Jen was a very private person. But she had a very close relationship with God. In these journals, she poured out her deepest feelings and desires for her Christian life. She knew that one of her shortcomings was that she was not very good at speaking out loud about faith. These journals were full of prayers that God would use her to be a witness for Him. Just 3 days before the crash, she completely surrendered herself to Him - pleading with God that He use her in however way He saw fit, to bring people to Christ. This part truly gave me chills!
This book was a wonderfully inspirational and emotional read. In several places, I felt the need to close the book and pray - pray for a renewed relationship with Christ. Jen truly is a miracle. This is an extraordinary book, and I hope that you will check it out!
You can find it here to purchase at amazon.com or you buy it at any Christian book store. And thanks to Tyndale Publishing, I am offering the chance to win a hardback copy of the book! What you will get is a certificate that you can take to any Christian book store (or if you do not have one near you, you may fill out and send directly to Tyndale to redeem) and they will give you one free hardback copy of Miracle for Jen by Linda Barrick! Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway