Parting the Waters by Jeanne Damoff
I don’t review a lot of books on this blog. That’s partly because it really isn’t the focus of this blog and partly because . . . well, I’m not sure why. I just don’t. But when a book comes along that grips me in a special way and meets me where I am, I have to say something.
Recently I read Parting the Waters by Jeanne Damoff. It’s a true story about her family’s journey through tragedy. Their world was flipped on end when Jacob, Jeanne’s fifteen year-old son, suffered severe brain injury when he almost drowned. This is her story of wading throught the murky waters of tragedy and finding God’s faithfulness and love.
After what my family has just been through I could identify with Jeanne on a number of levels. Her story is one of discovering the goodness and, yes, beauty in the midst of great trial. Her writing is raw and honest, and she holds nothing back. It’s real life in all its ugly and beautiful reality.
This is one book I seriously recommend. It’s well worth the time spent reading it. Trust me, you’ll be blessed.
Here’s some more information about the book:
About the Story:
When a tragic drowning accident leaves fifteen-year-old Jacob in a coma, the faith of his family and community is shaken to its foundation. Medical experts used phrases such as “persistent vegetative state” and said, “Jacob will never wake up,” but Jacob’s parents knew God would have the final say.
Without sugar-coating the realities of pain and suffering, Parting the Waters presents the heart-warming, true story of what can happen when a community rallies around one wounded family. While Jacob’s parents struggle to preserve their faith and family, the prayers and innovative efforts of community members result in Jacob’s gradual awakening. Each dramatic milestone in Jacob’s recovery creates a new ripple, touching and changing many lives forever.
Told from a mother’s perspective, Parting the Waters is a poignant tale of unexpected beauty found in brokenness.
Bonus feature: a “Q & A” section that fearlessly tackles issues regarding God, His love and mercy, and His divine purposes related to suffering.
About the Author:
Jeanne Damoff has been married for 29 years to George, a biologist, poet, and musician. Their three grown children, Jacob, Grace, and Luke, are her favorite people in the world. She has degrees in social work, sociology, English, and secondary education, and has taught such varied subjects as English, Latin, art, music, and cheerleading. For eight years she taught pre-school through junior high Bible, using a curriculum she designed and wrote. Jeanne is a published writer, a professional choreographer, a musician, and a speaker. She loves to laugh and gives points to anyone who makes her laugh out loud. These points are very valuable. Everyone should strive to earn them, starting now.
Learn more about Jeanne at http://jeannedamoff.com/.
Watch the Parting the Waters book trailer.
Some Interview Questions:
Where did you get the idea for the book?
Parting the Waters is a true story. Several years after Jacob’s accident in 1996, I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to write what I was seeing God do. I didn’t want to, and for the next few years I kept giving God excuses for why I didn’t have time. Without going into detail, let’s just say He essentially removed my excuses, and I went home and wrote the first draft in two weeks.
What are the major themes of the book?
Beauty from brokenness. God’s goodness and sovereign purposes in suffering. The body of Christ. The power of community when it works as it should.
What insight did you gain from the process of writing about such a difficult personal experience?
Reliving our experience on the page was excruciating at times, but also very cathartic. I believe it’s good for all Christians to look back on our most difficult times and see how God carried and led us when we felt like we were wandering over jagged shards in a fog. Probably the biggest insight I gained was a deeper assurance that God is in control and I can trust His loving purposes, even when it hurts to breathe.
How and what is Jacob doing now?Jacob is a precious, happy 27 year old who lives abundantly in spite of his brain injury. Though he wasn’t expected to ever awaken from coma, he walks, talks, laughs, and loves intensely. He spends his weekdays with his long-time aide, Rusty Mauldin, working with his cattle and in his garden, then comes home on the weekends. Jacob worships the Lord with the passion of a lover who is not hindered by self-consciousness. Watching him is like glimpsing eternity.
What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I hope they will realize more deeply that God loves them and is working out His plans in their lives with perfect faithfulness. Sure we suffer consequences when we make stupid choices, but many of the trials and sorrows we experience have nothing to do with punishment or a lack of faith. They are part of God’s goodness—conforming us to the image of His Son. I hope readers will meet God on the pages of our story and walk away changed by grace.
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