5 Stars Out Of 5
Two Perfect Gifts from God in Unusual Packages
November 3, 2013
Catherine Campbell and her loving family received not one, but two perfect gifts from God. Oh, others may have difficulty understanding this, but it is true. You see, Catherine and her husband Phillip had two daughters born with microcephaly, a disability that results when the brain stops growing. Together with middle brother, Paul, and family, friends, and devoted teams of medical personnel, they cared for and loved their two precious daughters, Cheryl and Joy, until they both went home to Jesus in their early teens.
In this extremely personal book, Catherine Campbell shows us how to love as Christ loves, by allowing us a glimpse into her family life. Through exhaustion, tears, laughter and faith, Catherine and Phillip cared for their daughters, and raised a precocious boy in Northern Ireland. Cheryl and Joy never walked, never talked, and never lifted their heads. Their daily medical and physical challenges would have been overwhelming if Catherine and her family were not daily strengthened by God's grace. Through it all, one theme is clear - Cheryl and Joy touched so many people in a beautiful and life-changing way. Cheryl and Joy's presence in the Campbell's life indeed had worth and a purpose. Their lives changed Catherine's understanding of her reason for living, from a life of grief-stricken soul-searching, to a life of walking with God in faith. In her endearing candor, Catherine admits she will not fully understand His promises until she gets to Heaven herself, and stands above the rainbow. That is what Catherine's faith looks like. It's messy, and it hurts. But it is real faith. Refiner's faith.
I read this book through tears and laughter, sometimes both occurring at the same time. I particularly liked the â€˜meals on wheels' humor of the Irish nurses. But I was particularly shocked by how some reacted to the girls' profound disability. This book shook my soul with the question why God lets bad things happen to good people. This book also wrestles with the mystery, the worth, and the Divine importance of each and every soul created by God. The answers to these questions are revealed as Catherine pours out her heart and her deepest personal thoughts for everyone to see. I am truly convinced that this story will change every person who reads it, for the good.
Catherine is a nurse by training, but she is also a very gifted writer and storyteller. Catherine's writing is truly superb. For the writing to stand out this prominently in such a tragic story is impressive. It is another of the precious gifts that God has graced upon Catherine.
I felt a familiar comfort in the way Catherine strung together her words to tell her story. I understand the Irish a bit, hailing from deep roots in Cork and Roscommon myself, but I swear I could hear the lilt in Catherine's writing, just as clear as I hear my grandmother's brogue from long ago.
There will be a joyous celebration in Heaven when Catherine and the Campbell family reunite with their beloved daughters, Cheryl and Joy. And God will surely welcome Catherine with the words, "well done, good and faithful servant."