Prior to responding, I knelt down on my newly carpeted floor, closer to my bookcase, and took a look at the titles I had in my possession, staring at the spines that saved my soul. In my response, rather than just rattling off a few, I listed what I had learned, recalling the strength I gained from reading each story. It wasn't the first time I had been asked to reference something that I read. My little library has taken on a life of its own. After I lend each book out, I need to ensure they are returned so they can be checked out again and continue to touch those that read them.
While sharing my sentiments, I began to remember why I had such a book collection. It was the days following Samantha's accident that I spent reading. Craving stories of survival. I needed to hear from others that had experienced loss and how they found life, again. Real stories, about real people walking through real storms and HOW they did it. I remember telling myself, "If they can do this, so can I!" One woman had to bury two babies. I read her story and told myself if she could do two and still be beautiful, I certainly could do one!
When I finished one book, I would get another. Back to the store, I was binging on books. Devouring the details of their story, gleaning wisdom from their experience, their survival gave me a sense of security. I kept on reading, having been given the revelation that these were the people that made it. The souls that get lost in suffering are not the ones reflecting and writing words that help and heal. Each time I turned the last page, a new life had begun. These people had found peace, their pain now had purpose. I knew I could be one of them. A survivor, an overcomer, whatever you want to call it; I had the choice to reach out, grab hold of Christ and carry on. Just as they did.
Three years have passed since Samantha's accident, my book collection has grown and so has my strength. Like those that I learned from, I am able to see the purpose past my pain. God has given me glimpses of what He wants from me. Letting me taste a tidbit of sweetness in tragedy as I occasionally am called to sit and share with others suffering. Allowing me to touch the truth that He teaches in