Friday, March 9, 2018

Life After by Katie Ganshert

How do you bounce back from difficult experiences? I've had one or two over the years, and have somehow survived the curve-balls life has thrown my way, but I often wonder if I ever fully recover from those experiences and how much they color my day-to-day life from that point forward. I think the hardest part of going through these events is not living in fear or dreaded anticipation of it happening again.

If you've been hanging with me on the blog for pretty much any amount of time, you'll know that I have a really hard time with a lack of control. It seems that people tend to react one of two ways to occurrences outside of our control. A) We latch on as hard as we can to make sure that we orchestrate everything to guarantee that we never have to have a similar experience again, or 2) We recognize our ineptitude and turn somewhere else for answers. I think eventually - yes, I do realize my wonderful number/lettering system is unconventional - we all come to see that control is not our own.

So how do you deal with it day in and day out? I've found that I often have to remind myself of who is in control, but even more so, I have to rediscover His character. If you struggle with the same thing, let me just pass on a couple neat facts:

He is faithful. "But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3

He is mighty. "At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.'" Hebrews 12:26

He is just. "Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son." Hebrews 12:6 "I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice." Ezekiel 34:16

He is the rescuer. "The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 2 Timothy 4:18

He is powerful. "Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him." Daniel 2:20-22 "And in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over ever power and authority." Colossians 2:10

He is perfect. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin." Hebrews 4:15

He is here. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

Life AfterLife After by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You will not want to put it down!!!!

Katie has a specific, darker mood to her books that is gritty and real. The characters are so well written they become a living, breathing part of you. Your pulse quickens as your take on Autumn's anxiety and you feel the depths of Paul's frustrations as if they were your very own.

If I highlighted every perfect scene description, I'd end up quoting just about the entire book, but Katie does not only creates a vivid world for her characters. She gives even inanimate injects a life of their own such as the black fence and mailbox standing sentry around Paul's house. The symbolism in the objects and colors adds a whole new dimension to the story giving it a prominent place on my re-read shelf.

Finally, I love the flow of conversation and relationships that Katie creates. My favorite dynamic is probably that of Autumn and Maud - by far some of the best conversations in the book. The basketball scene was too wonderful for words.

Life after is an experience you do not want to miss out on.

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