Title: Made for Brave
Author: Alyssa Galios
Major Themes: Cancer, Death, Grief, Memoir, Autobiography, Christian Non-fiction, Books for Women
Synopsis: Alyssa’s life certainly didn’t follow the plan she had mapped out—could she survive losing her young husband to cancer?
This is an incredible story. So many times as I read it I had to wipe away tears. I don’t remember exactly why I signed up to review Made for Brave, but I’m glad I did. What a triumphant story!
Alyssa had her life all mapped out, and her plan didn’t include marriage or family until long after she had a career established. Then, she met Nick and fell in love and got married at 20. After slipping quickly into much too busy a life, they had a wake-up call when he got sick. Alyssa was devastated when they learned that he had a rare, incurable cancer. Despite all they did to try to combat the cancer, Nick died just before their miracle baby began walking.
Alyssa had never had a very close walk with God, and she marveled at Nick’s relationship with his Creator, and his thankfulness even when he was in intense pain. After Nick’s death, her life spiraled out of control—until she finally yielded everything to God. Then, God proved to her how He could provide everything she needed, and even brought someone special into her life and gave her a new ministry.
This book is absolutely amazing. I can’t begin to comprehend the agony of watching someone you love die a horrible death, slowly. I have experienced sudden death of a child, but nothing like Nick and Alyssa went through. Nick’s attitude of thankfulness and love to God as he neared the end of his life reminds me of my father’s testimony as he died of cancer. The last part of this book, where Alyssa is able to use what God has given her to help others, is very encouraging. If we allow Him to, God can use experiences that feel terrible, for our good. In fact, in chapter 13, Alyssa discusses why evil exists at all, if God is all love. I highlighted a lot of that section—I want to remember the conclusions she came to. Her discussion about grief and “getting over” hurts and loss is well worth reading, as well.
Who should read Made for Brave? People who like to read about what God can do to transform a person’s life. People who need encouragement that God can use painful experiences for good. People who struggle to know how a good God could allow bad things to happen. And, anyone who loves to read a true love story—there are two of them in this one book!
I received a free copy of this book from CelebrateLit, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Chapter 1: darn, dang. Chapter 2: dang, twice. Chapter 3: dang. Chapter 7: dang. Chapter 8: oh my gosh. Chapter 14: darn proud. Chapter 15: Holy cow. Chapter 20: darn. Also, two or three times after Nick died, Alyssa felt that he visited her. I’m not sure what to do with those experiences; they don’t quite fit in my theology! (Just warning anyone who wouldn’t want to read a book that includes such a thing.)
Reading Independently— Adults