When confronted with the idea of forgiving someone for killing my family, I faltered. Could I really do that? I can imagine my anger (along with the pain) would be crippling and would limit me to living in the prison of unforgiveness. As much as I would hope that I could forgive, I know it would be a difficult journey, only possible with God’s help. With all of that said, I loved reading Karen Kingsbury’s novel Waiting for Morning. It was hard to read–heartbreaking and painful–but it was well worth it.
Hannah Ryan waits for her husband and two daughters to arrive home after their annual camping trip. Instead, police officers arrive at her door with bad news. As she fights to understand what happened, she loses her faith, living in bitterness. Her heart changes as she pursues justice for her loved ones. And in the midst of it all, God continues to work.
I really enjoyed reading Waiting for Morning. It was, as with all Karen Kingsbury novels, well-written and interesting. But it was more than just that. It confronted hard questions about forgiveness, moving on, and pain. And at the heart of it, trusting in God when it feels like he has abandoned you. As I read, I cried, I rejoiced, and I cried some more. I felt the freedom in forgiveness, and I felt the pain in the bitterness.
As Hannah grapples with hard questions (Why does God “let” bad things happen to good people, people who love him? And more importantly, how do those “good people” respond to God when their understanding of the world collapses?), I found myself living in Hannah’s pain. More than Hannah’s pain though, SPOILER ALERT!, I found myself profoundly feeling Jenny’s pain. Every slight from her mom, every terse word between the two, and I found myself crying. Maybe it’s the middle school teacher in me that feels middle school pain so well.
This was a heartbreaking novel, yes, but it was also life-giving as God redeems as only he can do. Thanks to WaterbookMultnomah for the review copy of Waiting for Morning. These ramblings are my honest opinions.