A couple weeks ago I read another great Karen Kingsbury book- When Joy Came To Stay. This is one of KK's earlier stand-alone novels and like all her books, it was fabulous. Maggie Stovall, one of the main characters, appears to have it all together on the outside. She has a successful career as a newspaper columnist and is married to Ben, a well-respected attorney. But deep down, she is harboring a secret that she has kept for the past eight years and has reached her breaking point. Maggie's world as she knows it comes crumbling down as she succumbs to the darkness. Ben doesn't know what has hit his beloved wife, especially when Maggie claims that he doesn't really know her. Meanwhile, there is Amanda Joy, a precious seven year old girl who has experienced unfathomable horrors in foster homes over the past two years. Yet her faith never wavers and she continues to pray without ceasing that God will help her find her real mother. Read When Joy Came To Stay for yourself to see God's grace, healing, and redemption in the lives of Maggie and Ben Stovall and Amanda Joy.
In When Joy Came To Stay, Karen Kingsbury tackles a sensitive issue: clinical depression. She portrays depression as a disease with a biochemical basis that does not entail one is weak or crazy or less of a Christian if they struggle with it. Hopefully KK's detailed depiction of clinical depression as a trial in one of her character's lives can serve as one small step to continue to eliminate the stigma of mental illness in our society, and encourage those battling it not to be ashamed of seeking the help they need.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this book:
"I'm not an expert but from what I know depression is pervasive. People like to think it only happens to weak individuals, those without faith or character or inner strength. But nothing could be further from the truth."
"God had given her real, lasting joy and along with it, an understanding that in Christ alone there is victory over the darkness-whatever trials might come."
"Our faith can help us through the valley, but it won't always give us a way around it."