July 9, 2017
Hattie Kauffman is an award-winning news correspondent, journalist, correspondent, and Native American. Truthfully, I never heard of her prior to reading her memoir, which I read because it is on the United Methodist Women’s booklist for this year. But, I’m so glad that I read it because, as advertised, it is really and truly a memoir about overcoming.
The book is titled Falling Into Place and it details the life and struggles of Ms. Kauffman, which started with near-starvation and complete neglect as a child, to her struggles with alcohol addiction and abusive relationships, to her recent divorce. Throughout it all, she discovered that God was with her – sometimes in the form of a relative who prayed for her, a coworker who spoke with her about her struggles, a friend who “happened” to be in the right place at the right time, and in a physical “touch” that she was blessed to experience during a particularly difficult life situation.
The book is not always easy to read, because the neglect and downright abuse she received as a child in a family of 7 of two raging alcoholics is not fun to read. It’s very interesting because the kids all stuck together throughout all of it – and still do to this day. They are all amazing overcomers! I can’t imagine being left on my own for days on end without food or utilities when my parents were away on an alcoholic binge. I can’t imagine witnessing alcoholic withdrawals in my parents, alcohol addiction in my siblings thus repeating the cycle, and then ultimately giving in to the cycle myself. I also can’t imagine enduring the kind of sexual abuse she experienced as well as domestic violence in her first marriage. It’s an absolute miracle that any of them survived, and I left absolutely inspired and uplifted by her story, particularly by the story of the survival and endurance of her siblings and their close relationship today.
The best part of the book is the details of her learning about what it means to be a Christian, and her ultimate decision to devote her life to Jesus. It was amazing to see the transformation from a rebellious child with a Christian Aunt who inspired her, to an adult who refused to believe, to an older adult who experienced a living God. It is also really neat to read about the relationships she experiences with her fellow Church congregants. Isn’t it amazing how important that really is?
I loved the story and I left inspired. It deserves to be on the UMW list and I highly recommend it!
Romans 5:3-5 (NRSV): And not only that, but we[a] also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Serve all with love.
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