The cover of this book shows screen shots from a video Kristian put together for Rachel that unintentionally went viral, reaching people in over 150 countries, including Oprah.
I chose to read this book because of the way it was described: an inspiring journey of courage and strength, compassion and love, and real people in real situations who, even at their worst, found a way to keep their faith in God ever stronger. This book not only met my expectations of inspiration, but far surpassed what I could have imagined. This is one of those books that, upon completion, will change your life….if you have a soul. This is the incredible love story of Kristian and Rachel Anderson and their 2 young boys, and their struggles and triumphs that took place throughout his two year battle with cancer. This is the story about how one man, despite the physical and emotional pain, chose God. Every time. He did not lose his faith, even in the last days.
So frequently, we hear people say that their faith (or lack thereof) is burdened by the fact that bad things happen to good people. After losing my grandparents at age 16, I had the same questions. I’ve long since made amends with God (and asked for forgiveness), and I think it wasn’t until I read this book that that question was finally answered for me personally. Life is a gift. Our days are all numbered. It’s what we do with that time that matters. And it does matter. Through his struggles, Kristian was able to touch lives all around the world. Who has time to think about the rest of the world when they’re fighting for their own life? When the possibility of leaving behind a family is a reality, how can someone trust in God….and allow God to use their life, even at their worst, to make a real difference? This is such an amazing story on so many levels.
I have never personally experienced cancer. But I know many people who have. Some are loved ones. I often hear prayer requests for families fighting cancer with their loved ones. Kristian’s openness and willingness to let us in, to be a part of his world, almost as if watching through the window and even his most private moments, has allowed me a greater perspective of what someone really goes through in their battle. When life revolves around numbers and combinations of medications most can’t even pronounce with atrocious side effects, it’s not something many would understand, unless they’ve experienced it. But to have a glimpse of what that battle entails has given me a sense of even greater appreciation for those I know who have fought and beaten cancer, and even for those who gave it their all. That was all they could do.
Rachel, Kristian’s wife, has also opened up her heart to the world to share what her experience was like as wife, partner, mother, and caretaker. They both shared how their world fell apart and how they were able to be stronger than they ever thought possible for each other. Two people pushing the limits far beyond what many could ever imagine, all for love. Because you don’t truly appreciate life until you realize it can change in an instant.
I read this book in 2 days. It was such an incredible story that I couldn’t put it down. I’m not going to lie, there were times during this story that were incredibly hard to get through. I suggest tissues nearby. I envisioned my own husband and son and just the thought of going through this is heartbreaking to me beyond words. I can’t imagine the loss the Rachel has suffered. But I do know that for someone to fight as long and hard as Kristian did, that’s a love that only comes around once in a lifetime.
Before you write this off as a sad, depressing story, don’t. Days Like These is the exact opposite. Days Like These is a truly honest, brave, and beautiful story. It’s the perfect example of how light can shine through, even in the darkest moments. It’s one worth sharing. I highly recommend this book. Kristian Anderson’s legacy will be around even after he is gone. Although his boys are too small to fully grasp everything, this book and the thousands of hearts it touches around the world, will be the truest testament to how much their daddy fought for them. And they deserve that.
Here is the birthday video:
Read more about this book at Amazon.
Note: *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zondervan (Publisher) via BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.