Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice

Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice

by Kristen Jane Anderson, Tricia Goyer
4.4 72

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Life, In Spite of Me: Extraordinary Hope After a Fatal Choice by Kristen Jane Anderson

She wanted to die. God had other plans.

Why does my life have to be so painful?
What’s wrong with me?
It’s not going to get better.
It could all be over soon, and then I won’t hurt anymore.
Kristen Anderson thought she had the picture-perfect life until strokes of gray dimmed her outlook: three friends and her grandmother died within two years. Still reeling from these losses, she was raped by a friend she thought she could trust. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression.
One January night, the seventeen-year-old decided she no longer wanted to deal with the emotional pain that smothered her. She lay down on a set of cold railroad tracks and waited for a freight train to send her to heaven…and peace.
But Kristen's story doesn’t end there.
In Life, In Spite of Me this remarkably joyful young woman shares the miracle of her survival, the agonizing aftermath of her failed suicide attempt, and the hope that has completely transformed her life, giving her a powerful purpose for living.
Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured.  
Includes notes of encouragement Kristen wishes she had received when she was struggling most.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781601422538
Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/04/2010
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 600,085
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Kristen Jane Anderson has been featured on Oprah and is a popular speaker at colleges, women’s and youth events, churches, and suicide prevention outreaches. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute and the founder of Reaching You Ministries, Kristen seeks to help those who are hurting, hopeless, lost, suicidal and depressed.
Tricia Goyer is the author of three hundred articles for national periodicals, as well as fourteen novels and six nonfiction books, including Blue Like Play Dough.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Life, in Spite of Me 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amasing i got to meet kristen anderson and she sighned my book at a young womans breaking through conferance she has so much joy and happyness in her personality now if you ever get to meet her like i did you will love her i am twelve and this book is amazing you have to read it i recamend it to every one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kristen was seventeen years old when she decided she had had enough of this world. She had had enough pain, disappointment and sadness in her life and decided she was done. She laid down in front of a train coming, trying to end her life. On that horrible night, she thought she was done with this life and knew what was best for her, but God had bigger plans. She was held down by God and only lost her legs and a lot of blood that night. She had a long, painful journey ahead of her, but God was with her every step of the way. The story is told very straightforward with a lot of encouragement for anyone that has battled depression and discouragement. I read this book cover to cover in 5 hours. I had no desire to put it down until I read the last word. It was a beautiful story. I give it 5 stars and would definitely recommend this book to anyone that has felt discouraged and/or hopeless. I was given this book for free by Waterbrook Multnomah to read and give an honest review.
JodyJ More than 1 year ago
I got the chance to read and review the book called 'Life, In Spite of Me' and it was an awesome book. She was only 17 years old and still in school, and she is a good kid for the most part. Then of course along comes this girl she meets who is in with the bad crowd, and she starts drinking, smoking pot, and cigarettes, missing class, not doing homework. Well it all comes to a head one night when her mom started to holler at her about her doing her homework, and her friends, she said "I don't like your friends, I think they are a bad influence on you" that just made Kristen madder and she started to scream back which she had never done before. She told her mom "her friends are not a bad influence on me, I am doing these things because I want to...." "It was cold out that night, but I didn't care I took off towards the park, I didn't know where else to go. I sat there in the swings thinking, twisting around in the swings. I kept thinking' lately it seemed like I could not do anything right, I wasn't there for my family or my friends anymore', and a deep chill set in on my bones and my thoughts grew darker. I tried to think of a reason to stick around and live, I mean all I was doing was smoking, drinking, and partying on the weekends trying to escape the pain. The only reason I could think of was my nephews, but I'm not a good example for them anymore. Man I was cold and it was getting late, suddenly a train whistle blew, and I looked over at the train tracks... This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. Get your copy today at Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't relate to Kristen... at all, but it was an amazing story! Totally worth reading!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mTereck More than 1 year ago
I loved it! Such a beautiful testimony! I really enjoyed reading this book, I put myself in her shoes and imagined the pain she felt as she sat by the cold rail road tracks. Kristen shares in detail the events that led her to want to commit suicide and after a failed attempt she goes on to explain the depression she went through when she realised that her life would never be the same but how she found the strength to rise up from the pit which she had fallen to new hope, life and faith in God. I would highly recommend this book to anybody who feels there are at the end of their rope and cannot hold on any longer. There is no returning after suicide but Thank God there is Hope in Jesus Christ.I rate this book with 5 stars because of its honesty and openness. There is indeed life after a tragedy, God can turn your mess into a beautiful testimony and message.This book is well-written, captures the reader’s attention and allows the reader to travel with Kristen through her journey.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i started reading this i just started to cry. She left a huge impact on me and has showed me that God is always there whenever you need him. There is no need to hesitate because he is always listening. God is also our creator and Jesus has been through alot and we have to put our trust in him and not on anybody else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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freesamplequeen More than 1 year ago
Reaching out to others who may be hurting or looking for answers, Kristen Anderson shares her story in a refreshing, easy to read and free flowing way that hooks readers immediately. Through the journey of her hurts, suicide attempt, recovery and disappointments along the way, Anderson sheds light on a dark story, finding hope in Christ and a new life. Among chapters are intermittently spaced notes from Kristen to the reader in regards to specific topics such as sucide and what to do to get help if one is in that situation. I initially chose to read this book because I was curious. Having never heard Kristen's story, I was unaware of the book's true message. Once I got started reading, I had a difficult time putting the book down, finishing it in a matter of two days. This story is a quick read, with short chapters that flow smoothly, walking the reader through Anderson's life from the point right before her suicide attempt to the present, sharing insight and encouragement through her hurts, pain, depression and strggles. A highly recommended read. Readers from all walks of life and histories will find some nugget of truth and help within this book. Especially recommended for teens or other individuals facing severe depression and thoughts of suicide. I received this ebook for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated for writing this review.
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Julie12 More than 1 year ago
Oh, my goodness. I could NOT put this book down. I read it in one setting. Kristen is a total inspiration and she will make you see your life differently. The first two chapters were very difficult to read and I found myself with tears streaming down my face more than once. Kristen tried to commit suicide when she was 17 years old. Her method was horrific, to say the least, but God had other plans for this wonderful, young woman, and the really great thing? She listened to God and inspires us today. Kristen lives in pain from losing her legs and since I live in pain, it made me take a good look at the fact that God uses our pain to help others. Kristen touches so many lives with her testimony, her ministry, and her love of Jesus! Even though no one would fault her if she felt sorry for herself, she doesn't. She looks outside herself to see other hurting people that she can help by sharing the Gospel with them. She shows them that God has a plan for all of us and He can use us if we will only just submit to Him and allow Him to do his wonderful work in us. Trust me, you're going to want to read this book. It will make you long to grow closer to God and, if you don't know God, you're going to want to know Him. I give this book a definite 5 stars and it will be a book I go to time and again - especially if I'm having a day I'm needing some encouragement or I'm feeling sorry for myself. ************************ This ebook was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for my honest review
ThomasRFellerJr More than 1 year ago
So here's the story - and, unfortunately, it's one I experienced all too often when I served as a school administrator. Teenage girl suffers with depression; teenage girl decides she wants to kill herself; teenage girl lies down on the railroad tracks to end her life; 33 train cars run over teenage girl; teenage girl miraculously survives. While I had plenty of students who have threatened to try or have actually tried suicide, none of them succeeded and, thankfully, none of them tried it this way. But that's Kristen Jane Anderson's story. Life in Spite of Me begins by holding no punches - you enter directly into her decision to take her life and what she experienced underneath that train. My wife asks why I read books like this - actually, I wanted to read it hoping it would give me a better understanding of what some of my students struggle with (it did), what I didn't expect was the depth of insight this young lady has. The book is an amazing story - one I found hard to put down - of God's grace and goodness. Kristen uses her experience to now reach out to others all over the country to help combat this growing issue of teens - particularly girls - engaging in destructive behavior. The book chronicles her recovery, both physical, emotional, and spiritual. But it doesn't stop with her recovery - it continues on to what she does now and the ministry she leads reaching out to these young people - if you'd like to visit her ministry's (Reaching You Ministries) website click here. I'll just say that this is a "must read" book for anyone who works with youth. I'm going to give it 4.5/5 stars. And, yes, I did receive a complimentary copy of the book in return for an honest (though not necessarily favorable) review.
BlogfulofBooks More than 1 year ago
Life, In Spite of Me is the true story of Kristen Jane Anderson (it's written by her and Tricia Goyer). Filled with all sorts of emotions from pain to anger to peace, this book is about real life. The story is intriguing, Kristen's honesty is encouraging, and the conclusion-that God doesn't fail us when we trust in Him-is appropriate. Starting this review, I wasn't sure how much I should say about some aspects of the book, considering this is one girl's very true life story. So, in order to remain courteous, I'm only pointing out one thing that I noticed. In a book about suicide, the big question arises: Theoretically, would a professing Christian who committed suicide go to heaven? Kristen doesn't seek to answer this question in depth, and that's what bothers me. I can understand why: it would definitely draw a dividing line and, of course, some people might be offended. The only passing thing Kristen says is that she knows she would've gone to hell because she wasn't a Christian, not because she committed suicide. It's disappointing to me that in a book about a girl who has realized all that God is, she can't delve into the Bible to search for an answer to this. Who knows, maybe she has. Maybe she just didn't want to offend. It's a topic that's left unfinished, and I felt that gap in the rest of the book. Life, in Spite of Me shows life at its worst; it also shows how trusting in God can change everything for the better. While I was reading it, I thought of Psalm 139:13-16: For you [God] created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (I received a complimentary copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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AReadersRefuge More than 1 year ago
Life changing. Simply astounding. Compelling. This novel is a must read for teens and adults alike. Not only does this book assist one in seeing the beauty of life, but it shows the amazing hope that God provides each of us, even when we feel that life is too much to handle. --- Within her novel, Life, In Spite of Me, Kristen shares the journey of her life, both before and after her accident. Kristen was a fun, loving, and outgoing young woman. Her life quickly began to fall apart when she faced the death of her grandmother and 3 close friends, along with being raped by a friend whom she felt that she could trust. She fell into a deep state of depression. Unfortunately, the depression took hold of her life. While walking through a Chicago park, late one night, Kristen heard a train whistle blow, and realized that laying down in front of the train could end all of the pain and sorrows she was dealing with. She laid down. She survived. Kristen's survival was seen as both medically impossible and miraculous. 33 train cars rolled over the top of Kristen's body, which severed both of her legs. After the accident, Kristen underwent several reconstructive surgeries and therapy sessions. She battled physical pain and emotional distress. But, most importantly, Kristen found God. She realized that she couldn't live her life on her own terms, or in her own way. She needed someone to lean on -- and God was just that. "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."
ParisAlexandra More than 1 year ago
Life, In Spite of Me is a very moving story that offers hope to a world full of people who are considering suicide, have attempted suicide, or anyone who has lost a dear one to suicide. It is a story of hope to the depressed, the disabled, and the hopeless. Kristen Jane Anderson wanted to end her pain and her life, so she laid down on the railroad tracks by her house. Thirty-three freight cares ran over her at fifty-five miles per hour and she lived. But her legs had been cut off and were lying on the ground ten feet away from her body. I loved reading Kristen's transformation from a depressed, hurting teen who had been raped to a young woman who lives because God has a purpose for her life. Reading Kristen's story from her perspective was eyeopening, heart breaking, and life changing. The book also includes notes of encouragement from Kristen and resources for suicide prevention. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She wanted to die and God had other plans, definately sums up this inspirational story about Kristen Anderson. A 17 year old teenager dealing with numerous emotional traumas and the inability to cope with it all. I think that many readers no matter what age will be able to relate to her story and truly be able to empathize. Everyone has loved ones pass or have had trouble in's just life. It is a great story of overcoming emotional trauma and weakness and finding faith in God. Moreover, just finally recognizing the small signs God gives us daily to let us know he loves us and is there. There are small letters from the author throughout that give hope to those struggeling with death, suicide, and depression as well. Overall, I thought it was a good inspirational read and quick. It's great for young and older readers.
Pickle331 More than 1 year ago
I can't imagine feeling so desperate about my life that I would think that that laying on railroad tracks to kill myself would solve my problems. But that's how Kristen Anderson felt when she was seventeen years old. Things didn't turn out the way she expected, though. She survived-but lost her legs. Then she faced a whole new set of challenges: learning how to live life as an amputee, coming to remember how she had lost her legs, dealing with the depression that had caused her to feel that death was the only answer, wondering what the future held for her. Her story could have been a bitter pity-party story, but she has an incredibly positive testimony that she shares in this book-a book which is easily and quickly read. She includes short notes periodically to other young women who may be feeling the way she did on that fateful day, encouraging them that life does get better. She is an example of being able to take a horrific experience and allowing God to use it in positive ways. I don't know that I would have read this book had it not been provided free of charge by Multnomah Publishing in exchange for a review-but I'm glad I did.