Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved

Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've LovedNEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A Meditation On Sense Making When There S No Sense To Be Made, On Letting Go When We Can T Hold On, And On Being Unafraid Even When We Re Terrified Lucy Kalanithi Belongs On The Shelf Alongside Other Terrific Books About This Difficult Subject, Like Paul Kalanithi S When Breath Becomes Air And Atul Gawande S Being Mortal Bill Gates NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLEKate Bowler Is A Professor At Duke Divinity School With A Modest Christian Upbringing, But She Specializes In The Study Of The Prosperity Gospel, A Creed That Sees Fortune As A Blessing From God And Misfortune As A Mark Of God S Disapproval At Thirty Five, Everything In Her Life Seems To Point Toward Blessing She Is Thriving In Her Job, Married To Her High School Sweetheart, And Loves Life With Her Newborn Son.Then She Is Diagnosed With Stage IV Colon Cancer.The Prospect Of Her Own Mortality Forces Kate To Realize That She Has Been Tacitly Subscribing To The Prosperity Gospel, Living With The Conviction That She Can Control The Shape Of Her Life With A Surge Of Determination Even As This Type Of Christianity Celebrates The American Can Do Spirit, It Implies That If You Can T Do And Succumb To Illness Or Misfortune, You Are A Failure Kate Is Very Sick, And No Amount Of Positive Thinking Will Shrink Her Tumors What Does It Mean To Die, She Wonders, In A Society That Insists Everything Happens For A Reason Kate Is Stripped Of This Certainty Only To Discover That Without It, Life Is Hard But Beautiful In A Way It Never Has Been Before.Frank And Funny, Dark And Wise, Kate Bowler Pulls The Reader Deeply Into Her Life In An Account She Populates Affectionately With A Colorful, Often Hilarious Retinue Of Friends, Mega Church Preachers, Relatives, And Doctors Everything Happens For A Reason Tells Her Story, Offering Up Her Irreverent, Hard Won Observations On Dying And The Ways It Has Taught Her To Live.Praise For Everything Happens For A Reason I Fell Hard And Fast For Kate Bowler Her Writing Is Naked, Elegant, And Gripping She S Like A Christian Joan Didion I Left Kate S Story Feeling Present, Grateful, And A Hell Of A Lot Less Alone And What Else Is Art For Glennon Doyle, 1 New York Times Bestselling Author Of Love Warrior And President Of Together Rising Sorry to have to say this, but Everything Happens for a Reason is a mess This short book is a memoir of Kate Bowler s Stage IV colon cancer and how her diagnosis flies in the face of the prosperity gospel the notion espoused by some Christians that as long as you believe in God and think positively, good things will happen for you, and therefore if something bad happens it s kind of your own fault Was Kate Bowler previously a devotee of the prosperity gospel, or was she raised in that tradition Why, no She was raised in the Mennonite tradition She s a professor at Duke divinity school and did her dissertation on the prosperity gospel, so she knows a lot about it, but has no actual personal lived experience with it at all Analyzing a particular area of Christian belief in relation to her cancer might work for a short essay, but it doesn t work for a book length memoir Memoirs are supposed to be personal Bowler discusses the prosperity gospel for so many pages, and after a while it just seemed pointless She doesn t believe in the prosperity gospel herself, so what does it really have to do with anything The book otherwise just meanders It touches on her Mennonite background and other religious
I spend my days asking Why Why do people get stuck in poverty Why do mosquitoes spread malaria Being curious and trying to explain the world around us is part of what makes life interesting It s also good for the world scientific discoveries happen because someone insisted on solving some mystery And it s human nature, as anyone who s fielded an endless series of questions from an inquisitive 5 year old can tell you.But as Kate Bowler shows in her wonderful new memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I ve Loved, some why questions can t be answered satisfactorily with facts Bowler was 35 years old, married to her high school sweetheart, and raising their young son when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer When she got sick, she didn t want to know what was making her body s cells mutate and multiply out of control She had deeper questions Why me Is this a test of my character The book is about her search for answers that align with her deeply held religious beliefs A professor at Duke Divinity School in North Carolina, she grew up in a family of Mennonites and wrote a history of the prosperity gospel, the idea popular among some Christians that God rewards the faithful with health and wealth Before she got sick, Bowler didn t subscribe to the prosperity gos
This was the 2018 title I was most looking forward to reading, and it didn t disappoint I devoured it in one day It combines two of my niche interests medical especially cancer memoirs, and the prosperity gospel, a dubious theology I grew up with in the Pentecostal church my parents still attend in America Indeed, Bowler s previous book is a history of the prosperity gospel in America Though she grew up surrounded by the Canadian Mennonite tradition, as she made progress towards becoming an assistant professor at Duke Divinity School she was fascinated by prosperity theology the idea that you can claim God s blessings, financial and otherwise, as a reward for righteous behavior and generous giving to the church.If she d ever been tempted to set store by this notion, that certainty was permanently fractured when she was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in her mid thirties In a spiritual world in which healing is a divine right, illness is a symptom of unconfessed sin, that way of thinking went Having incurable cancer forced her to acknowledge that nothing is actually that simple that there is no direct correlation between the quality of your faith and the outcomes you experience Control is a drug and we are all hooked, she realized, when really life, with all its beauty and awfulness, is down to luck Bowler writes tenderly about suffering and surrender, and about living in
Everything Happens for a Reason And Other Lies I ve Loved is a propulsive memoir about a young woman s sudden, dramatic diagnosis of stage four cancer after months, possibly years the timeline is fuzzy , of inexplicable symptoms and innumerable, pointless appointments with medical specialists Some might frame a personal narrative like Bowler s in terms of the uncertainty of medical science, reflecting on the imperfection and limitations of humans as diagnosticians and care givers Hindsight, of course, is 20 20, but it is evident that the many specialists Bowler saw were guilty of the biases and egregious errors in thinking that a number of medical writers, most notably oncologist Jerome Groopman in his How Doctors Think and Your Medical Mind , have in recent years brought to public attention Some of the clinicians Bowler encountered were also guilty of appalling insensitivity A junior doctor was sent in the early morning hours to inform her about her survival odds she had a 30 to 50 % chance of surviving two years, she was bluntly told A physician s assistant who checked her sutures after her surgery asked her h
I started this book in the waiting room at the dentist, which was a mistake, in part because I m always about to cry at the dentist and also because the dentist does not deserve to witness my deep wonder So I did what any reasonable person should and finished this book at home in bed on a slow morning And gosh I m glad my roommates weren t home because I oscillated between an ugly cry and a full belly laugh in the course of like three pages Kate s voice is incisive and thoughtful and honest and also breaks your heart open I know that s not an adjective, but I m so impressed I ve g
I feel like I get to be honest here I don t have to feel bad for this woman although, I do , but I do feel like I can judge in a non biased view given my own Stage IV diagnosis Every cancer memoir or article that is published is going to influence people s view about our illness, mortality, etc Here s the thing none of us can know what s to come and religion won t tell us the truth To me, she explored and over shared her
Prior to reading this book, it was recommended to me by one of my good friends We were discussing how we love to believe all the cliches such as Everything happens for a reason Needless to say, I was very excited to read this, and by doing so, this has become my favorite book I read so far Before I start my review, I am going to start of with some of my favorites quotes from the book I wanted to make God to make me good and make me faithful,with just a few shining accolades along the way Anything would do do if hardship were only detours on my long way life s journey I believed God would make a way I don t believe that any What would it mean for Christians to give up that little piece of the American Dream that says, You are limitless Everything is not possible The mighty Kingdom of God is not yet here What if rich did not have to mean wealthy, and whole did not have to mean healed What if being people of the the gospel meant that we are simply people with good news God is here We are loved It is enough When someone is drowning, the only thing worse than failing to throw them a life preserver is handing them a reason Kate Bowler believed in a lot of cliches and religious sayings,until she was diagnosed with cancer Now she tells her story of the prosperity gospel and how detrimental it is to people who believe in teaching that does not reflect the true nature of God I can relate to this book so much, not only the quotes that she used but I gr
. I was drawn to this book because I ve noticed that there seems to be a widespread belief that we are completely in control of our destinies Think of all the articles and books that tell us what to eat, how much exercise to get, what to invest our money in, etc, etc to live a long and healthy life Conversely, if you do experience financial difficulties or serious health problems, you must have done something wrong or something to deserve it I ve recently experienced some health issues, and many people have commented that they either can t believe that I got that or asked me what I did to get it or think all I need to do to get better is a positive attitude My thought if we re human and living on earth, shit is going to happen While there is some connection with my beliefs and Bowler s experience and premise for this book, I had never heard of the Christian creed of prosperity gospel Indeed her previous book Blessed A History of the American Prosperity Gospel was based on her belief in and her study of this phenomenon Basically it purports that if you re good enough and you believe enough God will bestow wonderful things upon you and, conversely, if you re not doing the right
A portion of this book was striking in its special way of describing mundane aspects of life and how meaningful they are when you ve got a terminal illness However, its narrative style was absolutely jarring and so hard to follow Also, I felt that a huge portion of the book was not relatable because of the author s privileged background and narrow sample of demographics I was hoping for a bit reflection or insight on the topic of prosperity gospel, but I felt all it had to offer were snippy and oftentimes judgy comments not limited to prosperity gospel or limited to ideas in general Sanctimonious is a perfect word to describe the tone of book and the author s way of thinking Although I have a lot of sympathy for any kind of suffering, I also do

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  • Paperback
  • 208 pages
  • Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved
  • Kate Bowler
  • 22 July 2018
  • 9780399592089