I received a free copy of this book in order to give an honest review. My affiliate links are used in this post.
I have never had to deal with the heartache of losing someone very close to me. For that I am thankful, although I know that day will come eventually, because no one escapes death. But, to suffer the loss of your child, especially one you’ve anticipated for so long, would be very rough. Parents are supposed to outlive their children. I have had several friends lose a child, most of them as babies. My own mother lost two children (before I was born), an almost 2 year old son from an accident at the house, and six months after his passing, a stillborn daughter. It’s not right. And it certainly isn’t fair. But, all of the individuals I’ve known to have lost a child, they didn’t give up hope. In fact, most of them grew in their faith in the Savior. This is especially true in the book A Story Unfinished: 99 Days with Eliot.
Matt and Ginny Mooney were anxiously awaiting the birth of their first child, a son, only to hear devastating news at their 20 week ultrasound. Their son had major complications. After a test, it was confirmed that their son had Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome, which essentially meant “not viable for life.” But, due to many prayers, their son Eliot was born, and was alive, and kept living, touching hearts, web-toes, clenched fists, and all, for 99 days.
Each day was a miracle and a blessing to the Mooney family. They celebrated each new day, despite the lack of sleep as they took shifts through the night, never leaving Eliot’s side. But, even after his time came to end, they still celebrated. In fact, they created an organization – 99 Balloons – to continue to celebrate his life and life of others with disabilities. It’s why his story is considered A Story Unfinished. They continue to remember him and as they help touch others.
The story is a hard one. But, Matt Mooney shares how his faith was tested and yet strengthened. He shares scriptures, analogies, and perspective, as their son passed away some years ago now. It’s a moving story. I enjoyed reading it, even if it wasn’t necessarily written like a great story (they gave away the ending much too soon to build good suspense), but I can see how this story would be especially great to someone who was going through a similar journey. A Story Unfinished is really a great sermon about overcoming death and loss.
“For God was there for me, despite me. His love did not wane when my faith weakened. He was sufficient, a truth displayed most brilliantly in the blinding light of my own insufficiency. When I cannot pray harder, when I am unable to conjure up more belief within my own bones, He never leaves. His God-ness and His good-ness do not rely or require of me what I cannot do without Him.”
I really appreciate how honest he was with his situation and his lack of faith at times, giving helpful advice to others who may in this situation, or may be trying to help others in this situation, as well as what to do once a child has passed. It is very helpful for me to receive that insider’s perspective, because as an outsider it is all too easy to move on much quicker than the person grieving.
If you have suffered lost, or someone close to you has, I would definitely recommend A Story Unfinished: 99 Days with Eliot.
What has been helpful to you during a tough situation? How did your faith grow or diminish?