Tracie Miles. Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past to Create a Beautiful Future. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 2014. See here for Bethany House’s page about the book.
Tracie Miles had an abortion. Her book, Your Life Still Counts,
is about how God has used her to reach out to women facing the same
challenges that she faced. Throughout the book, there are stories by
women about how they experienced a significant problem (i.e., recovery
from abuse, a disability), and how God used them to reach out to and to
help people with similar problems. The end of each chapter has
questions to help women to figure out how, with God’s help, they can
find healing and God’s calling for their lives.
What I particularly enjoyed about the book was its stories. Some of
them were from Tracie’s own experiences, which taught Tracie about her
value to God, transparency, and perseverance. My personal favorite was
Tracie’s story about a young man at a ball game who was trying to get a
wave going but did not have any success, yet he kept on trying.
According to Tracie, God used that experience to teach her about the
value of perseverance. The book also shared other anecdotes, such as
the story of how Corrie Ten Bloom and her sister in a concentration camp
learned to appreciate the fleas, for they were keeping Nazi guards away
and allowing them to continue their Bible study. She also describes
the “death-crawl” scene in the Christian movie, Facing the Giants, which is my favorite scene of that movie. Moreover, Tracie draws from stories in the Bible.
Tracie often talks about her resistance to God’s call, since she
believed that God was asking her to leave an excellent job with good
benefits so she could tell her story and reach out to women struggling
over abortion. She was very hesitant to do this, and she questioned
whether she was able to fulfill God’s call. At times in the book, she
presented following God’s call as a leap of faith. I personally would
be very hesitant to take risks without knowing for sure that God was
calling me to do so, or to be overly transparent with people I don’t
know. In my opinion, the book should have discussed discernment and
wisdom more. Still, I appreciated that Tracie said that there are a
variety of ways to serve God: that, even if one does not choose to share
her story, she can allow her story to shape who she is, such that she
can reach people with the love of Christ. Tracie also offered valuable
insights about people allowing God to stretch them a bit, how serving
God can build one’s faith, and yet how one’s salvation is not dependent
on doing tasks for God, but rests in Christ (though Tracie does say that
believing in Christ is transformative, and that impacts what believers
do, on some level).
The book is specifically for women, so I was not its target audience. Still, I appreciated Tracie’s stories and insights.
The publisher sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.