Book Review: Everything Happens For A Reason And Other Lies That I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler

As the title of the book says “Everything Happen for a Reason and Other Lies That I’ve Loved”, it tries to find out the truth in the phrases that we hear on common basis. We, at some part of our lives have experienced this, people often say, we also sometimes, that everything happens for a reason. But is it always like this? What do you think about it? In this book, the author tries to explain us that at some point of time these are just lies, not facts. Not everything happens for a reason. If it does, who owes the explanation for whatever happens in our lives?

The motivational book “Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies That I’ve Loved” by Kate Bowler, is a good read that inspires the reader. The words straight comes from the heart and mind of a person who is suffering from cancer. The book is a journey of a cancer patient who is also a daughter, a wife and a mother who is longing to live for her child, see him grow everyday but doesn’t know whether she will be able to make it or not.

Nothing was broken yet that could not be fixed. But what gives the prosperity movement breadth and depth for many is its through accounting for the pain of life, and for the longing we have for restoration.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: xvii, Preface)

I deserve what I get, I earn my keep and keep my share. In a world of fair, nothing clung to can ever slip away.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 8)

Like any other human being, the author, in her hard times, trying to find answers in the spiritual world. She, being an assistant professor at Duke Divinity School, student of prosperity gospel, looks for answers everywhere. Why is she suffering? What caused the suffering? Is it the past deeds or anything else?

In a spiritual world in which healing is a divine right, illness is a symptom of unconfessed sin – a symptom of a lack of forgiveness, unfaithfulness, unexamined attitudes or careless words. A suffering believer is a puzzle to be solved. What had caused this to happen?

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 16)

Spiritual laws offer an elegant solution to the problem of unfairness. They create a Newtonian universe in which the chaos of the world seems reducible to simple cause and effect.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 25)

I was trying everything and caring less about whether it made any sense. I just needed it to work.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 31)

As someone who has never had overly mushy feelings about babies, I have to say it was the most bizarre feeling I had ever had. It felt like something had pushed the reset button and my life had only begun. I should have asked for a birth certificate for myself.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 50)

This is what a new born mother feels after delivering a baby. She is in immense love with her child but her life feels like upside down. Her life feels like full of emotions for her child and her life. She has to balance everything around her child. Definitely it’s a rebirth of her also.

Live unburdened. Live free. Live without forevers that don’t always come.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 60)

I keep having the same unkind thought – I am preparing for death and everyone else is on Instagram. I know that’s not fair – that life is hard for everyone – but I sometimes feel like I’m the only one in the world who is dying.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 63)

With age we slowly lose our senses and even our pleasures, our parents and then our friends, preparing us for our own absence. An interesting thoughts.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg: 69)

What we gain with our age and what we lose are two different things. We gain maturity, sense of gratitude, feeling of completeness, we genuinely grow older in our thoughts. What we lose are people, we lose our parents, our friends, many times our kids, loss is big, but we live.

The world cannot be remade by the sheer force of love. A brutal world demands capitulation to what seems impossible – separation. Brokenness. An end without an ending.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:70)

The spring is trying to make everything new, but my world feels increasingly dark.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:114)

But they offered me this small bit of certainty, and I clung to it. When the feeling recede like the tides, they said, they will leave an imprint. I would somehow be marked by the presence of an unbidden God.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:122)

I can’t reconcile the way that the world is jolted by events that are wonderful and terrible, the gorgeous and the tragic. Except I am beginning to believe that these opposites do not cancel each other out.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:123)

GOD, we can feel Him, in happiness and in grief. We thank him when we feel obliged to Him for the blessings that He bestows on us. We also fight with Him, become sad from Him, ask questions for the grief and pain that we think He has given us. Like wise the author feels blessed for the son and the family she has but also questions Him for the intense grief that she has due to the colon cancer that has eventually changed her life completely.

The horror of cancer has made everything seem like it is painted in bright colors. I think the same thoughts again and again: Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:123)

Sometimes this ability to live in the moment feels like a gift. My pain pain feels connected to the pain of others somehow, I notice the look of exhaustion on the young mom’s face at the grocery store and help her with her cart. I stop to talk to the homeless man sitting on the corner. I give money away more freely, less begrudgingly. I can see now how hard people work to keep it together, but the walls that keep their lives from falling apart are brittle.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:144)

God, I am walking to the edge of a cliff. Build me a bridge, I need to get to the other side.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:145)

It feels impossible to translate the kernel of truth: I’m not dying. I am not terminal. I am keeping vigil in the place of almost death. I stand in the in-between where everyone must pass, but so few can remain.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:147)

The world is a balance sheet. Subtract from one column, add to another, as if we could all agree to share pieces of this too-short, too-short, too-long life.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:149)

But I don’t want ice cream, I want a world where there is no need fo pediatric oncology, UNICEF, military budgets, or suicidal rails on the top floor of tall buildings. The world would drip with mercy. Thy kingdom come, I pray, and my heart aches. And my tongue trips over the rest. Thy will be done.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:151)

I failed to love what was present and decided to love what was possible instead. I must learn to live in ordinary time, but I don’t know how.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:156)

Plans are made. Plans come apart. New delights or tragedies pop up in their place. And nothing human or divine will map out this life, this life that has been more painful than I could have imagined. More beautiful than I could have imagined.

Kate Bowler (Everything Happens For A Reason, Pg:161)

A short list of what not to say and what to say to people suffering with terminal disease or intense pain is truly incredible. Through this book I got to learn how we often become judgmental and pass our comments without understanding the person who is in pain or completely lost due to sudden changes. We should be careful while choosing our words and framing sentences for people suffering with terminal illness because they do not need that sad look or our judgements. What they need is just a feeling that we are with them. They do not need sympathy, they need love, care and support.

The feeling of the author are real, intense, full of emotion, happiness and sadness. The book is not a sad story, it is a mixture of feelings, emotions, courage, breakdowns, etc. The story is about a family, how it fights from cancer, about the friends who stand by her friend in the crucial time. I bet, you will enjoy reading this autobiography. The book is a good read indeed.

Thank you for stopping by and reading 📖🙏🙏.

About Dr Namrata, Ph.D.

Author is a PhD in Botany (Environmental Science) with keen interest in Biotechnology and Research work. Currently, she is a full time blogger, posting her views and thoughts related to Science and Life.

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