When I sat down to read Hope Upon Impact the world seemed to be in total chaos.
I began this story and was pleasantly removed from the outside (and my inside thoughts) immediately.
I was transported to a backyard battlefield where all hope could have for sure been lost, but because of a family strongly rooted in their Catholic faith, that battle was won in the most beautiful of ways.
Julie Overlease, author and most importantly, mom whose world was completely turned upside down by a tree branch gone down, opens an incredibly deep wound to the world in this book.
Overlease takes readers along memories of the scariest moment of her life, when her twelve-year-old daughter, Evelyn, was struck by a falling branch.
In God’s perfect timing, about a month before I began reading this story, a seemingly small branch fell from a tall oak tree in our backyard. As I stood next to this branch that towered over me, I was in awe of its’ magnitude. I stared down at the piece of earth the branch had deeply severed and remembered about this book I had been wanting to steal time away to read. I thought about this branch bracing its’ fall on Evelyn’s skull and shivers went down my spine. And the thought…how could she have possibly survived?
Hope Upon Impact is a story about Evelyn’s miraculous recovery, yes, but readers leave with much more.
If you have ever wondered “why do bad things happen to good people,” read this book.
If you have ever struggled with faith, read this book.
If you have gone through a traumatic experience and feel alone, read this book.
If you have been craving a faith community, read this book, let it fuel that desire and inspire you to seek (or even start!) a group at your parish.
I will say that my favorite aspect to this story was Overlease’s honesty about her faith.
This is definitely a story about God meeting us where we are in our faith walk and providing specifically for our souls.
The way Overlease lays out God’s orchestration of this event is striking and can’t help but fill you with hope. The smallest details of this family’s life were all brought together to save Evelyn and strengthen faith through a terrible, yet somehow, beautiful event.
Only God, only God.
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Text Copyright Stephanie Stovall 2020