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.