The Gift Of Love
By Amy Clipston
To be published by Zondervan on March 4th, 2014
Amy Clipston is a popular writer of Amish-themed fiction (including my favourite series, the Kauffman Amish Bakery series) and I was delighted to see that she has now written an autobiographical account of her momentous decision to undergo major surgery and become a kidney donor to someone else so that her husband Joe could himself receive a desperately needed kidney transplant .This was not the first hardship to hit her family; her beloved father had a massive and life-changing stroke, becoming a changed personality and whose physical problems and outbursts of anger caused much heartache and anxiety as they all worked together to deal with each difficulty as it arose.
Amy pulls no punches about how hard it is to see your young and fit husband's health deteriorate terrifyingly quickly to the point that he needs not just a first kidney transplant, but then a second. It would be so easy to portray oneself as almost Mary Poppins-like, trusting, pious and always caring and understanding, but she is very quick to be brutally honest and point out just how hard she and her family found it to deal with Joe's illness and how badly it affected them all, coming very close to pushing their marriage on the rocks and massively testing her faith. Amy was working full-time, caring for Joe and her boys with the help of her mother and writing her novels to try to make ends meet and cover their never-ending medical bills and expenses; against all the odds, a match for Joe was found and their lives were transformed once more.
It really is an inspirational story of how faith, perseverance and courage allowed them to overcome hurdle after hurdle as a couple and as a family, and a delight to read that things turned out well for them in the end.