Book Review: The Most Beautiful Disaster

I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.

“This is a book about how God can take your brokenness and your mistakes and make something beautiful out of them,” Hope Carpenter writes in the introduction of her book, The Most Beautiful Disaster: How God Makes Miracles Out of Our Mistakes (FaithWords, hardcover).

Hope Carpenter co-pastors Redemption Church in San Jose, California with her husband Ron. To encourage and help others, she bravely and honestly tells her story about how God took a hard, disastrous situation in her life and made something beautiful out of it: “I made a series of bad decisions that destroyed my marriage, my family, and my ministry. I messed up, big-time.” Her healing journey began with a lot of prayer, time with God, and daily counseling sessions as she dealt with trauma and pain from her past—and embraced the truth about who she was: “I am God’s beloved. I am chosen. I am worthy. I am enough.” She shares Scriptures that encouraged her, including Romans 8:28 (KJV): All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. She realized that, “Even when you make mistakes, God uses those for good in the end. I’m living proof of that.”

It wasn’t an easy journey—there were hard moments when Carpenter felt she was at the lowest she had ever been. But as she trusted in God’s promises and drew near to Him, she was able to look to the future with hope. As time went on, she experienced healing and breakthrough as God redeemed the brokenness in her life and turned it into something beautiful. Some encouraging thoughts she shares about God’s redemptive work include:

  • God loves you, sin, brokenness, mess-up, and all…. please nestle that truth in your heart and believe it.
  • When you are reduced to nothing, God is up to something.
  • In your deepest, darkest moments, if you call out to God, He will meet you there.
  • Once you’ve reached your lowest point and step aside to allow God to work in you and through you, this is when God can really get started…He [does] it in amazing and miraculous ways. This is the point in my story where the disaster I had created began to transform into something truly beautiful.
  • Messing up does not disqualify us from being loved by and heard by God.
  • The first step toward wholeness is having the courage to do whatever it takes. It is a decision, and you have to be all in.
  • No matter what is in your past, it does not disqualify you…from the miracles He wants to shower on you. Your past doesn’t make you unworthy or limit what you can do for God.
  • God’s desire is for restoration and wholeness. He delights in making all things new.
  • God wants to use your mistakes for His glory…. God wants to bring restitution and restoration into your life. But for God to make your mess beautiful, you have to trust Him enough to let HIm work.
  • Keep your eyes on Him and trust Him enough to let Him do the impossible in your life.
  • Freedom means getting rid of the things that hold you back so that you can serve God and live out your purpose.
  • You cannot possibly go so far off the path that God can’t use your mistakes for His glory. It’s not possible. He wants to redeem them, and He wants to bring you through them and into His freedom.

This book is filled with hope, wisdom, truth, and the reassurance of how very much God loves each one of us. It’s the kind of book you don’t want to put down, as Carpenter unfolds her story of brokenness that God transformed into wholeness and freedom. It encourages us that we can never mess up so much that God can’t redeem the messiness of our lives.

Carpenter shares Scripture and examples from the Bible of how God redeemed people’s mistakes to help them walk in their purpose (Jonah, for example). And He still does that today. Carpenter’s healing journey resulted in a restored marriage, stronger and healthier family relationships, and a thriving ministry. She ends her story with, “If you’re willing to dig in and let God guide your steps, your life will be better than you’ve ever imagined. No one ever said that our lives would be perfect and without pain, but we are promised that God can, and will, make all things beautiful…if we will let Him.”

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