Escape to Real Life

Sad.  Down.  Moody.  Melancholic.  Depressed.I can get that way sometimes.  Not usually depressed, but certainly the others.I have found a solution that always works:  I read a novel.  I get out of my story—and how I am feeling about it—and into another story.  Novels are rarely short, and I can be so drawn in that I stay up all night reading.The novel does the job—it takes me somewhere else.  But that somewhere else was rarely better—just different.One day the Lord gave me a strong challenge:  “Instead of reading novels to escape your mood, why not read about the men and women who have given their lives to serve Me.”  Missionary biographies.  I would still get into other stories—but what stories!  Stories of love and courage, sacrifice and hardship, transformation and hope.  Real life.I will never regret that I said yes.  The impact their lives have had on my life is amazing.So in case you would like to take up the challenge, here are a few of the stories I have entered:A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elizabeth ElliotAmazing Faith: The Authorized Biography of Bill Bright by Michael Lewis RichardsonAutobiography of George Muller by George MüllerBruchko by Bruce OlsonDream Big: The Henrietta Mears Story by Earl RoeIn the Arena by Isobel Kuhn (a powerful story)Mountain Rain: The Biography of J O Fraser Pioneer Missionary to China by Eileen CrossmanNot Less Than Everything: The Courageous Women Who Carried the Christian Gospel to China by Valerie Griffiths  (one of my favorite books)Praying Hyde: The Life of John Praying Hyde by E.G. CarreShadow of the Almighty by Elizabeth ElliotSpiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor by Dr. Howard Taylor, Mrs. Howard TaylorThrough Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot  (from the journals of Jim Elliot)Until the Day Breaks: Life and Work of Lilias Trotter by Patricia St JohnTramp for the Lord by Corrie ten BoomWilliam Carey and the Missionary Vision by Daniel WebberAnd if you don't know who they are, look them up.  You should meet them.