We all know that there are times when we are helpless. When we have to surrender control to those who are better able to act that we are. But what about when those times involve loved ones?
Miriam Biehn faced dozens of times when she was forced to stand by and watch her daughter being wheeled into surgery—not knowing what the outcome would be.
Maybe you haven’t faced something quite like that in your life. Maybe you have. But all of us, without fail, face moments when we need to recognize that letting God control a situation means letting go of it ourselves.
Many times that means waiting while our dearest hopes and dreams are wheeled “beyond the door,” and we are left with the choice to trust them in the hands of the One who never makes mistakes.
- Title: Beyond the Door
- Author: Miriam Biehn
- Publisher: Christian Light
- Genre: Medical True Stories
- Number of Pages: 181
- Theme: Trusting God in the hard times
- Age Range: Youth and Adult
- Source: Christian Light, Amazon
It all began when they discovered a mass in the abdomen of their otherwise healthy baby. What could it mean? Little did Roy and Miriam Biehn imagine what they were to face in the years ahead. Throughout Sarah’s short and pain-ridden life, waiting outside operating-room doors was something that was almost to become normal.
But what about when it came to standing with Sarah outside the doors of eternity?
This true story of a girl’s incredible struggles and her mother’s journey down the valley of the shadow with her, will bring tears to your eyes and challenge you to a new perspective on life.
SAW Rating System
We have recently altered our reviewing system using the model of our poetry grading worksheet. For an explanation of the new system, see our introductory post.
Command of language—6/10
Impact of the book—8/10
Innocence regarding evil—8/10
Active promotion of good—7/10
Level of spiritual challenge—8/10
Healthy view of life—7/10
Items of Note
Romance and morality
Brief mention of a common-law relationship.
Sarah faced serious and unpleasant health issues during her life, some of these relating to awkward or personal issues. References to such topics are worded fairly discreetly, but some of the details of her conditions and symptoms may be disturbing or unpleasant to some readers. Medical details of a few other people in the story are handled the same way.
There is a brief reference to overcoming suicidal thoughts through prayer. Another hint about a possibly suicidal person is handled very gracefully.
Sarah’s last days and hours are portrayed vividly, along with the emotions of grief and her grappling with fear and acceptance of death. They are not gratuitous but may require some processing for a younger or more sensitive audience.
Alcohol and drug use (includes tobacco)
This book is written from a conservative Mennonite perspective but is quite appropriate to a much wider audience.
Family roles and behavior
Mature subject matter
Beyond the Door—A Challenge to Each of Us.
Even reading this story for the second time, I found myself fighting through a blur of tears as Sarah passed “beyond the door” for the last time, leaving Miriam with no choice but to resign her into the hands of the Master Physician—this time for eternity.
In our world of life and busyness, sometimes it’s good to pause for a moment and consider where our priorities really are. None of us is guaranteed a long life—all of us will die sometime.
How will we be ready for that moment when the door opens for us too? What will be the things we wish we would have done and said and invested in?
I think of a line I read recently in the obituary of a friend’s niece, who passed away this spring from cancer. She was only nineteen. Her obituary records, “She lived life with a purposeful intensity, knowing her time on earth could be cut very short.”
I never met her. I never met Sarah Biehn either. But like both of them—whether I live a long life or a short life—I’d like to live every moment with “purposeful intensity.” I’d like to live so that my life could touch others for Jesus—perhaps even long after I am gone.
Looking for other compelling stories of medical challenges met in faith to God? See our review of Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson:
- Shaking Hands with Mr. Parkinson—Book Review
- Seventeen-Ounce Miracle—Book Review