Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Gift of the Unexpected: Discovering Who You Were Meant to Be When Life Goes Off Plan by Jillian Benfield: Book Review

  *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

What if the unexpected is the beginning of becoming your truest self?

Jillian Benfield was living life in the spotlight as a TV journalist, but after receiving a life-altering diagnosis for her unborn son, she realized no camera-ready outfit could dress up her grief.

Overcoming this unexpected circumstance wasn't an option. She would have to
 undergo it instead. In doing so, she discovered who she was and who God wanted her to become.

In this riveting story filled with grit and grace, Jillian helps you break down the false constructs you've built around God and your identity. You won't avoid your pain, but you'll learn to feel it, in a healing way. And you'll discover how your internal transformation leads to external purpose.

No matter what you're going through, you're invited to open this gift: 
The Gift of the Unexpected

Jillian Benfield ( is a former journalist and news anchor. She holds a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Georgia. As a freelance writer, her essays about living an unexpected life have appeared on sites such as TODAY, Good Morning America, Yahoo! News, and ABC News. Jillian regularly advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in her writings, community, and as a part of the National Down Syndrome Congress's National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition. Jillian and her husband, Andy, and their three children make their home on Florida's Space Coast.

I like to have a plan. As someone who deals with anxiety, I like to know exactly what it going to happen next so that I can prepare myself appropriately. But if there is one thing that we can expect in life with certainty... it is the unexpected. No matter our planning, life has a way of sending the unexpecting to shake things up. 

The unexpected looks different for each of us. In this book, the author takes us on her journey of learning that her child has Down syndrome. As such, this is a book that many parents who have a child with special needs of any kind might relate to on a much deeper level...still, it's not just for those people, but for every one of us who has had our world flipped upside down by the unexpected...whatever that might mean for us. It is filled with messages of faith and encouragement, with questions to help us reflect upon the reading as well. 

If you have ever had life throw you something unexpected (who hasn't?) and struggled to find God in that, this might be one worth checking out.


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"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24