Debie Monax had a plan. She would marry, have children, and work to support herself and her family as a successful accountant—end of story. She never imagined her plans would be completely derailed by Multiple Sclerosis. In this memoir, she shares her intimate story of loss and spiritual path to healing and acceptance.
Prior to her diagnosis in 2000, Monax believed logical thinking and analysis could solve any problem. But dealing with her disease while maintaining a marriage, undergoing fertility treatments, raising her daughter, losing her father, and even dealing with the devastation of a miscarriage often proves overwhelming.
The book explores Monax’s deep-seated spiritual beliefs and the acceptance of her circumstances she found from God. Her certainty that everything happens for a reason and that Jesus is with her “every step of the way” has allowed her to achieve her true purpose: sharing her story with other sufferers.
Monax writes in a folksy style that can be distracting, using phrases such as “by the way,” plentiful exclamation marks (“you know, where I wasn’t perfect! Gasp!”), and devices chosen for emphasis (“so-o-o-o”; “loved it!”). Her prose is sometimes puzzling: Regarding the miscarriage, she relates, “The experience was incredibly real for me, yet it was an unambiguous loss.”
Perhaps the biggest drawback, however, are her comments about the unfairness of her situation. Discussing her diagnosis, she writes that unlike MS, which has no cure, cancer at least has “a process to recovery”—overlooking the fact that many cancer patients die. Later, she notes, “I can hardly stand the disappointment of not having everything I want. Especially when it seems like everyone else can do and have everything they want.” Such statements make her less sympathetic to readers.
Woman Plans, God Laughs is written from a deeply personal and vulnerable perspective. Christian readers who have experienced disabling disease or loss may find solace here. For those with different spiritual views, however, the book will likely have limited appeal.
Also available as an ebook.