I recently had the privilege of reading a book that completely transformed the way I look at my life. This book is titled 'Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwanda Holocaust' by Immaculee Ilibagiza. A friend of mine referred it to me then gave me his copy to read. Initially, I was still in the process of getting my book published therefore it took me about 3 weeks to finally sit down and read this life changing book.
Left To Tell is the amazing story of one woman's journey of survival during the 1994 Rwanda genocide in Africa. By the grace of God and her faith, this brave woman survived 3 months in probably the tiniest bathroom ever with 7 other women while people were hunting them down to kill them. During this genocide, 1 million Tutsi's were killed by their fellow tribesmen the Hutu's, which means it was people who knew her that were hunting her down. I could not imagine going through such a horrific situation. I have never shed so many tears from reading a book until this one crossed my path.
The reason the title of this post is "Read this book and let go of your fears" is because it truly put things into perspective for me. In 1994, I was turning 7 years old, I was safe and sound here in America while the Tutsi's were being slaughtered by people they knew. My heart wept for Immaculee throughout the entire book as I read about how her family was taken from this world. As humans, we often times forget that the tiny problems we have are minuscule compared to what others have gone through. This book has made me extremely thankful for the life that I have and allowed me to really release a lot of fear that was holding me back. Fear is so stupid when you think about the possibility of never being able to see the light of day again. Fear is so stupid when you put yourself in this woman's shoes by reading her words and imagine experiencing what she did.
I must admit that my fear was speaking in front of a large group of people. I am now working on making that fear into my strength as I work towards becoming a speaker to spread the message contained within my book out to the world. Every time I speak somewhere I will be sure to mention this powerful book that forced me to let go of the ridiculous fear I had that was holding me back.
I encourage everyone reading this to purchase a copy of this book and place yourself in Immaculee's position. (I have included 2 ways to purchase below) If you allow her words to touch your heart, I promise you will never look at life in the same way again. I purchased my own copy a few days before I returned the one I borrowed and I will definitely be reading it again and again. Life is too short to have fears, life is too beautiful to not enjoy it. Live your life and be happy, it is a gift.