Parting The Waters

March 13, 2009 | 7 comments

An open letter to Jeanne Damoff, author of “Parting the Waters.”

Dear Jeanne,

The ripples reached my rural Iowa doorstep this week.

I agreed to participate in the blog tour for your book, Parting the Waters, clear back in January. But a few days before your tour, I was in a car accident, and then my father-in-law died. I received the book in the mail during that difficult week, but did not participate in the blog tour.

Yet the words on the front cover beckoned me: “Finding Beauty in Brokenness.”

The book lay on my bedside table for two months as we grieved Paul’s loss, as I recovered physically from my accident, as we began to see beauty in the brokenness here in Iowa.

But then last week, I opened the book during a vacation, a needed respite for our family. And Jeanne, I couldn’t put it down.

Without sugar-coating your pain, you told the story of your son, Jacob, and his near-drowning. You shared your fear, your anger, your clinging to God.

You told of the way the community rallied around you, and you shared such touching personal moments, like when you read Scripture to your son. Doctors said Jacob was in a “persistent vegetative state.” Yet, you held fast.

I picture you, as you leaned over your comatose son and prayed: “Lord, in Your mercy, please let Jacob behold beautiful mysteries in his spirit. … I ask You to commune with him face to face.”

You told of the “slow, steady ripples” of Jacob’s story, how God has used him to endear the hearts of friends and strangers. Those ripples have reached my heart, too. Your testimony is a reminder of the powerful combination of human prayer and divine grace.

It’s also a reminder of what it means to worship unrestrained. I can’t get that image of Jacob out of my head as he praises God with singing. I would love to go to a Chris Tomlin or Third Day concert with Jacob Damoff.

Here at Getting Down With Jesus, we’ve been talking a lot lately about beautiful irony, how our faith is built on unexpected reversals of destiny.

Beauty … in brokenness. Triumph … from pain. God’s strength … in our weakness. The sinless One … became sin for us.

Such beautiful irony, this faith.

Jeanne, I know this isn’t the typical book review. But I couldn’t help it. I feel like I know you now. And I had to just write you and tell you how much I appreciated Parting the Waters.

As I close, I share this short video clip with my friends who stop by GDWJ. What a blessing it was to see the faces behind the names in Parting the Waters.

God bless you.

Because of Jesus …


Note to the readers of GDWJ (and I pray there are a few of you today of all days!): If you are interested in knowing more about the book, or are interested in purchasing it, you may click on the following links: or Amazon.

by | March 13, 2009 | 7 comments


  1. Jeanne Damoff

    Dear Jennifer,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I would not mind it one bit if all reviews were as atypical as this one. May our kind, beautiful Lord (the One who listens and delights when Jacob “sings”) meet you tenderly in your grief.

    “Such beautiful irony, this faith.” Yes. Amen. He is eternal. He is near.

    Grace and peace to you.
    Love, Jeanne

  2. Billy Coffey

    I had the pleasure of reviewing this book as well, and I cannot emphasize more what you’ve said here.

    None of us are spared from the horrible moments of life. And none of us are spared from the grace those moments can bring if we’re willing to reach out in faith.

  3. sharilyn

    wow. you’ve convinced me that i must read this book! 🙂 i got chills watching the video clip. thanks, jennifer!

  4. Daughter of the King

    The video has brought tears to my eyes. I honestly can’t wait to read the book. Your review is beautiful as well.

    Thank you for sharing, Jennifer!

  5. Rod and Jean B

    This reminds me of a book “The Tear Catcher” which follows a couple through the trials of cancer — Think Sandy Thomas has a copy. The famous line of Bruce’s was “Either way, I win”.
    We got to know Lynn very well when we worked at her church last summer. Enjoy you writings very much and look for it every day as does Jean too.

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  7. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    Even before watching the short video clip I had tears in my eyes. I think in some ways we’ve all been there; a place of unexpected tragedy from what WE planned and holding onto dear hope for God’s healing and restoration. The story behind this family sounds very touching and awesome. It’s so amazing and beautiful to witness first hand what God can do in one’s life.


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