I Choose to be Happy

A School Shooting Survivor's Triumph Over Tragedy

Non-Fiction - Autobiography
298 Pages
Reviewed on 03/23/2009
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

I remember praying as I listened to the tragedy unfold in 1997. The setting was Paducah, Kentucky, only 150 miles from the small Kentucky community I live in. Michael Carneal opened fire in Heath High School. The boom of the gun shots echoed throughout the school. To the horror of the faculty and students, three were dead and five were injured.

Missy Jenkins is a courageous person. She faced the challenges and overcame them. Jenkins forgave Michael Carneal. Forgiveness is taught by Jesus Christ. The title of this book says it all, I Choose to be Happy. As I looked at the photos of Missy and observed the sunshine of her smile, I was reminded that happiness is a choice we make. Missy brings many of us to shame. I Choose to be Happy is well written. I found myself in tears as I read the events on that fateful day. I found myself praising God that Missy could walk again. May God continue to bless Missy Jenkins.

Dan and Judy

I remember hearing the news and being in shock that an event like a school shooting could happen in our area. I watched the funeral and was amazed by the coverage our small community received from around the world. I have traveled quite a bit and many people knew of Paducah because of the school shooting.

Missy and I were at a book fair recently where I bought her book. I finished reading it last night and was amazed by her attitude, her gift of forgiveness, and her perseverance of faith in a Sovereign God. She stated many times that her faith, attitude, and willingness to focus on the positives that came from the tradegy have been blessings she would not have had otherwise. Her story is an inspiration and example for all of us.

I have taught my children and grandchildren that God has a special purpose for them. I use Ephesians 2:10 as the basis for that teaching. I believe Missy is an example of what Ephesians 2:10 teaches.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God knows his plans for us and He is never surprised by the events that come to us through this life. I look forward to the day that Missy can walk, run and hear her Savior say "Well done, good and faithful servant!" She represents her Savior well in word and deed. My prayer is that Josh and Missy will always keep their focus on the God who sustains them and us.

Dan Tankersley, Co-Author of The Rain