Book Review:  Between Heaven and the Real World

Between Heaven and the Real World

My Story

by Steven Curtis Chapman with Ken Abraham


Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 07 Mar 2017 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of Between Heaven and The Real World through the publisher and Netgalley:

Steven Curtis Chapman is a well loved Christian singer who has seen a great deal of success but he has also suffered great tragedy.

Born on November 21.1962 Steven Curtis Chapman is the son of Judy and Herb Chapman.  He was the second son to the family his older brother Herbie was conceived before their parents were born and Steven was conceived to save their marriage.

Steven father’s Herb was a self taught guitarist and singer with a unique style, but he was well loved.

Growing up his brother Herbie was the best singer in the house,the brothers would sing together Herbie singing the lead.

During his Freshmen year of college after Newcomer Sandi Patty took interest in using one of the songs he had written Steven transferred to Anderson University in Indiana to study music.

Steven Curtis Chapman performed onstage at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time when he was nineteen, but by no stretch of the imagination did that first performance on that stage go smoothly.

Not long after he was introduced Mary Beth Chapman (no relation) and after finding out for certain they weren’t related in anyway they began dating.  On October.13.1984 Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth Chapman were married at Mary Beth’s home church in Springfield Ohio.  Mary Beth was nineteen, and Steven twenty one, they had fifty dollars between them and a Ford Pinto but they were married.  They were unable to have a fancy honeymoon, but Steven did splurge on one night at the Clarion, then they were headed to music city with only fifty dollars in their bank account.

It wasn’t long before troubles in their marriage began to appear but despite the conflict there was much love.

On February 24 1986. Mary Beth delivered a baby girl they named Emily Elizabeth Chapman.  When Emily was only a couple of months old the Chapman’s lost their home and most of their belongings to fire, thankfully no one was injured.

In the Fall of 1986 Steven Curtis Chapman went on tour for the first time.

In May of 1987 Steven Curtis Chapman’s first record  with Sparrow Records (First Hand) was released. 

Shortly after they moved into their new home Mary Beth miscarried their second child.  But on October.2.1989 Mary Beth gave birth to their first Son Caleb.  On February.06.1991 Mary Beth gave birth to another son Will.

Mary Beth battled depression.  Ten years before they would loose their youngest daughter, they grieved for friends who had lost a daughter in an accident.

After years of assistance on the fact that she needed a sister Emily’s parents adopted a little girl from China Shaohannah Hope Chapman gave Emily what she wanted a little sister, but even after insisting she could only do it once Mary Beth and Steven would adopt twice first a sickly little girl named Steven Joy then Maria who was so close in age to Steven it would be like having twins.

One night while they were trying to give Stevey Joy and Maria a bath, and they were wanting none of it Steven came up with the song “Cinderella”.

When she was only four Maria gave her heart to Jesus on February 20 2008, they could not.  OnMay.21.2008 Little Maria was killed in a driveway accident when Will was slowly pulling into the driveway Maria darted in front of the Old Land Cruiser before Will had time to stop.  Despite begging and pleading with God little Maria would not make it.

Even as he was grieving Steven had moments of clarity when he knew his baby girl was in the arms of Jesus.

In 2010 Mary Beth’s book Choosing to See was released. 

Between Heaven and the Real World is a true story of great tragedy, but of great love and even a greater God.

I give Between Heaven and the RealWorld five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.


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