Rob Bare’s new book Braving Your Adversity: Life Strategies to Endure Your Road Ahead With Hope, Faith, and Courage is part memoir and part self-help/personal development book. In it, Rob tells the story of his and his wife’s relationship, which culminated in her truly epic battle to defeat cancer. Cancer may have won the battle, but Tiffany won the war. Tiffany came away a winner because of her courage, positive attitude, and ability to provide powerful lessons to everyone involved in her battle. While Rob thought he was helping her, in the end he realized she had helped him by modeling strategies for dealing with adversity in every aspect of life.
Tiffany’s journey is amazing because she fought cancer for years and Rob, their children, extended family members, and friends all rode the cancer roller coaster with her as she went from being diagnosed, to fighting, to being declared cancer-free, to having the cancer return, to ultimately losing the battle. Tiffany’s journey models strength, courage, resilience, the power of faith in God to provide comfort in the darkest moments, and for those who loved her, how to reconcile yourself to loss.
I won’t reiterate all of Rob and Tiffany’s story here-it would take away from the transformative magic of reading this book-but I will add that it’s not all sorrow. There are comical moments such as how Rob and Tiffany met, and heartfelt moments of family and career success. But more important even than Tiffany’s cancer battle is that this book has been written to help the reader who is fighting through their own adversities. While Tiffany’s body may be gone, her spirit will live on so long as she can help others through her story, and Rob has become the instrument to make that happen.
As an added plus, interspersed with Tiffany’s story are stories of other people who defeated the odds to succeed. Two examples include Jim Kelly, who not only played professional football but endured the loss of his son, and Florence Chadwick, the first woman to succeed in swimming across the Catalina Channel. Plus, there are great stories about Rob’s track team and their accomplishments.
Throughout Braving Your Adversity, Rob offers practical advice, based on his hard-won experiences, about how to overcome whatever obstacles you face. Each chapter includes exercises so the reader can reflect on Tiffany’s challenges as well as their current difficult situation so they can make informed decisions about actions they can take to change. For example, the first chapter ends with these exercise questions:
1. Who do you love from your family/circle of friends who is braving some type of adversity (disease, illness, mental health, etc.)?
2. Why are you willing to fight so hard for them?
3. What are some ways you can overcome adversity? List specific strategies, people to turn to, etc.
4. How has God shown up in your life during times of great adversity?
One benefit of these types of questions is they make the reader focus not just on their current adversity but on past situations in their lives that they have overcome and can draw lessons from for facing their current situation.
Of extreme significance in the book is Rob and Tiffany’s constant faith in God. They never forgot to thank God for small benefits throughout her journey, and they felt God’s presence even in the darkest moments. Tiffany was herself always an example of positivity and faith, and at times it seemed like she was the one doing the comforting rather than needing the comfort. She even went so far as to tell Rob she wanted him to remarry when she was gone. I’ll let you read for yourself how that turned out.
Braving Your Adversity is a heartfelt piece of advice based on real-life experience. Readers will discover anew how to believe in themselves and be encouraged to fight on, no matter what obstacles they face. I have no doubt this book will inspire you never to give up and to make a plan for your future that will pull you out of whatever situation you are in. As both Rob and Tiffany would tell you, no matter what problems you are facing, the struggle will all be worth it because of the incredible person you will become once you have put it behind you.
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