I have watched the ministries of Sally and Nathan over the years, and I’m thrilled to see how God has used a “different” boy to bless so many. This is a book of hope and inspiration told through the eyes of a mom who, like so many parents today, must deal with the day-to-day challenges of working with a unique and special child.
As a mother of two outside-the-box children, I found myself tearing up and nodding my head in agreement as I read Different. In the end, I felt so very grateful for this book. Sally and Nathan are both vulnerable and real as they describe the day-to-day life of a “different” child. Reading the unique perspectives of both mother and child is powerful. Moreover, the love that flows throughout this book makes even the most difficult experiences hope-filled and encouraging. I cannot recommend Different enough!
For decades, Sally Clarkson has been a strong, wise guide for families. In Different, she is more vulnerable than ever before, recording a memoir of moving through a refining experience and sharing her notes from the journey. She and her son Nathan recount this ongoing struggle with faith-affirming honesty, offering insight and hope for families who face similarly bewildering battles. An at-times-painful story, Different is honest about Sally’s and Nathan’s progress without ending in a neat and tidy total victory. Instead, the book invites us into a faithful, resolved embrace of the story God is weaving even through the most painful and perplexing of our weaknesses.
In Different, Sally Clarkson invited me to pursue God’s heart for my own outside-the-box child. Her seasoned and experienced words lifted this mama’s eyes off What could be wrong with my child? or What could be wrong with me? and on to Christ and all the possibilities of His beauty and power in the life of a person. This is a message for every parent’s heart. I recommend these pages both to those who feel like they have outside-the-box children and to those whose children color within the lines.
Sally’s and Nathan’s voices are needed in this day and age of parenting. This book was an encouragement for me on so many levels, as a mama, friend, and woman in ministry. Both Sally and Nathan display the love and grace of Jesus toward each other, and that is a message that transfers to people all over the world.
Mental illnesses are not casserole diseases. Well-meaning folks don’t show up on your porch with a covered dish and a shoulder to cry on when your child is struggling with mental illness. But you wish they would. With this book, Sally Clarkson offers weary moms the nourishing feast for which they are starved. With equal parts empathy and wisdom, she breathes hope into the lives of parents who daily labor to lovingly raise outside-the-box children. Nathan grants us unprecedented, invaluable insight into the mind of the child as he grows. Sally assures us that though we will certainly be challenged, humbled, and humiliated, this story is not about us, but about being faithful to God to raise a uniquely challenged and challenging child. With warm understanding, she gives us tangible tools and healthy, hearty food for the journey.
Sally has protected her family by keeping certain stories hidden from the public sphere until now. In Different, we are offered a vulnerable look behind the curtain into the story of a son with mental illness and a mother who fought to love well even when it felt impossible. The stories and truths in Different have not been shared before, and they will absolutely bring hope and freedom to those who struggle with their “different” children and think, I can’t do this; it’s just too hard. If you have an outside-the-box child, this is a must-read.
Raw and uplifting, this book is the assurance for weary moms everywhere: You don’t have to feel inadequate or alone anymore. We all long to see our outside-the-box children as blessings, but sometimes that feels impossible. This book gives us the grace to struggle through it. Thank you, Nathan and Sally. Both of you are brave and beautiful.