I quickly cut her off. “Jennea – no. That’s it. This whole social media thing – it’s over for you. You’re cutting this thing off right now. No more Facebook.”
Our eyes locked like two opponents squaring off at a UFC fight. But I’d had it. There was no way I was backing down.
“You don’t get it!” She spat back at me, standing up. “My friends are the only ones who make me feel like I don’t want to kill myself!”
No father wants to hear those words. No father wants to know that their only child has contemplated suicide. No father wants to find their daughter cutting themselves from wrist to shoulder, on both arms. But Brian “Head” Welch heard those words, discovered those thoughts, and saw those wounds.
It didn’t matter that he had been a part of the highly successful Nu Metal band KoRn. It didn’t matter that he had given up his life of drugs and alcoholism. It didn’t matter that he had given his whole life to Christ. It didn’t matter that he had quit his band and was trying to offer his daughter a better life. Life was not easy, and was only going to get harder.
With My Eyes Wide Open is Brian Welch’s story of the miracles and mistakes that he and his daughter Jennea went through in the years after his departure from KoRn. There were bright spots. There were moments that were worth celebrating, but not all of them. Welch shares the painful and real experiences that he endured on his spiritual journey, from leaving KoRn To going back to KoRn.
It is rare that a band member would leave a band only to return. Rarer still, a Christian leaving a non-Christian band only to go back to that band years later. But all of this, Welch’s whole story is a grand example of what Romans 8 says, “God works all things together for good”. That includes the good and the bad.
How it all works out…you’ll just have to read With My Eyes Wide Open to find out.
“Over the past ten years, Jesus has walked with me through the most intense suffering of my life – not to punish me, but to cleanse me.” – Brian Welch
I wish that this wasn’t a sequel book. While this is the first book that I have read of Brian Welch’s, it is not the first he has written. In 2007, he wrote Save Me From Myself: How I Found God, Quit KoRn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story. That book was about the drug and alcohol addictions, the crazy things that KoRn did, and how Brian finally had his life turned around by God. If that is what you are really interested, go and read that book.
With My Eyes Wide Open is the sequel, a book about what happens after Save Me From Myself. That doesn’t make it a bad book. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t as powerful or moving. It makes it different. But I think that reading this book right after Welch’s first book would offer a more powerful story, and offer a much fuller picture of what God has done in his life.
It was interesting to hear this half of Brian’s testimony, which both of his books really are. I remember hearing about his conversion and picked this book up because I was curious. While the success in music and the different trials and troubles that Welch faced are things I may never experience, the heart issues resonated with me.
Hearing him talk about the pain he went through taking his daughter to a rehabilitation school made me tear up, praying that I would never know that pain first hand. Hearing him talk about being unsure of what God was calling him to next made my heart smile, reminding me that I’m not alone in what I’m feeling. Hearing him talk about the overwhelming power of God’s presence and the supernatural love of Jesus sweeping over him helped rekindle that desire for communion with Christ.
This book may not be filled with lofty theological language. It may not be most thought-provoking Christian book. But what it is, is a reflection of Brian Welch and his life. It is real. It is raw. It is emotion filled. It is unapologetic. It is what it is. And for people that are looking for a light in a dark world, Brian’s life shines and offers hope to people that may never otherwise find it.
With My Eyes Wide Open may not be for everyone, just like KoRn’s music. But you cannot deny the power of Christ moving in Brian’s life and story. That alone makes this a book worth reading.
Whether you read Brian Welch’s first book or not, With My Eyes Wide Open is a solid read. Seeing the trials and tribulations of a single Christian parent, regardless of his success or fame, was a heart warming and aching experience. With My Eyes Wide Open is a must read for those that ever thought Christianity was an easy trip. I give this book a 4 out of 5-star rating.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”